Credit: Claire Lorimor | Mustang News

Cal Poly students and alumni gathered for the annual Big Sky Conference football homecoming game against Sacramento State on Oct. 1 and were met with a surprise announcement: a new home for Cal Poly Football.

President Jeffrey Armstrong and the family of late alum John Madden announced a John Madden Football Center project at halftime.

The state-of-the-art facility was inspired by John Madden’s long-lived legacy as a student athlete at Cal Poly in the late 1950s and, subsequently, a career broadcasting and coaching in the NFL, earning him a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame.

According to ESPN, Madden recorded a, “103-32-7 record, the best winning percentage (.759) of any NFL coach with at least 100 games,” while coaching the Oakland Raiders.

The announcement brought forth cheers throughout the stadium.

“When he needed a place, Cal Poly was there for him,” son Mike Madden said in an Instagram  post from @CalPolyFootball. 

Business junior and tight end for Cal Poly Football DeMarcus Oandasan was present when Armstrong first made the announcement. 

“I mean plain and simple, I got goosebumps — I got hyped,” Oandasan said. “[I was] feeling that all around the room.”

According to a Cal Poly news release, the project combines efforts of President Armstrong and head football Coach Beau Baldwin, who worked with John Madden and his son to develop the project over the last few years. 

It’s a $30 million, two-story project with 30,000 square feet of space. The center will include a locker room, hall of champions, conditioning facilities, lounge, staff offices and a team meeting room with “theater-style seating for 125 players,” according to the news release.

The Madden Family donated a significant dollar amount to fund the project, but funding is still needed to complete the Football Center. 

The project will take two years to complete, according to the news release. 

To supplement the project, Armstrong requested for the Cal Poly community to donate funding for the construction. 

“Mustangs, I’m asking you to join me, join the Madden Family,” Armstrong said. “Help us create the John Madden Football Center.”

Oandasan said he hopes this new facility “keeps the team fed” and brings in more top recruits. The center will include a new weight room that Oandasan said gives the team an opportunity to improve, physically.

The facility will garner the D1 football program’s new resources and fulfill John Madden’s vision for the program.

“Dad had Cal Poly Football at the back of his mind for decades,” Mike Madden said in the announcement video.