Lenoir-Rhyne University will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the Neill McGeachy Sports Performance Center on Saturday, March 9, at 4 p.m. between the Practice Field and McCrorie Center. The ceremony will be followed by the spring football game at 5 p.m.; both events are free and open to the public.
Announced in August in collaboration with the Bears Club, the $3-million, state-of-the-art Neill McGeachy Sports Performance Center will feature 14,000 square feet of new and enhanced multiuse training space, a weight room, nutrition bar, indoor turf training area, dedicated team meeting rooms, additional coaches' offices, and a covered pavilion. The facility will support student-athletes in all 22 intercollegiate sports in both sports performance and personal development. The center also will support the growing needs of the Bears Club by providing a covered pavilion for hosting game-day hospitality events, as well as provide dynamic engagement space for teams and the broader campus community to use throughout the year. It is expected to be completed late summer 2019.
“We are excited to begin work on the Neill McGeachy Sports Performance,” said University President Fred Whitt. “It will be an important addition to our campus and will benefit all of our student-athletes, as well as our coaches and staff.”
During the ceremony, the Bears Walk brick paver campaign will also be officially launched, signifying the final stage of the Forever 46 campaign. The brick program will provide a unique opportunity to honor individuals, teammates, LR Sports Hall of Fame Members, distinguished teams from all sports, and former coaches.
“This is an exciting moment for our entire Bears family to kickoff this project and celebrate the collective contributions of so many individuals and community partners who have stepped up to support this exciting campaign while honoring Neill McGeachy,” said Kim Pate, director of Athletics. “This facility will truly be a game changer for Bears athletics and will position our coaches and staff to develop our student-athletes for both sport and life.”
The groundbreaking ceremony is part of a busy day for LR Athletics. At 1 p.m., the men’s lacrosse team will battle rival Wingate at Moretz Stadium. The Bears are coming off a visit to the national semifinals last year and this is one of their most highly anticipated matchups of the season.
Following the ceremony, the Lenoir-Rhyne football team will take the field at Moretz Stadium for the spring game. It will be the first time Between the Bricks for the Bears since dramatically defeating Wingate in the Second Round of the NCAA Playoffs on November 24. The Bears completed the biggest turnaround in the nation in 2018, improving by nine wins under first year Head Coach Drew Cronic, who was named NFCA National Coach of the Year.
The Bears, who will return 20 starters from last year’s squad, were ranked No. 8 in the final National Poll and just announced a strong 2019 recruiting class.