August 26, 2020 • Athletic AdministrationFacilities

Lions’ Locker Room Recruit-Ready

Texas A&M University-Commerce recently revealed a brand-new locker room for the Lions’ football team that garnered the excitement of current student-athletes and hopefully will entice future prospects. 

“You walk in this locker room and no matter who you are, you say ‘Wow,’ because it’s so impressive,” said David Bailiff, A&MCommerce Head Football Coach. “I’ve done this for 35 years and these advancements are amazing. The athletes want to hang out here because it’s comfortable and they’re proud of it. That helps you grow as a team.”

Photo: Courtesy Texas A&M University-Commerce athletics department

The Wenger Corporation headed up the installation of the new GearBoss custom wood lockers in the Lions’ locker room. Populous Architects and Vaughn Construction created and built the new structure specifically to house the locker room, showers, and equipment area. GearBoss Pass-Through Cubby lockers, storage carts, work surfaces, workstations, and shelves keep gear organized at all times. 

The new GearBoss lockers have a number of custom elements, including:

  • Custom shoulder pad storage area 
  • Helmet display area with accent LED lighting
  • Secure cubby storage area with a programmable lock, electrical outlet and integrated USB charging ports for devices
  • Garment bars and five hooks for clothing and uniforms 
  • Padded, lift-up bench seat
  • Vented footlocker and ductwork connected to HVAC system for ventilation
  • Laser-cut, powder-coated Lion logo, player name, and number on each locker
  • LED toe-kick lighting

The room also features open spaces for the coach to address the entire team at once, six big-screen TVs, chairs, sectionals, and a dry-erase board. There is ample space for the student-athletes to study, hang out, and relax.

“The space for the student-athletes and the quality of the locker were the priority areas of this project,” said Tim McMurray, A&M-Commerce Director of Athletics. “While there are cost consideration measures in any facility enhancement, the player morale and recruiting elements were not going to be sacrificed.”

The A&M-Commerce Lions compete in the Division II Lone Star Conference (LSC) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. In 2019, Wenger Corporation’s GearBoss brand became the official sponsor of the conference and was designated as the official locker provider of the LSC. GearBoss athletic lockers and high-density storage products are part of Wenger Corporation’s full line of specialty equipment designed for athletic programs.

A deciding factor in choosing Wenger Corporation for the lockers came when A&M-Commerce staff took a trip to its Minnesota manufacturing headquarters as well as the University of Minnesota to see lockers that had been installed ten years prior and still looked new.

“It was a best-in-class experience,” said Conner Moreno, A&M-Commerce Senior Associate Director of Athletics. “The lockers at the University of Minnesota were durable and still looked great after years of daily use. “It made us feel much more comfortable knowing that we were going to have a great, high-quality product for a long period.”

“We saw their commitment to this facility and how important it was to get a quality product installed in a short timeframe,” said Gary Schlatholt, Wenger National Sales Manager for GearBoss. “We were thrilled to be a part of this impressive remodel.”

The new building and locker room replace an old, dated, and run-down version with insufficient space for the team to gather together. The new locker room is what Coach Bailiff calls ‘recruit-ready,’ meaning that it’s clean, organized, and impressive to anyone who walks in.

“We selected the perfect locker. Our players love them. They’re big enough to store all of their equipment, they’re functional, and they’re durable,” said Bailiff. “These will stand the test of time.”