Mario Cristobal excited by Miami football facility upgrades

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 07: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 07: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Appearing on Hurricane Hotline on WQAM, head coach Mario Cristobal was excited about the planned upgrades to the Miami football facilities. The $40 million Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility which was completed in 2018 will be the biggest focus of the facility upgrades Cristobal discussed.

The Soffer IPF will have renovated locker rooms and an expansion of the practice field from 70 to 100 yards. Work has already started on the renovations. Cristobal expects work to move fast. Practice facilities have become critically important in the recruiting process in college football. Miami was late in their upgrades.

The Soffer IPF was one of the last built for a Power Five program. With the lightning and thunderstorms that frequently occur in South Florida, Miami needed an IPF to be able to make it through practice without stopping. Other programs have gone to great lengths to build attractive practice facilities.

With Cristobal as head coach expect the Miami upgrades to be more practical than flashy. College football IPFs have included a barbershop, lazy river and miniature golf. Defending national champion Georgia just completed $80 million worth of renovations. The renovations for Miami were critical for hiring Cristobal.

"“You should see these renderings…We already started clearing out the areas and finalizing some things as we move forward. It is moving really fast. It puts us on a different level…It will be as good or better as anything in the country. And that is an arm’s race because every five years you are saying that again.It is exciting because Miami has never had that…Miami has had a lot of success without it, but as the years have gone by, people have discovered that to be a good business you have to keep investing in it. Now the gap is about to be closed…That gap has been growing, but now we are about to close it, and we intend to pass by the edge of that gap and get ahead. We feel that when Miami does complete the facility, it puts us on a different level…every student-athlete has everything they could want from mental health, facilities, nutrition…Our recovery center is going to be space age. It’s going to be very different than the rest of the country.”"

Cristobal made the above comments to Miami football radio analyst and former center Don Bailey Jr. on Hurricane Hotline on WQAM last week. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald quoted the interview in a column on Tuesday. Cristobal will be a difference-maker with the Miami football program at least off the field.

Prominent Miami alums have seemingly become more interested in the athletic program with the hiring of Cristobal as head coach. Cristobal has created excitement for the Miami football program on and off the field since he was hired in December. Constantly upgrading and staying ahead of other programs will be the challenge.

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Every major program in college football will be aware of the changes that the other elite programs are making. Maintaining the excellence and facility improvements to keep up with technology and the modern needs should be expected with Cristobal as head coach. Cristobal understands what Miami needs to become more competitive.