News from campus and beyond


Last updated September 9, 2021

By Clinton Colmenares, Director of News and Media Strategy

Furman Athletics is excited to announce that construction is underway to significantly renovate and expand programming space in Timmons Arena for Paladin men’s and women’s basketball.

Funded entirely by donor support through a $3 million capital raise, the improvements will include renovations to the men’s and women’s basketball office suites, team film rooms and locker rooms. Construction on these projects began in summer 2021 and is set for completion in fall 2022.

Renovating and expanding the existing basketball facilities will make an immediate impact on recruiting and retention of talent, which will allow Furman to further position basketball to drive prestige and national brand recognition for the institution. Improving and expanding the spaces in which all off-the-court activities occur is a critical need in order to elevate the competitive success of Furman Basketball.

“Furman Athletics is deeply grateful for the philanthropic investment our donors have made to support our men’s and women’s basketball programs,” said director of athletics Jason Donnelly. “Furman recognizes and appreciates the critical role that Division 1 basketball plays on a national level with regards to brand recognition and prestige in academics, admissions, advancement and media exposure for the university. We look forward to building upon this vision and investing in the success of our exceptional coaches and student-athletes.”

Click here to view the photo gallery renderings of Timmons Arena renovations.

These renovations are part of the initial phase of a comprehensive plan to improve Timmons Arena and other athletics facilities as part of an ongoing athletics facilities master plan and the university’s strategic priorities.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams and coaching staffs have played integral roles in providing creative direction and design for the spaces. Their input and expertise have been critical as we have considered recruiting, retention, player development, competitiveness, and gender equity as foundational elements for the renovation.

Graphics and branding in the space are being designed by Jack Porter Inc., under the direction of Jack Porter’s president, founder, and Furman women’s golf alumna, Christina Harrell ‘98. Furman has partnered with Ken Betsch of Betsch and Associates for architectural design and with Harper General Contractors for construction management.

Renovations to the basketball offices will provide men’s and women’s basketball each with immediate improvements to make their day-to-day operations and recruiting efforts more effective. Redesigning and modernizing the entrance to the basketball offices and the office suites themselves will create a first-impression experience for recruits, donors and fans that exudes excellence and boldly demonstrates Furman’s commitment to being an elite Division I program. The men’s and women’s programs will now have their own private office suites—rather than sharing one space as they did previously—with nearly double the square footage, a central reception area, new private conference rooms, expanded head coaches offices, offices for each assistant coach, and secure access points to be used exclusively by the program.

“We’re excited about the improvements taking place with our facilities, specifically the recent renovations to our offices and current work being done to our locker room,” said Furman men’s head basketball coach Bob Richey. “None of this happens without the hard work and support of Furman University President Elizabeth Davis, athletic director Jason Donnelly, our trustees, as well as the generosity of those who support Furman Basketball.  As we aspire to be one of the best mid-major programs in the country, we realize our facilities have to be the best, and this is a big first step in getting to that point. Our people will always be our priority, and this provides them a first-class environment they can be proud of and excited to come to work in every day. This will also allow us to provide great first impressions to recruits and their families as they see excellence when they enter in our building! I’m proud of what we’ve done and are going to do as we continue to move forward with plans for Timmons Arena.”

The locker rooms will be reconfigured and updated to feature additional square footage, a more functional lounge space for student-athletes, a fueling station for player nutrition, a modern dressing area, upgraded showers and bathrooms, new technology, and the first-class finishings and branding required to attract top national talent.

“As a coach, you strive to give your student-athletes the ‘best of everything’ and a positive experience that will resonate with them for the rest of their lives,” said Furman women’s head basketball coach Jackie Carson.  “The locker room, office and film room renovations raise the bar for our program and show our players and coaches that the commitment by our administration and donor base is strong. As a Furman women’s basketball alumna, I am grateful to all involved for their ongoing commitment to Furman Basketball and for their part in elevating both programs to a higher level.”

The men’s and women’s film rooms will feature new configurations with tiered stadium seating, new state-of-the-art technology for film study, and first-class graphics and branding. These spaces are at the heart of the teams’ off-the-court activities and are the hubs for player development and strategy.

Furman Athletics looks forward to sharing and celebrating stories of philanthropic investment in support of this project at a later date. To learn more about how to become a philanthropic partner to advance capital priorities for Furman Athletics, please contact Erin Wissing, senior associate athletics director, at 864-294-3732 or

Timmons Arena opened in December of 1997 following the university’s tenure with Greenville’s Memorial Auditorium, which served as the downtown home of Paladin basketball from 1958 through the end of the 1995 season.

The lead gift of $4 million for the facility was provided by longtime Furman supporters William R. Timmons Jr. ‘49, Jean Timmons Pelham ‘42 and Charlie and Kitty Wells ‘48 Timmons. Bill, Jean and Charlie are children of the late William R. Timmons ‘14. At the time of facility dedication, Bill Timmons, chairman of Greenville’s Canal Insurance Company, longtime university trustee and recipient of an honorary degree from Furman, recalled that his family’s association with the university dated back to his father’s enrollment in 1910. His father’s brother, Charles Edward Timmons Jr., also attended Furman before volunteering for World War I, during which he was killed in action.

Furman Basketball will move into their new space in Timmons Arena in September 2021.

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Clinton Colmenares
Director of News and Media Strategy