Bulls unveil new Muma Center basketball facility
USF's basketball teams have called it home for more than a month, but the Bulls held the official ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday afternoon for the Pam and Les Muma Basketball Center practice facility, a 51,000-square-foot boost to USF's hoops hopes.
"It's really Pam and Les' day, our day to really thank them and show them how much we appreciated what they did," men's coach Stan Heath said. "This is a big day for us. It's something I think is going to change USF basketball forever and allow us to compete at the highest level, with our teams improving and being able to attract the recruits you need to win."
USF women's coach Jose Fernandez has already seen the benefits of the new facilities on recruiting, with three commitments on board for the early signing period for November. Both coaches are getting used to coming into the office and seeing players already practicing, making full use of the all-hours access to practice courts. By May, a $35 million renovation of the Sun Dome is expected to be completed, another major upgrade for the basketball programs.
"I'm not one for excuses or anything like that, but I think this levels the playing field," Fernandez said. "I'm excited about this group, and if I can't get it done as a head coach here now with this facility and with the Dome coming up, I'll be the first one to say I didn't get it done. This gives our staff, myself and our players an opportunity to be very successful in this league."
USF athletic director Doug Woolard and President Judy Genshaft took the opportunity to briefly address the uncertainty of conference reshuffling, with Woolard saying USF was lucky to have Genshaft's leadership at such a time, and Genshaft offering reassurance for the Bulls' future.
"I can tell you Doug Woolard and I are working on this day and night, and we're going to come out of this even better than we went in," Genshaft said, drawing applause from the crowd.