UPIKE unveils newest athletics facility with ribbon cutting and interactive tour

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Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 4:01 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Officials with the University of Pikeville, the City of Pikeville, and the City of Coal Run gathered at the site of UPIKE’s newest facility, the UPIKE SportsPlex, for a ribbon cutting followed by an interactive tour.

The SportsPlex will bring state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge technology to student athletes in a safe environment.

“You can’t find that anywhere,” said UPIKE Athletic Director Kelly Wells. “It’s close to campus, parking is great here, it’s a safe place for them to come, we’ve got it very well staffed, just a very uplifting type thing for the student athletes.”

The SportsPlex is now the official home of UPIKE’s Archery, Bowling, Golf, and Wrestling teams, but athletes and coaches have been in the space for weeks prior to the grand opening.

“We’ve been fully going on the mat for the past two weeks,” said UPIKE Head Wrestling Coach Travis Mallo. “The first four weeks have been more strength and conditioning, but it was like Christmas Day when I was a little kid when we got to actually come in here and practice for the first time.”

The new facility will also serve as a powerful recruitment tool for prospective students and draw in the best of the best to the mountains.

“When student athletes come to any of these facilities, they can’t help but be really excited and enamored about what we have and very few schools have the luxuries that we have, especially at our level and in levels above as well,” said Wells.

The SportsPlex also makes the teams that call it home even more competitive. Athletes will use the facilities to practice, prepare, and gain an edge on their opponents.

“Winning is pretty much, that’s the goal. Like, that’s the only option.” said student athletes Bryce Oliver & Kadie Dicken, who are members of UPIKE’s bowling team. “We’re gonna go to this tournament this weekend and we’re only gonna think about winning.”

Wells also added that the partnerships between the university and the cities of Pikeville and Coal Run are necessary to provide more opportunities for current and prospective students.