Tennessee State football coach Rod Reed set out to improve the school's facilities when he took over the Big Blue Tigers last year. He's already starting to see the fruits of his labor in the Tigers new locker room which opened late in the summer, and the $3.7 million indoor practice facility and weight room renovations which were completed last fall. TSU is one of just six Football Championship Subdivision schools that has an indoor practice facility.
The Tigers used the 60,750-square foot indoor facility several times this past season on extremely hot days or when rain kept them from practicing outside. But its the locker room that Reed is most proud of. The locker room houses 65 wooden, NFL-style lockers and four flat-screen televisions and were paid for with $125,000 in alumni donations which were matched by $25,000 from the TSU administration.
“Each kid has an individual lock box with a combination lock for their valuables,” Reed said. “We just got in the stools so that they can sit inside or in front of their lockers when they dress. With the flat-screen TVs, we’re finding a lot of the guys are using the locker room now as a hangout. They can come in and watch ESPN. We’ve got DirecTV, so they can pretty much watch whatever they want.”
The locker room previously was used as a football meeting room for the offense.