With the opening of the Crockett Center for Athletic Excellence, Belmont University is making a statement to recruits — come play here.
The facility, which houses a state-of-the-art weight room, brand-new locker rooms and two full-size basketball courts, is the new headquarters for men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and tennis, and it’s space that Belmont Athletics has been desperately needing.
“It’s unbelievable to have a space that is dedicated to our players,” said Bart Brooks, head coach of Belmont women’s basketball.
Located on Compton Avenue across from the new performing arts center, the facility is named for Dan Crockett, former owner of Franklin American Mortgage.
The center officially opened on May 27 with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by both former university president Dr. Bob Fisher and current president Dr. L. Gregory Jones.
Before the opening of the Crockett Center, all of Belmont’s 15 athletic teams utilized the same on-campus facilities.
Now, five of those teams have a permanent home in the Crockett Center.
Men’s basketball head coach Casey Alexander said that the biggest challenge of not having a facility of their own was limited accessibility to the Curb Event Center.
The Curb is Belmont’s prime venue for large-scale events, which often forced the basketball and volleyball teams to practice in the much-smaller Beaman Center recreational gym.
Coaches would also have to budget time into their practices for players to move between the court and the weight room. In the Crockett Center, a large glass garage door connects the two spaces.
The men’s basketball locker room inside the Crockett Center for Athletic Excellence.
In the new facility, players can begin their practice in their team’s locker room before heading across the hall to the training room. There, they can get any injury attended to and spend some time in the hydrotherapy room. After meeting with their trainers, players can go to the weight room and then through the doors onto the courts.
The tennis team has its own lounge that is connected to the top of the parking garage, where six new courts were built.
Coach Brooks said one of his favorite things about the Crockett Center is how he can hear the ball bouncing on the court from outside his office and can see players shooting reps from his window.
This allows Brooks to go downstairs and easily shoot hoops with his players, fostering a stronger sense of connection and community within his team. This season, they will be working hard to follow last season’s successes, the biggest of which was making it to the second round of the NCAA Championship.
For the men’s team, after narrowly missing out on March Madness in 2021, Alexander is excited for his reap the rewards of spring recruitment and for all his players — new and returning — to take advantage of the Crockett Center.
“I think it’ll help our teams continue to succeed,” said Alexander.
This article was written by Sarah Maninger. Photos courtesy of Belmont University Athletics.