CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The Illinois football coaches are coming back from vacation and moving into their new offices in the Smith Football Center. The $80 million facility located next to the Irwin Indoor Practice Facility is nearing completion. Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman says it will open in stages, with offices, locker rooms, training rooms and weight room available to the team first.
“Really a game changing building for us,” Whitman said at Big Ten Media Day on Thursday. “Excited for all of you, all of our fans to get a glimpse on the inside. Starting here in the last three or four months, we’ve been pretty cautious about who we’ve allowed in the building. About photographs, about social media presence, we want to preserve the building so when the players get in it, August 1st, for the first time, we can get a genuine reaction from them.”
Whitman said he expects the building to be fully functional by the end of training camp in August. The Illini report to campus on Aug. 1 with the first official practice the following day. The season opener is Aug. 31 against Akron.