The football team will gain a state-of-the-art indoor facility behind the current football stadium, expected to be completed by mid-season this coming fall. The ground breaking date and estimated cost have yet to be determined.
It will consist of a full-length football field modeled from several different designs the coaches have seen from the best facilities in nearby colleges. The facility will allow 150 athletes to be able to put in more work than before. It is planned to be the best in Division II, and one of the best in the nation.
Inside will be a special wall filled with alumni names and classes, sharing testimonies of how Harding changed their lives. It will be used for practices and workouts.
The indoor facility will provide more consistency in practices. Often, the team has to share the field with other sports teams or the high school next door, or miss practice due to severe weather. The team will not have to miss a single practice due to the weather or sharing the field with another team once the facility is completed.
“By not missing a practice, by not missing a workout, that’s going to raise accountability for us,” junior offensive lineman Mills Bryant said. “It’s going to ensure that we’re getting as much work as possible that they’ll let us. This definitely gives you a time limit on every week of how much time you can spend working out. We’re not going to miss any of that time. It’s really going to help us.”
The facility boasts recruitment capabilities. Several competing colleges have indoor facilities that pique the interest of incoming freshmen. The team has already had one of their three official visit days, and according to Bryant, the news of the facility has gone over very well. Bryant believes they will gain better players because of it.
Many of the donors consist of alumni who wanted to give back to the program. Bryant believes the new facility will give the veteran Bisons a sense of pride, which will then give the current and future team confidence.
“Being on the team has really shaped me into the person that I am. The relationships that I have made will last a lifetime,” senior defensive back Jon Aaron Howell said. “The brotherhood that we have is unlike any other program in the country. I am forever grateful to have been a part of it.”