For years, the dirty stain on the Texas Longhorns baseball program was the limiter restricting the possibility for maximum success by the lack of an indoor practice facility, an area where the Forty Acres lagged behind not only in the Big 12 Conference, but also nationally.
With the arrival of athletics director Chris Del Conte, that’s finally changed — ground broke on the J. Dan Brown Player Development Center in September 2018 and it opened in time for fall practice this year, becoming the first facility on campus paid for entirely by donors.
“The bottom line is, this does not happen without the generosity of our donors,” Texas baseball head coach David Pierce said. “Our players had an opportunity to go in the facility last night and just watching their faces light up when they realized what they are receiving because of the amazing support is really special.”
The 21,500-square foot facility includes a new weight room with nearly double the space, a state-of-the-art nutrition center, batting cages, bullpen, an alumni locker room, and office space.
It’s the batting cages and bullpen area, which feature integrated technology, that should have the biggest impact on the program:
In the heart of the facility is a 5,500-square-foot multi-purpose turf area with adjustable netting for batting cages. An extremely versatile space, it can be configured to have one enclosed area for live at-bats or up to six individual batting cages depending on the situation.
The 2,200-square-foot bullpen and pitching lab includes three mounds and state-of-the-art technology for recording bullpen sessions and breaking down video.
Texas has now completed fall practice with the conclusion of the Fall World Series, but the impact the player development facility will have on the program is only just beginning.