Richt guides tour of Miami Hurricanes new indoor practice facility
From the onset, the Miami Hurricanes' plan was for the Carol Soffer football indoor practice facility to be ready for use by the time UM football opens fall practice in August.
Barring any late troubles during the next couple months, that timeline still looks feasible, according to UM director of athletics Blake James.
"Our plan is we're going to be in it in August for practice," James said Tuesday following a luncheon introducing Gino DiMare as the Hurricanes' 10th baseball coach in program history. "When we have fall camp, we'll be in it. My goal is we'll be in there Day 1, but that's not something that we can control. We'll be in there as soon as we can be. Whenever it is, we'll be excited to have it and it'll be a blessing for our program."
The Hurricanes broke ground on the $34 million, 83,000-square-foot facility on May 4, 2017, at UM's Greentree Field. James said he stopped by the construction site Monday "to get a better feel for just the massiveness of the space that our guys will have to practice and perform." James said the practice facility's windows were just recently installed.
"Credit to the facilities people on campus [and] to Lemartec, our contractor," James said. "What they've done in a small window is simply incredible."
While the football practice facility is the most notable athletics construction project UM has going on, it's not the only one in the works.
James announced Tuesday that the baseball team will be receiving an indoor hitting baseball facility in the near future. Exact details were still being worked out, James said.
"Just as we need [an indoor facility] for our football program for our guys when the lightning goes, we need it for our baseball program too," James said. "As technology gets better and better, to have the facility you need to be the very best so all of are sitting in Omaha [at the College World Series] in a few years, we need to continue to invest in the facilities that we have in our program."
Richt's message to DiMare
Hurricanes football coach Mark Richt was in attendance for DiMare's introductory luncheon Tuesday.
As DiMare made his way to the stage to speak to a crowd of more than 200 people, he said he asked Richt — who was sitting at a front table — for any last-minute advice.
"Be yourself," DiMare said Richt told him. "Don't try to be something you're not."
DiMare took comfort in that.
"He's absolutely right," DiMare said. "The players know who I am. This is a unique situation because I've been coaching a lot of these guys and recruiting these guys. They know who I am. I'm not going to change now."