Better facilities, better program

Dakota Ratley

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Facilities are important to a program’s success in the NCAA, and ULM is looking to begin contending with other FBS programs.

Last football season was the first year the Warhawks played on JPS field at Malone Stadium. JPS Aviation/JPS Equipment Rentals donated $450,000 to ULM athletics to pay for and install top of the line field turf in Malone Stadium.

The trend of improvement of ULM has continued with the newly renovated weight room.

ULM athletic director Brian Wickstrom likened the process of raising the funds needed to a snowball.

“People now are starting to see some of the positive improvements on campus which gets more people involved,” he said.

Among the changes made in the room are new weights and a new nutrition bar to go along with several aesthetic changes.

This renovation comes on the heels of Wickstrom being named a part of the top ten list of fundraising athletic directors by Wickstrom has headed the massive fundraising effort of ULM.

The next big project for the athletic department looks to be the end zone football facility. The project, which will cost nearly four million dollars, is set to begin construction some time in February.

These changes have been made with the student-athlete in mind. Wickstrom said that the university has worked with the student-athletes to get their input on what is needed to improve the program.

Head football coach Todd Berry noted that he changes look to not only improve the experience of the current student-athletes, but also help land new recruits.

“Our current student-athletes will benefit from the remodeling along with the impression that will be created for future student-athletes,” he said.

Berry also said that the changes were over 10 years overdue, and that the changes have created an excitement within the program.

The weight room will be fully completed in the coming week or two.

The room was on display for various recruits as they came on their visits to campus. The athletic department hopes that the continuous growth and upgrades to the facilities will continue to help recruiting for all sports.