| Ron Mafrige and Ron Randleman
The center piece of Bearkats' strength and conditioning program is Sam Houston State's 11,000-square foot Ron Randleman Strength and Fitness Center which opened in the fall of 2006.
One of the finest intercollegiate strength and fitness centers in the Southwest, the facilityl consists of coaches' offices, men's and women's dressing rooms, and a 9,000 square foot area for weights. The center is used by all 16 Bearkat intercollegiate athletic teams.
The former dedication ceremony for the facility was held Saturday, Oct. 28. The facility is named for Ron Randleman who was head football coach at Sam Houston for 23 years (from 1982 to 2004), totaling 132 victories and leading the Bearkats to five conference championships and four national playoff appearances.
He served as director of athletics from 1984 to 1990, coordinating the University's move from the NAIA and Lone Star Conference to membership in the Southland Conference and competition at the NCAA Division I level.
During his 36 years as a head football coach, Randleman compiled a career record of 219 victories, 166 losses, and six ties to rank sixth all-time among NCAA Division I-AA coaches in total wins. During his tenure at William Penn, Pittsburg State, and Sam Houston, he won 11 conference championships and directed teams to post-season play 10 times. He was honored as regional or conference “Coach of the Year” 12 times.
The new center was made possible by a gift of $250,000 by Houston businessman and Bearkat alum Ron Mafrige.
The 11,000 square foot facility will be utilized by student-athletes from all 16 varsity sports. The center consists of coaches' offices, men's and women's dressing rooms, and a 9,000 square foot area for weights.
"The new weight room will benefit all 16 of our sports, both from a recruiting aspect and in helping us better condition our young men and women student-athletes," Director of Athletics Bobby Williams said. "The project is the result of a $250,000 gift from Houston businessman Ron Mafrige, a long time supporter not only of Bearkat athletics, but the entire University. We are deeply grateful for his gift. Our current 2,000 foot weight room was opened in 1986. The new strength and condition project combined with our new baseball/softball complex will give Sam Houston State athletic facilities second to none in the Southland Conference."
The Bearkats continue to improve the strength and fitness facility. The latest addition to the program came with the donation of several fitness machines to benefit Sam Houston's women's athletics teams.