Fred Glass's vision for IU football takes shape



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IU Athletics Director Fred Glass meets with the news media Aug. 21 at Memorial Stadium. Glass talked about the progress of the new IU Excellence Center in the stadium's south end zone. Josh Eastern Buy Photos

As the IU Excellence Academy rises from a construction site in the South end zone of Memorial Stadium, IU Athletic Director Fred Glass cannot help but talk.

Wearing an IU-branded hard hat and standing just in front of the South end zone on the Memorial Stadium turf, Glass talks about the numerous amenities the new facility will have. 

Rehabilitation pools, a wellness clinic, a nutrition center and a career counseling center are all a part of Glass' vision. 

"It's important that Indiana University has a football program worthy of our brand of being excellent," Glass said. "More importantly, have a football program worthy of having the respect of Indiana University and our fans."

The renovations at Memorial Stadium during the past year have included not only the IU Excellence Academy project, but also the installation of a new scoreboard above the north end zone. 

Measuring 20 feet by 68 feet and coming at a cost of $500,000, the scoreboard is a significant upgrade from what the stadium had as recently as last season - a scoreboard that only displayed the score of each team and the time remaining in the game.

Scheduled to be completed in 2018, the South end zone will also house a brand-new scoreboard.

The upgrades come at a time when IU football is receiving national attention, an opportunity Glass is hoping to capitalize on.

"Whether it's fair or not, it disproportionately reflects on your institution," Glass said. "So, we're going to continue to do everything we can to support the resurgence of IU football." 

While two football head coaching changes have occurred during Glass' time as Athletic Director, his presence has also brought stability to the program.

Consecutive bowl game appearances in 2015 and 2016, 12 NFL Draft picks and five Old Oaken Bucket victories against Purdue have been achieved under Glass' watch.

The Memorial Stadium project isn't the first time an IU Athletics facility has been remodeled with Glass in charge. Recent years have seen Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall undergo a $45 million facelift, while a new $17 million volleyball and wrestling arena is under construction next to Cook Hall.

Glass has said IU has fallen behind when it came to its athletic facilities, and he said he hoped to close that gap during his time as the athletic director.

"We get a lot of pro scouts and coaches and others from other teams that say, 'You're the best-kept secret in college football,'" Glass said. "I look forward to when we are not the best-kept secret in college football. I think everything is in place for us to break through."

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