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Archive for Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bird’s-eye view

Fans get an up-close look at new facility

Visitors pass by the giant Jayhawk on the carpet of the locker room Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Visitors pass by the giant Jayhawk on the carpet of the locker room Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

July 31, 2008

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Visitors pass by the giant Jayhawk on the carpet of the locker room Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Visitors pass by the giant Jayhawk on the carpet of the locker room Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

A visitor leans in to grab a photo of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino's office overlooking Kivisto Field on Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

A visitor leans in to grab a photo of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino's office overlooking Kivisto Field on Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Anderson Family Football Complex tours

As the line of people waiting to enter Kansas University's new Anderson Family Football Complex grew Wednesday, and as it began to stretch well past the ticket office and down toward 11th St., Rob Crane offered an insight that, in its simplicity, was quite appropriate.

"This is like a movie premiere," said the 35-year-old Olathe resident.

If this was the case, then the program's newest entity enjoyed a whopper of an opening night.

One by one Wednesday, hundreds of local (and not-so-local) residents filed into the complex during an open house tour of the $31 million facility. And one by one, they filed out in apparent awe.

Joyce Halderman, a Lawrence resident, gushed about the weight room. Mark Begert was enamored with the underwater treadmills. Nearly everyone, it seemed, was amazed by the massive office occupied by Kansas football coach Mark Mangino, which stares out onto Kivisto Field and provides one of the best game-day views in Lawrence.

Mostly, though, they were struck by the magnitude of it all.

"You get a lot of big bodies in there, (and) they've certainly got enough space to accommodate them," said Dwight Nichols, 50, who made the drive from Topeka to tour the complex. "The boys will probably be getting lost in there for a few days early on."

University officials opened the facility to the public for two hours to show off the recently completed new home of Kansas football. Many of the team's coaches were on hand for the occasion, including Mangino, who greeted guests as they made their way from one section of the massive building to the next.

And the public, for its part, was receptive.

"They're doing everything they can to attract the upper-echelon of athletes," said Asheiki Preston, who played quarterback for the Jayhawks in the early 90s. "When you're trying to compete against the Texases, the Florida States, the Ohio States, you have to have something attractive, and a facility like this definitely is."

Of course, with greater power comes greater responsibility (read: expectations). And on Wednesday night, a month shy of the Jayhawks' season-opener against Florida International, that responsibility already appeared evident.

"I asked one of the coaches if (the new facility) was good for two to three more wins a season," said Jarrod Nichols, 35, of Olathe. "And he kind of looked at me like, 'Dude, we only lost one game last year.'"

Comments

number1jayhawker 6 years, 4 months ago

umpinaslump, your tounge in cheek comment is just another poor attempt at a fat joke. Grow up, please!

Rickyonealku 6 years, 4 months ago

I could not make the opening if anyone has photos and would like to trade my photos were taken from the outside and around the new practice fields over the weekend.My email address is Rickyonealku@msn.comThanks wish I could have been in Lawrence to see this great opening.....

TopJayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I saw, and shook Manginos' hand. He has definatly lost weight. It was noticable. Someone said they heard he has lost over eighty lbs. Looking much better. And the new complex is sweet.

Joel Hood 6 years, 4 months ago

Coach Mangino greeted our party too. He was very warm & gracious - it's easy to see how he can make an impression on recruits and their families. His office is like nothing else on campus - absolutely incredible view.

Trobs 6 years, 4 months ago

I missed this unfortunately. Would have loved to have seen the inside. Guess I need to get in shape and go back to college now.

umpinaslump 6 years, 4 months ago

Coach Mangino, congratulations on losing 80 Lbs. Don't start overeating again as a result of being depressed after K.U. loses a couple of football games. It's not your fault. You lost 2-3 of your best players to the NFL draft and you play a tougher schedules this year. Just remember that you were the Coach of the Year in 2007.

Confrontation 6 years, 4 months ago

I completely forgot about going to this. I bet it's amazing.

Linda Aikins 6 years, 4 months ago

Very very nice! Congratulations athletics! umpinaslump, you should be umpinana$$.

fan4kufootball 6 years, 4 months ago

It was absolutely fabulous! I went and it was well worth the wait in line. I too got to meet Coach Mangino and he was very gracious - he even took the time to give me an autograph. He is looking very well and has lost weight. I would assume that he must be feeling much better these days. I can hardly wait for the season to begin!

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