Athletic Department

E.J. Nutter Training Facility

Beautiful new practice fields are the latest upgrade to the E. J. Nutter Training Facility, one of the nation’s showcase football facilities.

The new surfaces were installed in the summer of 2005, including two beautiful grass fields along with a full-size sports turf field. A special drainage system and stadium lights also were installed, giving the Wildcats a state-of-the-art practice area.

The Nutter Center, as it is called on the UK campus, encompasses over 48,000 square feet.

Originally constructed at a cost of $5.7 million, the facility officially became the home of Kentucky football in 1987. Aside from dressing facilities, which feature large, personal lockers for every Kentucky football player, the Nutter Center is highlighted by a 9,000-square-foot weight room. The weight room has 100,000 pounds of free weights in addition to numerous strength and conditioning machines.

The Nutter Center also has 11 meeting rooms, a state-of-the-art video and editing room for coaches’ film, equipment and training rooms, staff and player lounges, a sprint track, sauna and jacuzzi, an aerobics room, and three racquetball courts.

A touch of Kentucky history is on display in the foyer area. The memorabilia case holds UK trophies from such games as the Great Lakes Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Peach Bowl, and the Hall of Fame Bowls. The case also displays UK’s 1976 Southeastern Conference championship trophy.

The facility is named in honor of the late Ervin J. Nutter, a UK alumnus who contributed one million dollars to start the fund-raising campaign. The Nutter gift to the UK Athletics Association was one of the largest gifts ever received by the UKAA.

Nutter, a graduate of Hamilton (Ohio) High School, entered the UK College of Engineering and worked his way through college as an electrician. He left UK before graduation and passed the State of Ohio’s examination for stationary engineers, becoming the youngest licensed stationary engineer in the state.

He worked three years for Procter & Gamble’s Power Division before returning to UK to receive his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1943.

After serving with distinction with the engineering division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Nutter became president of Elano Corporation. He later became president of Acme Screw Products of Dayton, Ohio.

While his unprecedented gift represented Nutter’s love for the UK athletics program, his love for the University as a whole is well-documented. Nutter served two terms (1966-68) as president of the UK National Alumni Association and four years as chairman of the UK Development Council Board.

Another important part in building the Nutter Center was the donation of $300,000 by Seth Hancock, a central Kentucky horseman. Hancock also played a key role in raising the necessary dollars for the facility as chairman of the united effort to raise $2.7 million from private donors.

The building was expanded in 2002 with the addition of the Paul Orberson Football Office Complex. Orberson, a Central Kentucky businessman, gave a $1.6-million gift to help fund the expansion.