The University of Notre Dame is enjoying its third full season with access to the sparkling Guglielmino Athletics Complex, adjacent to the Loftus Sports Center on the east side of campus. Affectionately referred to as "The Gug" (pronounced Goog), the new building houses the football practice-week locker rooms, coaches' offices and meeting rooms in addition to enhanced sports medicine, strength and conditioning and weight room equipment areas for all 800 Notre Dame student-athletes.
"This center only enhances the already positive experiences of all of our student-athletes," Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White said.
"It also plays a huge role in the continued quest of the athletics department to be the very best. This, along with the Loftus Sports Center, makes our football student-athletes' daily routines much more efficient in what we hope will allow them to realize their full potential and perform to the best of their abilities both on the field and in the classroom."
The Gug, underwritten with a gift from the late Don F. Guglielmino and his wife Flora, provides the Notre Dame football team with one of the top facilities in the nation. The building gives the Irish football team a central location for post-practice and pre-practice routines as well as daily positional meetings. Before The Gug opened, the Irish football facilities were spread between Notre Dame Stadium, the Joyce Center and the Loftus Sports Center.
The 96,000-square-foot complex was designed and built by McShane Construction of Chicago. Interior design and banners were produced and ZeDesign of Dayton, Ohio. Groundbreaking took place on May 5, 2004.
The first floor of the Guglielmino Complex features the 25,000-square foot Haggar Fitness Center (gift of Ed and Patty Haggar, Joe and Isabell Haggar) with the latest state-of-the-art equipment that all student-athletes can use on a daily basis. The 8,300-square foot Loftus Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center (a gift of John and Julie Loftus) services all of Notre Dame's student-athletes. The athletic training facility is a state-of-the-art area with two new swim exercise pools - one of which includes a treadmill at the bottom. The facility also houses the athletic training staff and gives that department significant office space, in addition to increased area for rehabilitation.
Also located on the first floor is the Allen Equipment Room (a gift of Marty and Sue Allen) which houses the football equipment staff and storage facility used for both practices and competition.
The Haggar Fitness Center is perhaps the most eye-catching feature of The Gug, as the previous fitness center has been expanded to twice its size. The Haggar Fitness Center is shared by both the Guglielmino Complex and the Loftus Center and services all of Notre Dame's 26 varsity athletic sports.
The fitness complex features more than 250 pieces of weight training equipment, six plasma television screens, a state-of-the-art sound system, a 50-yard track for speed workouts and a 45x18-yard Prestige Turf field for team stretching exercises and workouts.
Locker rooms for both the football student-athletes and coaches also are contained on the first floor, as well as a player's lounge and nine team position group meeting rooms.
The Romano Family Locker Room (a gift of D.J. "Buddy" and Florence Romano) provides the players instant access to the practice fields, fitness center and Loftus. The locker room houses 125 spacious (49x90) lockers with shoe warmers/driers, 22 showers, a "mud room," and a players' lounge that includes a 52-inch plasma TV and kitchen.
Adjacent to players' locker room is the Hickey Coaches' Locker Room (a gift of Jack and Rosemary Hickey) that includes 20 spacious lockers and six private showers.
The Isban Auditorium (a gift of Leonard and JoAnn Isban) measures 3,800 square feet with 150 theater-style, football-player-sized seats and theater-quality audio-visual equipment, including a 30-foot screen.
The second floor houses the Smith Family Office Suites (gift of the Smith family in honor of Francis W. and Rita C. Smith) in a 7,800-square foot area, with head coach Brian Kelly's area overlooking the Cartier Field practice complex.
The assistant coaches are arranged along offensive and defensive hallways, while the video coordinator's compound sits in the center of the coaches' offices and is linked into every room in the building. There also is a recruiting lounge on the second floor, which features a balcony overlooking the strength and conditioning complex and a panoramic window with a view of Notre Dame's central campus. The head coach's suite is located at the far southern tip on the second floor of the Guglielmino Athletics Complex. Kelly has a large reception area, a private bathroom, shower facility and two offices - one for official meetings, another private area for film work.
"Though Don spent just a year at Notre Dame as a student, he had a great love for our University," Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., Notre Dame's former president, said. "This exceptional gift forever will be a testimony to Don's whole-hearted embrace of the Notre Dame spirit."
After the death of his father, Guglielmino transferred to Stanford University in 1940 due to pressing family needs. He then left school to enlist in the Army Air Corps and serve in the Pacific theatre during World War II. After the war, the Guglielminos returned to his hometown of Glendale, Calif., where he became a successful businessman. He founded Newhall Hardware Company in 1947 and helped found the Santa Clarita National Bank in the mid-1960s. He served as the bank's chairman of the board until it was sold, first to Security Pacific National Bank in 1990 and later acquired by Bank of America.
The Guglielmino Complex serves an important role in the development of all 26 Notre Dame varsity sports, in addition to providing the football team with one of the most remarkable facilities in the nation.