MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Memphis has broken ground on a 1,600 square-foot addition to the W.S. ‘Babe’ Howard Training Facility attached to FedExPark, University of Memphis Athletic Director Tom Bowen announced.
The facility expansion was made possible by the generosity of Ray and Laura Rosas, among other private donors and friends of the University of Memphis baseball program. Laura Rosas is the daughter of the late Babe Howard and has been a supporter of the Memphis baseball for several years.
“The most exciting things for me will be that we will now have a great place to get the team together for meetings, to watch video and to have team meals,” Memphis head coach Daron Schoenrock said. “The other exciting part is that all four of our full time coaches get to be in the same place that our players are in. We have the ability for more day-to-day interaction with our student-athletes.”
FedExPark was originally completed in 2010 and the renovations included the indoor facility along the first base line. The W.S. ‘Babe’ Howard Training Facility currently includes the Tigers clubhouse, an athletic training room, pitching and batting cages, coach’s offices and a players’ lounge.
The new expansion will include a team meeting room and additional coach’s offices. With the additional office space, the Tigers will be able to have their entire coaching and support staff in the same building.
Memphis bounced back during the 2017 season, finishing with a 30-29 record, marking the sixth season of 30 or more wins in the last seven years. Three Tiger players were drafted – Chris Carrier (Cubs), Drew Crosby (Tigers) and Colton Hathcock (Rockies) – while Brandon Grudzielanek signed a free agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
This expansion is the latest in a number of facility improvements under the direction of Bowen. Improvements were completed at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse and a new track and field surface was installed in 2013, the Tigers Softball Complex saw the completion of an indoor training center in 2016 and two other major projects are underway in the Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center and the Football Indoor Practice Facility.