Virginia’s football operations center is coming along nicely

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Future rendering of the UVA football operations center. (Image: UVA Athletics)

Virginia’s new 90,000-square foot operations center for its football program is well underway, and coaches are using the new facility to help with recruiting.

The building (see related video taken Friday) is scheduled to open next spring, but that hasn’t kept UVA coaches from showing it off to prospects.

“We’ll give recruits tours and stuff like that,” said Cavalier assistant coach Chris Slade, who came to Virginia as a player when the last football operations center, the Dr. Frank McCue Center, was built in the early 1990s. “Before now they could only see pictures. Now they can see first-hand that it’s going to come to fruition and they’ll be the first class to live in it.”

The new center is scheduled to open next spring and has been a long time coming.

Former UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall said during his introduction speech as the Cavaliers’ new coach that a new football center was a must for the program and talked for several years about how Virginia lagged behind other ACC football programs in terms of facilities. Mendenhall was among the first to donate to get the ball rolling, contributing $500,000 to the cause.

While the football complex is set to open next spring (it is the building on the right, just beside the George Welsh Indoor Football Facility), the adjoining Olympic sports building (on the left in the video), won’t open until the summer of 2025. That project, which also includes some renovation of the McCue Center, will house lacrosse, track and field, soccer, rowing, field hockey and cross country.

“I’ve actually already felt the impact,” UVA football coach Tony Elliott said of the new facility. “This building is going to change the lives of our current student-athletes. The ability to have safe, efficient access to nutrition, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, position-specific development, will result in a well-prepared student-athlete for competition.

“The new facility also provides the space and the setting for our student-athletes to truly bond and grow as teammates and friends. We’re so excited about the new facility and the direct impact that it’s going to make on our program and give us the ability to reach our full potential.”