In honor of their extraordinary contributions to the University of Mississippi, Ole Miss Athletics named the newly renovated Indoor Practice Facility the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center, Ole Miss Director of Athletics Ross Bjork announced prior to the Rebels' 2013 home opener.
The renovation and expansion of the Manning Center, slated to be completed in early 2014, was made possible by gifts to the Forward Together Campaign. In partnership with Ole Miss Athletics, the Manning family and the family of Billy Van Devender have made significant contributions to the campaign in order to honor Olivia and Archie Manning in this special way.
"The names Olivia and Archie Manning will remind our athletes for generations to come of the values that represent the best of Ole Miss," said Chancellor Dan Jones. "Olivia and Archie will be a daily inspiration to each of them."
Among the finest facilities in all of college athletics, the Manning Center is the crown jewel in the growing athletics compound surrounding Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
"The Manning Center speaks a great deal to our donor support, our athletics tradition and the future of our program," said Athletics Director Ross Bjork. "I have been all over the nation, and this is one of the most impressive out there. We are excited about the numerous enhancements on the horizon, as the facility continues to serve as a tremendous recruiting asset for Ole Miss Athletics."
Located beside the South End Zone of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the Rebels moved into the spectacular $18 million multi-purpose structure in fall 2004.
As part of the Forward Together campaign, a $12.5 million renovation and expansion of the Manning Center commenced in early 2013. The project will be built in phases and is expected to be completed by early 2014.
Among the upgrades is the construction of a full kitchen and dining hall that will be part of the Ole Miss dining program and open to every student and faculty and staff member. The facility will provide a nutrition center for all Ole Miss student-athletes and will be in the vicinity of the current banquet room. The new team meeting room will be constructed on the north end of the facility in the current lawn between the building and the south endzone of Vaught Hemingway Stadium. It will seat approximately 200, doubling the capacity of the current team room, and the meeting area will be outfitted with state-of-the-art audio/video equipment and coaching software.
Adjacent to the team room will be a new head coach's office, putting all of the staff on the same level in the renovated coaching suite.
With the construction of the new team room, a new front door and recruiting room will be erected on the site of the current team room. The recruiting room will contain trophies, memorable images and interactive exhibits and will celebrate the rich tradition of Rebel football with recruits, alumni and fans.
The existing weight room will be expanded on the east side, widening the area by 2,000 square feet. The current locker room will also be enhanced and expanded and will include a new player lounge on the west side of the IPF.
Numerous Rebel supporters contributed financially to the construction of the facility, including legendary Rebel quarterback Archie Manning. In May 2004, former Ole Miss running back Deuce McAllister donated $1 million toward the building of the facility. The architects of the facility were Ferguson & Associates of Jackson.
The facility includes the following features:
- Top of structure over playing field 79 feet above finished floor
- Building structure comprised of steel frame, metal roof, brick and metal panel exterior walls with dimensional stone base/water table and stone wall caps
- Players' lounge with game room, tv room/lounge, computer/study lab, refreshment bar, and small theater room
- 10,000-square-foot weight room includes Hammer Strength machines, Life Fitness cardiovascular machines and a fully-stocked nutrition center
- Staff office area features state-of-the-art audio/video "strategy room" with four digital projection screens and sound
- Staff office area also features state-of-the-art audio/video editing suite
- Banquet Hall to accommodate approximately 300 persons
- Semi-private upstairs Head Coach's Office Suite features private balcony and views into indoor playing field area and towards both the existing outdoor practice fields, and the south end zone of stadium
- New indoor facility is linked to existing stadium via secured, underground tunnel for moving players back and forth between facilities during gamedays.
- State-of-the-art training area, including in-ground hydrotherapy pools with submersible treadmills/and video monitoring equipment. Also comprised of tape area, treatment area, rehab area, and hydrotherapy area
- 132 lockers
- Full-sized indoor practice field, including practice track and various related track events
- Staff area/offices include private positional coaches' offices with adjacent team position meeting room.
Tours of the Manning Center are available by appointment. Call (662) 915-1821.