For Maryland football head coach Mike Locksley, the vision of a state-of-the-art football facility dates back to late 2001. The running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under then-head coach Ralph Friedgen, Locksley remembers the prep prior to the 2002 Orange Bowl.
“We had to practice on ice outside [on] practice fields, and then we had to call and beg the Washington Football Team to use their indoor facility to help us get ready,” Locksley recalled.
Future Maryland football teams that compete in December or January won’t have that struggle as the Jones-Hill House, the new home for Maryland football, was officially unveiled Friday.
Maryland athletic director Damon Evans noted that the cost for this facility came out to $149.3 million. This figure includes the football portion of the facility, but also the medical and academic portions that are also a part of the Cole Field House project.
Evans also announced that the first floor of the Gossett Football Team House would be fully renovated to become an academic assistance space for all Maryland athletes.
In August 2017, the program opened its indoor practice field, but the rest of the football amenities and offices remained under construction through this spring.
Just off the north end of the indoor practice field sits a 24,000 square foot strength and conditioning area, which is four times the size of the space previously used in the Gossett Football Team House.
The new space is outfitted with custom barbells, plates and dumbbells, as well as 40 yards of turf for speed or agility training. There are also 22 custom weight racks that are outfitted with Perch video technology, which can capture reps and speed of movement as well as using facial recognition to track the student-athletes using the equipment.
In one of many artistic and historical installations, just off the weight room is a display of every Maryland football helmet used since 1940, along with mannequins outfitted with the team’s current uniforms. Included in that display is a new white version of the throwback Terps script uniforms that Maryland introduced in 2019 that has yet to be used in game action.
The new Maryland locker room features 126 individual lockers that include each player’s number, name, position and hometown. The locker units themselves are fully digital and include recliners with ottomans, storage space for equipment and personal items and even wireless chargers for each player’s cell phone.
“I think this is second to none,” rising sophomore wide receiver Rakim Jarrett said. “Everything that this place has, every other place has. And given that is at home, it’s at least a little bit better than that.”
Attached to the locker room is a players’ lounge that includes a barbershop, recording booth, pool table, movie theater and more.
“Let’s make sure we have all the right things to keep our guys here at home and not out in the streets, doing things that they don’t need to be doing,” Locksley said. “So, we try to do everything we can to be player-centric with the development of this project and making sure that our players have everything in place right here inside of Jones Hill House, to give them every chance to be successful in life.”
The Jones-Hill House also has a sports medicine area that is three times the size of the former setup in the Gossett Football Team House and will be used by student-athletes across multiple sports.
There are three different areas in the space, dedicated for either treatment, rehab or taping. Attached are two 45-foot plunge pools that can be used for cooling and recovery as well as a Hydroworks pool that specifically aids athletes recovering from lower-body injuries.
Each football position group has its own meeting room in the Jones-Hill house, complete with projection setups, dry-erase boards and tiered seating for each player. There are also meeting rooms for the entire offense and defense, as well as a 196-seat auditorium for the entire team.
Outside of each position room is a “Terrapin Tale,” which highlights a player, group of players or moment from that position group.
The Jones-Hill House is also built around two full-length natural grass fields that will serve as the new practice fields for the football program. The building also features a mudroom that allows players to remove cleats and excess mud and also grab nutritional items before entering the building.
There will also be ease of access entrances to the building from the practice fields, allowing the offense and defense to enter or exit right to their respective meeting rooms.
An administration floor on the second level houses the offices for every coach or staff member. There is also an outdoor patio that overlooks Maryland Stadium and the central hub of campus that will be used for events.
Multiple displays in the main lobby and on the second floor honor All-America, Academic and All-Conference honorees as well as team successes.
The administration level also includes a “Recruiting room” and a “Power of the DMV” display that aims to highlight the benefits that the local area can provide student-athletes.
The third level of the Jones-Hill House is home to the new 10,000 square foot dining area, which is three times the size of the current space.
This area includes a television, multiple different stations for different types of eats, an outdoor patio and even a helmet-shaped Maryland pizza oven.
The main entrance for the Jones-Hill House will be off of Fieldhouse Drive across from Gate K of Maryland Stadium.
The lobby includes a large video installation along with touchscreen displays. Just behind the desk in the lobby are two mannequin figures that sport No. 25 and No. 37, which honor Darryl Hill and Kevin Plank, respectively.
For NFL scouts that come to check out and meet with players or coaches, there is an NFL film room just off of the main lobby.
All aspects of this building continue Locksley and the athletic department’s vision of making Maryland football better, and its official unveiling comes alongside a new wave of recruiting as the Terps fight for more highly-rated prospects.
“To see this come to fruition, and the vision that Maryland has, this is a statement that we are serious about football, and I’m excited to be a part and lead the charge,” Locksley said.