New stadiums and facilities were the topic of conversation when the state's top college football coaches gathered Tuesday in Colorado Springs.
Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre touted the $156 million football complex his team is moving into this offseason that includes a 16,000 square-foot locker room with 25-foot ceilings, and an 8,000-squre foot players lounge in a complex that includes a snack bar and a barber shop. New Colorado State coach Mike Bobo talked of breaking ground soon on a $220 million stadium that will be ready by 2017. Air Force's Troy Calhoun had nothing tangible to tout, but his new athletic director has spoken of plans to spend $30 million to renovate Falcon Stadium.
"It is mind-boggling to see the amount that's invested in collegiate athletic programs in this day and age," Calhoun said.
The coaches were in town for The Sports Corp.'s College Football Kickoff Luncheon at the DoubleTree by Hilton. John Wristen from recently crowned Division II champion CSU-Pueblo and Earnest Collins of Northern Colorado joined the FBS coaches on stage in a forum moderated by former Air Academy, Northwestern and Colorado coach Gary Barnett.
Barnett grilled his five-coach panel on social media, concussions, trends in college football, changes to their teams and if they prefer footballs inflated or deflated (deflated carried the day in a lopsided fashion).
The facilities were the highlight, though.
"We went and stole everybody's good ideas and put them in there," MacIntyre said of CU's new complex. "To me, it's not only the best football facility in Colorado, it's the best in America top to bottom.
"We've got everything a young man would need to be successful."
Bobo, who replaces new Florida coach Jim McElwain, is eager to see the new stadium built.
"It's in progress and something we're all excited about at CSU," he said.
Calhoun, however, made little mention of new athletic director Jim Knowlton's plans to pump money into the stadium. Calhoun said his priorities are player development, his coaching staff and "resources and alignment in terms of where we're situated."
"It can be helpful, I think, with the stadium part, but those are our three priorities," Calhoun said. "We made those quite clear. Those are the three for our football program."