A New Home for Terps Football
Jones-Hill House, Named for Athletics Trailblazers, Features Tech-Filled Training Areas, a Tricked-Out Locker Room and Plenty of Maryland Pride
By Annie Krakower
Photo by John T. Consoli
University of Maryland football has a new home—or, more specifically, a new House.
A Sept. 3 ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the official opening of Jones-Hill House, a state-of-the-art facility in Cole Field House named in honor of Billy Jones ’69, who became the first Black basketball player at Maryland and in the ACC in 1965, and Darryl Hill ’65, who broke the same color barrier in football in 1963.
“The determination, courage and strength of these two individuals helped pave the way for thousands of Black student-athletes today, but they also helped break the chains of segregation and discrimination for every one of us,” UMD President Darryll J. Pines said during his April inauguration speech, when he announced the new facility’s name. “Jones-Hill House will not only cement the legacy of these two trailblazers, but will serve as an inspiration to our entire university community.”
Among its features are a 24,000-square-foot strength and conditioning area with 22 custom weight racks; a locker room with recliners and wireless phone chargers for each player; a sports medicine space with hydrotherapy pools; a 10,000-square-foot dining area; a lounge with a pool table, theater and even a barbershop; indoor and outdoor practice fields; and wall after wall of inspiring Terp quotes, facts and photos from Maryland football history.
Supported through a leadership gift from Under Armour founder and Executive Chairman Kevin Plank ’96—who passed on the chance to have his own name on the building and instead honored the two Terp pioneers—Jones-Hill House completes the athletic portion of Cole Field House. The project integrates academics, research and innovation, with work on a new site for a campus-wide entrepreneurship center beginning this summer, and planning under way for space to house an interdisciplinary center studying brain and behavior.
“This is a first-class, first-rate facility, and I couldn’t be more proud of the individuals who worked so hard to put this together,” says Athletic Director Damon Evans.
That includes the building’s namesakes themselves. During his time as a Terp, Jones played with a forward-looking “why not?” mentality. Refusing to dwell on the unfair calls, hard hits and racial slurs he too often faced, he averaged double-digit points per game in two of his three seasons at Maryland and served as a team captain his senior year.
“A young Black kid from the east side of Towson could never imagine having his name on a building at the University of Maryland,” he says. “I felt beyond gratitude.”
Though Hill grew up idolizing Jackie Robinson, he told then-assistant coach Lee Corso in 1962 that he wasn’t interested in being a groundbreaker. When Corso asked if he was scared, “that was the button that he pushed that got my attention,” Hill says.
He went on to set the football program’s single-game record at the time, with 10 receptions against Clemson, establish an ACC season record with seven touchdown catches and notch 47 receptions in a season.
“(Jones-Hill House) tells a story about what Maryland did in terms of breaking down the barrier of racial segregation in sports,” Hill says. “It should serve as a beacon for our students.”
Take a tour through the new facility below, and read about the dedication ceremony at today.umd.edu.
Tight end Justin Brown leads the way as Maryland football players sprint into their new locker room displaying its digitally controlled lighting feature. The team toured Jones-Hill House for the first time in June. (Photo by Greg Fiume)
Besides state-of-the-art training and sports medicine facilities, Jones-Hill House includes offices, meeting rooms, a player lounge and more. “This building shows excellence, which sets a standard,” Head Coach Michael Locksley said. (Photo by John T. Consoli)
The strength and conditioning room is four times the size of the Terps’ previous one in the Gossett Football Team House. The weight racks feature facial recognition and video technology to track student-athletes’ reps and speed, and the room also includes 40 yards of turf for speed and agility training. (Photo by Greg Fiume)
The locker room houses 126 lockers, each with a recliner, a wireless phone charger and storage space with vents to keep equipment cool and dry. (Photo by Greg Fiume)
A massive Maryland flag hangs on the Jones-Hill House windows off the main lobby, offering scenic views of Maryland Stadium and UMD’s campus. (Photo by John T. Consoli)
Billy Jones (left), who broke the color barrier in Maryland and ACC basketball in 1965, and Darryl Hill, who accomplished the same in football in 1963, stand on the Jones-Hill House indoor practice field. The two trailblazers toured the facility named in their honor on Friday. (Photo by John T. Consoli)
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