Texas Tech student-athletes stepped foot in the Cash Family Sports Nutrition Center for the first time on Monday, officially opening the state-of-the-art facility that will become the day-to-day dining location for the university's more than 400 student-athletes. The Cash Family Nutrition Center was completely funded through philanthropic donations to The Campaign for Fearless Champions, which continues to pave the future of Texas Tech Athletics.
Texas Tech will host a reception to celebrate the facility's opening Tuesday afternoon with comments from Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt. The celebration will run from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the nutrition center's site located on Drive of Champions Avenue just southwest of Jones AT&T Stadium.
"The Cash Family Nutrition Center will drastically enhance the nutritional resources we are able to provide our student-athletes," Hocutt said. "From a nutrition perspective, this facility is a game-changer for us as a department, and we couldn't be more thankful to the Cash family and the many donors who stepped up and partnered with us to make this project a reality."
As part of the new facility, Texas Tech will be able to further enhance its nutritional offerings through on-site meal preparations, a 220-person seating capacity as well as a touch-screen ordering system that will allow every student-athlete to quickly handpick their selection from the various food stations.
"Our family is proud to support such an outstanding facility that we truly believe will impact the lives of every student-athlete on this campus," said Clay Cash, the namesake for the nutrition center. "We would like to thank Kirby Hocutt and his team for their vision for this facility and their continued mission to enhance the student-athlete experience."
The facility also boasts the Dean and Christi Quinn Education Kitchen, which features seven residential cooking stations and is believed to be a first-in-its-kind component for an on-campus nutritional center devoted solely to student-athletes. It will allow Texas Tech's nutritional staff to develop a cooking curriculum that will provide basic guidelines on cooking prep and storage for every student-athlete.
Once the curriculum is completed, Texas Tech will then bring in accomplished chefs from the Lubbock community for live demonstrations on proper cooking techniques. The entire curriculum will be developed by Texas Tech's nutritional staff.
Texas Tech will also be able to host athletics-specific events in the facility in addition to the day-to-day dining needs of the department. The facility features 12 large flat-screen televisions throughout the dining area and a 98-inch display screen that will stream Texas Tech sporting events throughout its main hours of operation.
Nutritional staff will have multiple cooking stations at their disposal, including a smoker, a hot line, pasta station, grill and more. Texas Tech has also outfitted the facility with multiple beverage and condiment stations as well as support areas for dry storage, a walk-in cooler and freezer as well as dish sanitation.
The Campaign for Fearless Champions has already funded 24 facility projects since its creation, while also surpassing its goal of raising $10 million in student-athlete scholarship endowments and $5 million for the J.T. and Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy.