Florida A&M’s head baseball Coach Jamey Shouppe has spent the last three years rebuilding the team, but there was still one thing missing – a clubhouse.
FAMU President Elmira Mangum declared that all portable units be removed to beautify the campus, but Shouppe had something else in mind for the portables.
Timing was perfect for the Division I program. With the opportunity and not having a locker room for the players to change, the university’s trash became a free treasure for the team. The two-day process cost less to move the portables rather than tear them down.
Shouppe, along with the baseball staff decided to renovate the old portables and turn them into the Hill-Brinson Clubhouse.
The name is dedicated to the memory of James Brinson who supported FAMU baseball throughout the years.
Assistant baseball Coach Bryan Henry said that the portables are a good attribution for the team.
“For the past several years they’ve had to change in their cars or apartments; thankfully the university had it for us,” Henry said.
Shouppe also hopes that the new renovations can attract more recruits to the program in the future. The facility can be essential to the recruiting of prospective prospects.
“There’s plenty of room to have a facility we can recruit,” Henry said. “With that we can entertain and raise more money by inviting people in to enjoy the experience of the ball game from the facility.”
Assistant baseball coach Anthony Robinson added that this project can strengthen the recruitment process. It also enthused the younger players in the program, and he hopes that they can continue to build together.
“It’s huge for the legacy of the team’s recruitment,” Robsinson said. “The excitement for the younger guys to know that they’ll have this for the future. To know that they’ll have a place to hangout and bring the team a little closer; hopefully we’ll continue to build champions in the process.”
Javon Byrd, a sophomore catcher from Tallahassee appreciates the new additions being made to the program, especially the clubhouse and because it helps the team.
“It’s good. I like it, it’s more than what we had before, but it’s coming together,” Byrd said. “It’ll make us feel more comfortable because we’ll have a place to change and shower.”
Now the team is focusing on raising money to get this 3300 Sq. Ft. space converted into a locker room, coaches office, booster lounge, player lounge and training room.
“We are looking to have that fully functional for us this time next year,” Shouppe said.
FAMU’s first home game of the season is on Feb. 19 against Marshall University. For more information visit the Famu Athletics website.