Southern Arkansas University hosted a dedication ceremony for the Ronnie Ribble Strength Training Center on Wednesday, Feb. 29. The facility is located behind Goodheart Field.
The Ribble Strength Training Center provides a place for the University’s athletic teams to conduct strength training and conditioning. Teams previously conducted this training in a World War II-era motor pool building. That facility was demolished as part of the Mulerider Activity Center construction, and teams have temporarily been training in an area that was formerly the University’s cafeteria.
The new Ribble Strength Training Center was constructed at a cost of $741,703. At approximately 5,000 square feet, it houses a large weight room, restrooms, and an office.
A donation by Ribble’s sons, Alan and Barry, provided $150,000 to outfit the facility. All new strength training equipment was purchased and security and sound systems were installed.
“This is not only going to help the players that we have now, but it’s going to help with recruits,” said Director of Athletics Steve Browning. “When recruits go somewhere, they want to know that they’re going somewhere they can get bigger and stronger.”
Browning said that the new Samson weights in the Center include some pieces that SAU has not previously owned and is superior to strength training equipment at other universities in the region. In the planning process, each head coach was asked to provide a list of needed equipment.
“We were able to give each sport what they wanted,” he said.