There are two outstanding strength and conditioning facilities on campus at CSU-Pueblo dedicated to training athletes. Together they represent some of the most outstanding strength and conditioning facilities in all of Division II athletics.
LEOMITI WARRIOR CENTER
After nearly 10 years since their first contribution to Colorado State University-Pueblo to reinstate the football program, the Friends of Football (FOF) came together to provide improvements for all 22 Pack Athletics programs.
Named the Leomiti Warrior Center after Co-Defensive Coordinator Donnell Leomiti, a brand new 10,000-square foot weight room was opened in the Fall of 2016 at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.
The majority of the project was privately funded with the cost around $3,300,000. More than 83 donors, both individuals and businesses, have committed monetary or in-kind donations.
"Our student-athletes and coaches deserve the best facilities in the country and FOF is committed to make that happen," said Friends of Football member Dan DeRose.
The new weight room more than doubles the space of the old area and is utilized by all 550-plus student-athletes and coaches. The expansion features brand new equipment, which includes a large indoor turf area for speed and agility training. The weight room includes additional power racks and dumbbell benches, new Olympic lifting bars and bumpers, dumbbells, glute/ham benches and Keiser squat machines.
The roof of the new weight room features an observation deck to provide opportunities for special events and pre-game hospitality.
MASSARI ARENA WEIGHT ROOM
Updated in 2015, the strength and conditioning facility in Massari Gymnasium is 1,839 square feet in size. This facility has four multi-station platforms that allow performance of the Olympic lifts, squats, front squats, bench press, incline press, pull-ups along with a variety of other exercises. In addition there is a squat rack, bench press station, dumbbells ranging from two lbs to 100 lbs and utility benches used for dumbbell training that can adjust from flat to incline. There are also a variety of medicine balls and bands to supplement the equipment already mentioned. This facility is used by the smaller roster teams that can efficiently train in a facility of this size.
THE STORY BEHIND THE LEOMITI WARRIOR CENTER
The Leomiti Warrior Center takes its name and inspiration from a man who defines the word Warrior. Coach Donnell Leomiti has led the ThunderWolves as Defensive Backs Coach and Recruiting Coordinator since 2008, molding top ranked defense players and guiding the team to five conference championships and a national championship.
Coach Leomiti’s life has been marked by adversity, but not defined by it.
In 8th grade, he lost his mother to stomach cancer, but went on to graduate from Leone High School in Pavaiai, American Samoa, in 1992 where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He was a two-time Ashaa League most valuable player on offense, earning the honor his junior and senior years. He earned a football scholarship to play at the University of Colorado, where he excelled at receiver and strong safety. He then signed as a free agent in the NFL, but a neck injury ruled out pursuing a professional career. Coach Leomiti then returned to CU to finish his degree in Communications, and afterward began his coaching career.
Over the course of seven years he worked his way up from Assistant Coach at Denver North High School to the University of Colorado, all the while working as a counselor for at-risk minority students and low-income families. When he came to CSU-Pueblo to join the coaching staff, he fell in love with former CSU-Pueblo All-American cross country athlete, Lauren Dunsmoor. The couple married and has five children: Donnell Jr., Siliaga, Malekai, Kae’ane and Myalyn.
In the fall of 2013 Coach Leomiti became ill and made 15 separate trips to the Emergency Room before he received a diagnosis of Stage 4 pancreatic neuro endocrine carcinoma. He spent over a month in the hospital fighting for his life and endured four surgeries to remove large parts of his internal organs. He continues to battle every day with the strong spirit of a fighter. Instead of asking, “Why me?” Coach Leomiti thanks God for the strength to endure, for the love and support of his family, and for the opportunity to help and encourage others.
Coach Leomiti embodies the ideologies that he stresses to his players— that motivation comes from within, that you should make every second count. His vision, for his players as well as himself, is simple: Everyday get better, focus on details and fundamentals, emphasize teamwork and togetherness, face adversity head on and battle. Coach Leomiti teaches strength by example and his attitude has never wavered through hardship.
Donnell Leomiti embraces the “Be” attitude: Be Here, Be Coachable, Be Accountable, Be Tough, Be Optimistic, and Be Engaged.
BE A WARRIOR!