In the summer of 2008, USC Upstate Athletic Director, Mike Hall, hired USC Upstate’s 1st certified strength and conditioning coach, Scott Senger. When Coach Senger started, the university student body, physical education, and campus recreation shared the then 2,000 square foot weight room with USC Upstate Athletics. Coach Senger spent many hours juggling a schedule that would allow for athletic strength and conditioning workouts and still allow for the daily use by the Upstate student body until the new Health Education Complex (HEC) and the Wellness Center was complete. Upon completion of the HEC and the Wellness Center, the USC Upstate Spartan Performance Center under the direction of Scott Senger, would open its doors for all USC Upstate student-athletes on January 10th, 2011.
The old USC Upstate weight room was originally converted from two racquet ball courts. The facility was filled with outdated equipment that was either incomplete, in poor condition, or both. There were many times when there was not enough equipment for a team of more than 12 student-athletes at one time. The facility was equipped with roughly 2,700lbs of mismatched iron weight, 6 rusted barbells, 4 mismatched power/squat racks and roughly 1,800lbs of incomplete dumbbells along with weight benches, and various machines. A Stairmaster and a single exercise bike was the entire cardio equipment available to USC Upstate student-athletes and general students during that time. This was the weight room USC Upstate athletics moved forward with into Division I.
During the latter part of the 2009 fall semester, the USC Upstate Athletic Department purchased $10,000 worth of new equipment. To supplement the equipment that was already available, the department purchased another 1,500lbs of rubber encased iron weights, 1,850lbs of solid rubber bumper plates, 4,200lbs of dumbbells, and new barbells to fill some of the voids of the existing weight room. This purchase opened another door in the growth of the USC Upstate Strength and Conditioning Program as there was now enough weight to accommodate USC Upstate's athletic teams.
In February of 2010 the USC Upstate athletics department took possession and control of the Hodge auxiliary gymnasium that was once utilized by the USC Upstate Physical Education Department and Campus Recreation. This newly acquired space would give USC Upstate athletics an additional 4,100 sq. ft. of room to be utilized by the strength and conditioning program. Due to the renovations that took place to the athletic locker rooms in the Hodge Center, Upstate Strength and Conditioning moved into the auxiliary gymnasium during March of 2010. In May of 2010, the new “Spartan Performance Center” would receive fresh coats of paint, new lighting, mirrors, and a new “Infinity Athletic Surface” floor. This set the tone for what the Spartan Performance Center has become today. The facility would still utilize a combination of old and new equipment during the 2010 summer and fall semester.
On December 17th, 2010, the USC Upstate Performance Center went “out with the old and in with the new” as a well needed upgrade became a reality thanks to generous donations and department raised monies to purchase new equipment for the facility. The facility received 5 new double sided power/squat racks, 5 Olympic power lifting platforms with the Spartan logo, an additional 2205lbs of rubber encased iron weight, 140lbs of solid rubber bumper plates, 900lbs in Kettle bells, logoed benches, 2 Free Motion Dual Cable Cross Machines and various other well needed pieces of equipment to fit the needs of USC Upstate's 250+ student-athlete population. The facility is divided into 2 areas, half of the facility focused on resistance training, and the other half that is utilized for conditioning, agility, and plyometric training. The Spartan Performance Center has been recognized as one of the premier strength and conditioning facilities in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Performance Center, along with the strength and conditioning program, has become a vital part to the success of USC Upstate Athletics. As we move forward in Division I, it is the goal of the strength and conditioning program to provide a fulfilling training experience for our student-athletes, which has been greatly enhanced with the addition of the Spartan Performance Center.