Thanks to an undisclosed donation from the Spinks family, Furman University now has a soccer field house.
The new $2 million, 5,300 square-foot Spinks Field House recently opened, equipped with locker rooms for Furman’s men’s and women’s soccer teams, concession stand, away team meeting area and second-floor observation deck that gives a view over the soccer field.
Furman Director of Athletics Mike Buddie said it was time to bring the level of facilities at Furman up to par with the level of players the Paladins have.
“The soccer program at Furman has historically been one of our most competitive,” Buddie said. “The facilities were impressive, but what wasn’t impressive was that our players had to walk halfway across campus to shower and change.
“We wanted to make sure that we had facilities that matched the level of student-athletes we have on the field.”
It was an undisclosed gift from the Spinks family, which pushed the project that Buddie said was “a labor of love over the course of a few years” over the top. The Spinks family owns the Greenville-based Spinx convenience store chain.
Steve Spinks, CEO of the board of Spinx Co. and son of Spinx Co. founder and board Chairman Stewart Spinks, said he has a “meaningful relationship” with Furman after attending numerous Furman soccer camps as a child.
Steve Spinks said in the statement that Furman soccer coach Doug Allison “and I have been friends for many years. His dedication to the men of this program is truly inspiring.”
“He doesn’t only coach them to be great athletes, he coaches them on becoming great men. This commitment to the player and the person is one of the many reasons I’m so supportive of the soccer program,” Spinks said.
The women’s soccer team won the Southern Conference tournament title in November, its second in the past three years, and lost to Clemson in the first round of the NCAA national tournament. The men’s team captured its 13th Southern Conference tournament title and second consecutive in November, but bowed out to South Carolina in the first round of the NCAA national tournament.
The Spinks Field House is open and will be fully operational for the start of the next soccer season in August. The primary contractor on the field house project was Greenville-based Mavin Construction.
In relation to other facilities at Furman, Buddie said the field house is on par with other projects completed, including the football stadium and baseball facility.
“This was kind of a one-shot deal,” Buddie said. “Certainly there is a need, and when you partner the need with someone like the Spinks family, you can’t pass that up.”
He said the next potential project would be to find a way to give Furman’s lacrosse teams their own facilities to practice and play on. Those teams share Paladin Stadium with the football team.
“We’d love to figure out a way to turf one of our fields so our lacrosse teams have a place to practice and eventually play, and that would be our next big project if we can find someone to support it,” Buddie said.
Reach Matthew Clark at 864-235-5677, ext. 107, or @matthewclark76 on Twitter.