New Season, New Look for Titan Gym
FULLERTON, Calif. -- As the Cal State Fullerton volleyball and basketball programs begin to ramp up for the 2013-14 season, the teams will do so inside of a new-look Titan Gym as the athletic department will officially unveil a new floor design for the 49-year old venue on Sept. 6 when volleyball takes on Kent State at the Fullerton Classic Presented by the Holiday Inn of La Mirada.
Construction was completed thanks to Steve Wright and his staff at Champion Hardwood Floors in Canyon Lake, Calif., while Cal State Fullerton alumni Michael Greenlee (Class of '98) designed and laid-out the court.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to compete on this new floor in Titan Gym," head women's basketball coach Daron Park said. "The design does a great job depicting all of the things we enjoy living here in Orange County while proudly showcasing our Titan logo at center court. I know when our students and fans come watch us this season, they will feel the same sense of 'Titan Pride' we feel every time we set foot on the court to compete."
Serving as the home court advantage for Cal State Fullerton's volleyball and basketball teams, Titan Gym was completed in time for the 1965-66 basketball season for just under $3 million and opened its doors for its first official game (a basketball doubleheader) on Dec. 7, 1965. The third-year Cal State Fullerton freshman team (coached by Neale Stoner) played Fullerton College that night while the varsity squad (coached by Alex Omalev) defeated Southern California College (now Vanguard University), 106-75, led by 19 points from guard Roland Owens.
"As a senior, I'm really excited that this new look for Titan Gym has come in time for my final season," outside hitter Abbie Miraldi said. "I'm excited for the fans to come see it and see us perform on the court. I think it brings a lot of personality to the building and a lot of pride to our team."
Since then, it has been home to more than its fair share of memorable moments, including a record, standing-room-only crowd of 5,105 on Feb. 24, 1983, when the Titans upset unbeaten and No. 1-ranked UNLV and as host venue for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics handball competition.
"Our new gym floor goes hand-in-hand with the new era of Titan basketball," head men's basketball coach Dedrique Taylor said. "It differentiates us and gives us a look that our current student-athletes and alumni can be proud of. We are anxious to break it in and make great use out of it."
Numerous upgrades have occurred over the years, including chair back seats replacing most of the bleachers, portable basket supports taking the place of the fold-down backboards, and a complete floor replacement during the summer of 2008. Additional balcony seating was added on the south side of the venue for the 2005-06 season, increasing the capacity to around 4,000 and providing a much-needed practice floor behind the upstairs bleachers.
In 2012, a state-of-the-art video board with replay capability was installed on the east end along with upgraded scoreboards and "hustle" boards on the west wall.