Mike Kelly admits Dayton coaches often avoided taking potential recruits into the three different strength and conditioning areas on campus.
“It was dismal,” said Kelly, the former UD football coach who’s now the assistant vice president of athletics.
Long ago, Dayton athletes worked out in what Kelly called a dungeon. They had homemade benches and a radio they could blast at full volume. They could spit, scream and yell. That facility was upgraded long ago, but Dayton athletics entered a new age when the Olsen Athletics Performance Center opened last week.
It has bling and dazzle, Kelly said, and will catch the eye of new recruits.
“We can train 75 people at this facility at one time,” Kelly said. “We went from three areas of 5,000 square feet to one area of 10,000 square feet. We doubled our space and put it all in one area. Our three full-time people who work with our 400-plus athletes can now all be centrally located. The functionality of it is just unbelievable. We let our strength and conditioning people, who have worked in a number of facilities, put it together.”
The $2.1 million facility was funded by Dr. Tom Olsen and his wife Mrs. Mary Boosalis along with the support of 27 alumni and friends of the university.
All 17 Dayton sports teams will train at the facility.
“Tom and Mary leading the charge is just exceptional,” Kelly said. “They saw a need, and there was no hesitation. Tom and Mary are about the little person, if you will. Obviously, they wanted it to work very well for our main engine, the men’s basketball team, but at the same time for all our other sports programs.”
Dayton men’s basketball coach Archie Miller called it one of the nicest facilities in the country. His players no longer have to drive to UD Arena to lift weights. The Olsen Center is located at the back of the Frericks Center, a short walk from the Cronin Center, where the basketball teams practice, and Baujan Field.
“With the amount of equipment, the design of this place, it’s one of the biggest advantages we have in terms of not only recruiting, but training,” Miller said.
Women’s basketball: The Flyers (7-3) won their fifth straight game Sunday, 71-67 at Vanderbilt. They host Green Bay at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Andrea Hoover ranks second in the Atlantic 10 Conference with 19.9 points per game. Ally Malott ranks fifth with 15.9 points per game. They’re the only two teammates who rank in the top 10.Hoover also ranks third in rebounding (8.2) and seventh in assists (3.7).
Men’s soccer: Three Flyers were named to the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association’s All-Ohio teams. Junior midfielder Amass Amankona made the first team. Sophomore defender Lalas Abubakar and sophomore forward James Haupt earned second team honors.