If you are a 2021 Seminole Boosters member, at any level, you are the reason Florida State Athletics was able to fund a state-of-the-art weight room for more than 500 student-athletes.
The only reason.
When the fundraising year begins, Seminole Boosters’ primary goal is to raise enough money to fund the current needs of the athletics budget, which includes scholarships and other existing commitments, and to seek additional members to fund contingency projects like the weight room.
Thanks to existing member renewals and a spike of more than 2,000 new members, FSU athletics director David Coburn had enough funding to green light the project.
“Strength is everything. It is the foundation of who we are and what we are all about,” said football coach Mike Norvell, who was wearing a Seminole Strength T-shirt at practice. “I am so grateful for all of our supporters, the administrators and everybody who has made the opportunity to renovate our weight room (possible). It’s incredible.”
“The weight room was an important project because it touches all of our student-athletes and was one of the priorities for Director Coburn when I first got here,” said Seminole Booster CEO and President Michael Alford.
“The weight room is very critical to our mission because it allows our student-athletes to perform at their very best and provide the very best experience for them. It’s not only important for our current student-athletes but for recruiting, to be a showcase and a showpiece.”
The existing weight room was totally renovated adding state-of-the-art flooring, a new weight system and graphics.
State-of-the-art flooring and equipment
FSU chose Sorinex — a family-owned American company — for the flooring and equipment needs.
“The renovation benefits all of our student-athletes who train in the Moore Center equally with an enhanced training experience, which was unachievable in its previous form,” said Josh Storms, who is the director of football strength and conditioning.
Sorinex installed their Legendary Series flooring, a one-inch system that offers a premium training surface with a 40 percent force reduction over the previous flooring system. “You can feel the difference as soon as you enter the room,” said Storms, who earned Master Strength and Conditioning Coach distinction, the highest honor given in the strength and conditioning coaches profession, .
“The Sorinex Base Camp racks, with integrated cable stacks give us a far greater depth of exercise variety and the most training options per square foot. The versatility in the equipment we chose will accommodate any type of training philosophy a coach may want to implement with their athletes.”
Versatility was an important consideration to train so many sports in a room that is just under 10,000 square feet, said Storms, who worked with Norvell from 2016-19 and for 11 years prior to that at Arizona State.
“The current layout is very similar to what it was before, but we have achieved much greater versatility and efficiency within that layout,” Storms said. “We wanted to take full advantage of that. Because of that versatility we can now train much larger groups when needed, although we still prefer smaller sized groups with football.”
Weight room shapes future of programs
The renovated facility is also a big help with managing a student-athlete’s time.
“We have the ability to have multiple stations of the same movements set up in a uniform manner — less time spent waiting for a teammate to finish a set frees up more time to accomplish work,” Storms said. “That is a huge upgrade when working with teams that have larger roster sizes like we have with football. For our Olympic sports with smaller roster sizes the Moore Center can now accommodate more teams training in the same block of time.”
“Coach Storms and his staff do a remarkable job,” Norvell said. “You see that not only with the size and speed of our players that’s showing up but the physicality is showing up on our offensive and defensive line, their continued growth but also the mindset.”
Norvell also believes the weight room is an important asset in helping his players return from injury.
“We have a great strength staff that helps them on that journey,” he said. “Even when we have a guy who has a tweak here or a tweak there, how quick they are able to get back on the field. I think that goes to not only our strength and conditioning staff but our athletic training and how all those work together utilizing that facility.
Storms, who played tight end at the University of South Dakota, said the student-athletes are excited to train in their new home.
“It makes a huge difference when you open the doors and come into a space that now shows that your program has invested as much into you with upgrades and amenities as you have into it through your time, hard work and dedication,” Storms said.
The weight room is also very important to recruiting.
“Physical development is the foundation of our program and the investment that has been made into this project shows them exactly how serious we are about the commitment to their development,” Storms said. “Any words that I’m capable of putting together will fall short of how much this is appreciated so I will simply leave it as this: Thank you for the impact you’ve made.”
The “thank you” from Storms, Norvell, Alford, Coburn and the student-athlete is directed at every Seminole Booster member who contributed to the annual fund this year.
“Because of our donors, we were able to make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes,” said Alford. “The benefit of joining the annual fund is that every dollar makes a difference and allows us to make a difference in the leadership and educational opportunities we provide these student-athletes on and off the field.”