The University of San Diego's athletics program has enjoyed a significant measure of success, which includes being the recipient of five consecutive West Coast Conference Commissioner's Cup awards for overall athletics excellence.
On Jan. 28, USD President Mary E. Lyons, PhD, Executive Director of Athletics Ky Snyder and USD Board of Trustees Chairman Ron Fowler publicly addressed the start of a new quest for athletics excellence.
Called the Drive for Torero Success, this $30 million USD campaign involves a master plan to renovate the USD baseball facility, construct a golf/softball/club sports facility, renovating the Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center and providing operational and scholarship endowments.
The Drive for Torero Success
Following the Trustees' approval of a Strategic Plan for the athletics department in December of 2004, the emphasis on building the athletics program has been to improve operating budgets. This would ensure the necessary resources for each sport and the program as a whole to compete for conference championships on a regular basis. As these resources are developing, Torero Athletics has increased recruiting, supplies, travel, academic support and financial aid in addition to successfully competing with other schools to retain our top coaches. As a result of these efforts, the University of San Diego has consistently reigned as the best in the West Coast Conference winning the Commissioner's Cup five consecutive years from 2008-2012. With the support of our alumni, parents and community members, Torero Athletics will continue to rise in national prominence.
The next step in the evolution of Torero Athletics is to develop the facilities necessary to support our quest to become a prominent athletics program. While the Jenny Craig Pavilion may appear to be the home of Torero Athletics, in fact, the facility houses just 10 percent of our student-athletes and just 12 percent of our staff. Moreover, nine of our 17 sports do not have dedicated locker rooms. Only three sports have the facilities to host NCAA championships at USD. Yet, many of our teams are annually ranked in the Top 25 and are on the cusp of national prominence. Our facilities are holding Torero Athletics back. Most of our facilities, which are 30 to 40 years old, were designed when we were a Division II program. They do not have the space, amenities or seating to elevate our athletics program to prominence.
The Drive for Torero Success is geared to provide our USD student-athletes with the facilities and funding necessary to take the next step in the growth of Torero Athletics. As the University looks to embark on a comprehensive campaign, Torero Athletics can create momentum. Athletics, like no other entity on campus, creates exposure and builds spirit and support. A successful athletics program will build alumni participation and fast-track the growth of the University. Although Torero Athletics has made great strides, it is time to take the next step of competing at the national level. Our goal is for the athletics program to mirror the University's reputation as a top, nationally ranked university. New facilities and endowment are required to take this next step.
At the present time, department priorities include four projects:
- A new ballpark to provide our baseball team with a facility on a par with other Top-10 programs
- A golf/softball facility to provide our nationally recognized golf team with an on-campus practice option and our softball team with a Division I competition site
- Renovation of our competition tennis facility
- Scholarship and operating endowment
- An Intercollegiate Athletics Center to provide all USD student-athletes with a quality environment for Division I competition
In 2009, the USD golf team advanced to the NCAA National Championship Tournament for the first time and placed 13th. The team made it back to the NCAA National Championship in 2010 finishing 8th and in 2011 finishing 15th. The goal of our golf program-to win a National Championship-is beginning to look like more than just a dream. However, currently, our golf team must travel 30 minutes each day for practice.
The softball team, one of our developing sports, regularly competes against programs with far superior facilities. The softball team does not have a permanent locker room or meeting space. This adds to the difficulty in competing for the conference's automatic bid for the playoffs.
With Your Support We Can
- Provide a much needed on-campus short-game practice facility and indoor driving range for our golf team, lessening the need to travel on a daily basis.
- Build permanent locker rooms and lounges for our golf and softball teams as well as for club sports teams.
- Provide new restrooms and a concession stand for the complex, which will improve the experience of our guests.
- Provide meeting space for the football team near its practice facility at Manchester Field.
The golf and softball programs have both made great strides in recent years. Golf is very close to becoming a national power. An on-campus practice facility will help the team become a regular participant in the NCAA National Championship tournament. With improved facilities, softball recruiting will make a significant impact on the team's ability to compete for a conference championship.
USD baseball was suspended in the trap of an inadequate facility. Recently ranked as high as fourth in the nation, every year we are forced to play in the NCAA tournament on the road due to our inadequate facility. Most teams reach Super Regionals after hosting Regionals at their home site. Although major-league talent fills our roster each year, our student-athletes were hamstrung from reaching their full team potential by their facility. As you know we are finally building our dream! Fowler Park Live Stream link
A new Torero ballpark will be designed to accentuate the current ballpark's location, while incorporating the seating and amenities that will secure the future success of Torero baseball.
- The ballpark will include 1700 seats with expandable space to accommodate seating for up to 3,000 fans to meet the NCAA's requirements for hosting both the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals.
- New lights will allow the team to play games at night in preparation for post-season action, while minimizing missed class time for team members and increasing the potential fan base.
- The new design includes a clubhouse, which is a necessity for a Top 25 baseball program that currently does not even have a dedicated locker room. The clubhouse will enhance recruiting and further build the program.
- Access to concessions and restrooms will be dramatically improved. Suites will provide hospitality opportunities for alumni and donors.
- A new press box and media work area will enhance new media opportunities and televised games.
Altogether, the new ballpark will create a fan-friendly atmosphere that will increase attendance, improve recruiting and provide the opportunity to host NCAA Championship baseball on the University of San Diego campus. This is the next step in securing the future success of Torero baseball as a Top-25 program.