Editor’s Note: When the University of Oregon OK’d construction of the Hatfield-Dowlin Football Performance Center, little did they know less than two years after it opened, the team would be playing for the first College Football Playoff Championship (Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas). Will CompView Audio Visual get a chance to hold up the trophy if the Ducks beat Ohio State University in the title game?
Coaching college football is a tough job.
Somehow, you have to turn raw high school recruits into championship players, while never losing sight of the fact that academics are the most important reason they are on campus.
So when the University of Oregon set out to build a new football center, they knew it had to be a model of efficiency and effectiveness for educating, recruiting, and motivating players while keeping them in shape.
The university’s new Hatfield-Dowlin Football Performance Center opened for the 2013 football season with stunning audio and video systems installed by CompView Audio Visual. At first look, a 64-screen video wall in the lobby of the six-story center seems the most impressive of these systems. However, it’s the nuts-and-bolts of video distribution, display, control and audio that support the center’s mission.
“Our new center is probably the most effective and efficient building in either college or pro football,” says Jeff Hawkins, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Football at the University of Oregon.
One of the roles the center plays is educating students on how to play the game of football.
Eric Day, Assistant Video Coordinator for Oregon Football, spends a great deal of his time securing, organizing and helping coaches and players view video clips of games and practice sessions.
For filming, Day relies on XOS Thunder software, which is a widely used platform to edit, organize and display sports videos. After filming, the end result is a collection of hundreds of thousands of 10 to 20 second-long clips, which coaches use to illustrate the right and wrong ways to execute plays.
The video systems within the Hatfield-Dowlin Center are also designed to optimize the creation and playback of these clips. Coaches can access film from their individual offices, and coaches and players can view it from computers or iPads outside the building using Hudl, a cloud-based service specializing in sports video distribution.
“We may put game film on one screen and a diagram on a second, and perhaps an excerpt from a book we’re using to help teach our students about life on a third,” Day says.
The coaches’ War Room, designed for full-staff strategy sessions, includes eight 80″ flat-screen displays and a Christie projector, allowing side-by-side-by-side comparisons of players, game film and play diagrams, plus the ability to watch multiple live games.
“The coaches need to annotate the clips as they talk about them, in much the same way that John Madden would do it on network TV, diagramming the play right over the video,” says Eric Boyd, Systems Integration Manager for CompView.