Villanova cut the ribbon on their spectacular new West Endzone Building today in a 5pm ceremony, attended by special guest Howie Long, whose $1 million gift attached his name to the new two-story strength and conditioning facility within the new construction. The building was also given a name — honoring the longtime head coach of the football program who helped get it built.
Welcome to the brand new Andrew J. Talley Athletic Center! pic.twitter.com/j9sqFepYQQ— Villanova Athletics (@NovaAthletics) October 21, 2016
The Andrew J Talley Athletic Center will serve as the headquarters of the football program, with offices for the football staff, locker rooms, meeting rooms, a two-story strength and conditioning center, a massive trainers’ room, and other amenities. The facility brings Villanova’s football program closer in line with the amenities available to other schools in the CAA and beyond, and will also be a resource for many of the other programs on campus.
More than half of the funding for the $18 million facility came from a single donor who chose to remain anonymous, but asked only that the building be named for Talley.
“This first-class facility will help elevate our program on all fronts,” Villanova Director of Athletics Mark Jackson said. “From sports performance, to academic support, to entertaining our donor and fan base, we could not be more excited about the opening of the Andrew J. Talley Athletic Center.”
The news of the naming comes a day ahead of Villanova’s homecoming match-up with the University of Albany. Head coach Andy Talley will be honored for his 32 years of service to the football program at that game, and a huge group of football program alumni are expected to attend. The coach announced that he would retire at the end of this season, handing things over to his longtime assistant, Mark Ferrante.
“Andy has been an example to us all, not only for emphasizing success on the field and in the classroom, but also for his commitment to the National Bone Marrow Foundation and the subsequent creation of The Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation,” Villanova University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A. stated. “For his outstanding leadership and his unwavering dedication to Villanova, I can think of no better honor to his legacy than to name this athletic center – that will benefit all of our student-athletes – in his honor.”
It makes sense that Villanova would name the building after the retiring head coach. Most schools would name the playing field after a legendary coach, but Villanova’s turf already has a name — Goodreau Field — named for a football player, Leo J. Goodreau, who died due to injuries received during practice in 1930. Talley wouldn’t want to strip the name of a football alumnus off of anything; he’s being honored during the homecoming game, because he didn’t want to take anything away from his senior class at the last home game (traditionally senior day).
They needed a suitable way to honor a head coach who revived the program from the dead and stuck with it for 32 seasons. What better way than to attach his name — permanently -- to a building that he advocated for the school to build for years before the ground was finally broken.
“It is a great honor to have this incredible new building named after me,” Talley said. “This facility will provide first-class amenities to all 24 Wildcat teams. The building also gives our football program one of the nation’s premier athletic facilities.”