Thursday May 22, 2014

Performance Boost

New athletics center named to honor local medical professionals committed to Flyer student-athletes.

The University of Dayton Board of Trustees has approved the naming of division of athletics’ new 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art training facility the Olsen Athletics Performance Center.

A generous commitment from Thomas Olsen and Mary H. Boosalis allowed for the renovation of the former Reichard Hall, which is located on the east side of the Frericks Center and is adjacent to Baujan Field. As medical professionals who have supported University of Dayton athletics for more than 15 years, Olsen and Boosalis have always focused on the development of Flyer student-athletes. As husband and wife, they recognize the value of creating opportunities to win championships for all Flyer athletics teams.

The project will positively impact all 17 of the University's sports programs and specifically men’s and women’s basketball. This renovation will allow all of the University’s nearly 450 student-athletes to train, practice and study within a 500-foot radius.

"We are very grateful for the support Tom and Mary have provided for our student-athletes, over the years,” University of Dayton Vice President and Director of Athletics Tim Wabler said. "We're extremely happy to be able to publicly recognize them with the naming of the Olsen Athletics Performance Center. Across the board, our athletics program has never been more successful, and their continued support is a big reason why.

“The Olsen Performance Center will put all of our training facilities under one roof, and will help provide our teams to reach even greater heights in the future.” 

Olsen, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist, is a physician with Dermatologists of Southwest Ohio Inc. and a member of 11 medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, Ohio Dermatological Association and the American Society of Dermatopathology. 

Boosalis is currently the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Premier Health, southwest Ohio's largest healthcare system. She became the first female president and chief executive officer in Miami Valley Hospital's 115-year history in 2006. At Miami Valley Hospital, she is known for her work renewing the campus and initiating the MVH south campus master plan. Boosalis has worked many years alongside the University of Dayton and the city of Dayton in developing the Brown Street corridor. She has served on the University of Dayton’s board of trustees since July of 2009. 

The Olsen Athletics Performance Center will focus on student-athlete strength and conditioning development as well as nutrition. The 1,800-square-foot basketball weight room at the Donoher Center will be relocated to this facility, which will be just steps away from other major athletic facilities on campus — Baujan Field, the Frericks Center and the Cronin Center. Construction of the Olsen Athletics Performance Center is scheduled to begin in July. It is expected to be open December. 

“The value that we put in training our players can't be measured, it's so vital to our success. Not only will we be training in one of the finest facilities in the nation, but also our players now will benefit from training, studying and living all about 500 feet from one another,” said Archie Miller, head coach of the Dayton men’s basketball team.

This is the latest of many investments the University has made in its athletics facilities. In addition to the construction of the Olsen Athletics Performance Center, Riggs Academic Center and the Cronin Center, the on-campus home for every Flyer team has been either newly constructed or renovated in the last 15 years — Baujan Field (soccer), Frericks Center (volleyball), Graul Tennis Complex (tennis), UD Softball Stadium (softball), Woerner Field at Time Warner Cable Stadium (baseball) and University of Dayton Arena (basketball). More than 85 percent of the funding has come from private donations and corporate support.

“This gives us the training facility we need to take our nationally ranked program to the highest level," Flyers women's basketball coach Jim Jabir said. "We already have the greatest fans. We have the greatest arena. We have one of the greatest meeting and film facilities with the addition of the Cronin Center last year. Upgrading our performance facilities to the best place we can train gives our athletes everything they need to succeed, and they should expect to be the best as well. Our administration has made a huge commitment of excellence to our programs.”

For more information, contact Sports Information Director Doug Hauschild at 937-229-4390.