Iowa State showed off the brand new Steve & Debbie Bergstrom Football Complex last week and it opened to rave reviews from donors, former football letterwinners and a variety of invited guests, who toured the facility after dedication ceremonies.Beyond the beauty, is the building’s functionality. That’s the way Paul Rhoads wanted it. “This facility needed to be designed with a blue collar work ethic in mind and that’s exactly the finished product we have,” Rhoads said. “Plus, there is a lot of ‘wow’ to go on top of it.” Rhoads’ fingerprints are all over the building. Certainly, the coach gave leeway to trusted associates like Mark Coberley (athletics training) and Yancy McKnight (strength & conditioning) to design their areas. But, Rhoads maintained input on all of the details including the graphics package, design of lockers and how the furniture should be arranged. The Cyclone coach wanted it perfect and got an assurance that would happen from Athletics Director Jamie Pollard. “It being done right was an eye-to-eye, handshake agreement that Jamie and I entered into,” Rhoads said. “That’s the way Jamie and I operate and that is exactly how it got done.” It also got done, amazingly, in 22 months. A spirit of cooperation on campus, a group of generous donors and countless hours of hard work from staff and the construction team made the facility a reality in a tight timeframe. Pollard recognized the need for a football-only building less than two years ago and went to work with Rhoads to make it happen. And, when there are two leaders with a single-minded focus on achievement most anything can happen. “In four years, we have become who we are (as a program) because of the development taking place (in our facilities),” Rhoads said. There is so much more that Rhoads wants to accomplish. The work ahead, however, will be in state-of-the-art digs and the coach couldn’t be happier.
Reader feedback is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow