UMass Football Kicks Off Training Camp with Renewed Optimism
AMHERST, Mass (WGGB) — Don’t look now but it’s almost football season. The UMass Minutemen kicked off training camp Monday.
Crews were hard at work Monday making final touches on the newly renovated McGuirk stadium at UMass. The sign out front of the stadium says it all: the Minutemen are partially coming home.
“It’s a start. I think Gillette is nice but it’s 93 miles away so we have a problem getting students involved and going down there,” former staffer and avid UMass fan Arthur Warren said.
UMass will play three home games in Amherst and three at Gillete Stadium in Foxboro. The past two seasons all home games were in Foxboro. Meantime, widely popular Head Coach Mark Whipple is returning to try and turn the program around, something Warren says is a perfect fit.
“It’s just super to have somebody to motivate and understands people the way he does. It’s rare that we could get him back
Warren says the renovations with the stadium coupled with Coach Whipple’s return will lead to contagious energy surrounding the UMass football program. Whipple already hosted an alumni event last week.
“There were players from the last 40 years that were here to honor him and get behind him and get this thing going again,” Warren said. “He’s just a super person.”
Businesses like Rafter’s Sports Bar say they are equally excited for the year
“The difference is huge. When the games are here, I mean you have people who come into town,”manager Yvette Rowan-Stern said. “It’s very joyous. Everyone is drinking, eating, it’s fun.”
If Coach Whipple has his way, it’ll be more fun if he can get the teaming winning again. UMass home games in Amherst will feature match-ups with Bowling Green, Ball State, and Buffalo.