Columbus State dedicates new athletic training facility

Through charitable support from The Hughston Clinic, Columbus State University Athletics on Oct. 26 officially dedicated the new Hughston Clinic Sports Performance Center and the Champ L. Baker Jr. Athletic Training Room in memory of the renowned orthopedic surgeon. Baker served the clinic in medical and administrative capacities for more than 40 years, as well as the Athletics Department’s team physician during the same period, until his passing in 2022.

The facility is a significant upgrade for Columbus State’s student-athletes, coaches, and athletic training staff. Now with dedicated workout facilities for exclusive use by student-athletes, it features six versatile racks, two dumbbell rack stations, six hex bars, four versatile machines, various medicine balls and TRX bands — all provided by Hammer Strength. The department’s sports medicine athletic training room is co-located with the facility.

columbus“No quality athletic program department can survive without an outstanding weight facility,” said Interim Athletics Director Jay Sparks. “What [The Hughston Clinic] has given us in this weight room is our ability to prepare our student-athletes to be the best athletes they can be.”

Sparks went on to note that the student-athletes previously relied on any means necessary to conduct team workouts, but the new facility instills a sense of pride, honor and ownership among our student-athletes.

“You will hear our student-athletes over and over use words like ‘spectacular’ to describe this new space,” he said. “But you will also hear them say, ‘this is mine’ and ‘this is ours.’ They feel a sense of ownership because it’s the first time we can say we have a real weight room of our own. And, that is the difference maker that we have today for training our current student-athletes and recruiting our future Cougars.”

One of those current student-athletes, Win Johns, an outfielder on the CSU Baseball team, talked of the benefits the new weight facility will have on him, his teammates, and the university’s athletics program.

“The first time I saw [the Hughston Sports Performance Center (pictured)], I was so impressed, especially that it’s ours — and we take pride in that,” the senior from Savannah studying a Master of Business Administration said. “This is going to be so important to player development, rehabilitation and recruiting. Speaking for all of us student-athletes, we’re very thankful.”

*This is part of an issued press release from the Columbus State University athletics department. To read the full press release, click here.