For years, the University of Hawaii football team had a dirty little secret: an aging locker room.
But Saturday, the Warriors new coach drew up a different kind of game plan and gave athletes a chance to make a clean sweep of their facilities.
In the morning, the defense tackled the tough job of scraping clean the locker room. "We came in and got all the sharpie and markings off. We'll keep sanding it. Then we'll paint and make it look new," said UH Cornerback Jaloni Williams.
Under the watchful eye of coach Norm Chow, players peeled away years of grime and graffiti. "When we got here it was outdated and hadn't been fixed up for a while. So we took it upon ourselves to get it done," said Chow.
It has been ten years since the locker room was refurbished. Broken tiles, dirty lockers and aging facilities can make a negative impression on prospective football recruits and also lower morale for student athletes already at the school. "We spend a lot of time here. It's like a second home," said Williams.
The locker room was completely sanded and will then be cleaned and painted. It is a job that could have cost the university thousands, but instead coach Chow turned it into a team building exercise. He also had players pay attention to even the smallest of details -- like rust between lockers. "It's about being disciplined. He's just trying to teach us the little things. If you come in and your locker room is clean it transfers over to the field," said UH Defensive End Desmond Dean.
"We talk about trust and accountability. I'm going to trust my buddy is doing his job and I'll do mine. These are lessons these guys can learn and this is all a part of it," said Chow.
The Warriors will end up with a like-new locker room. But, more importantly, they laid an important foundation for the football team -- long before the first snap of spring practice. "We're just blessed to have these coaches teach us a thing of in life we all should learn, we're really blessed," said UH Lineman Lance Williams.
While players are updating the current locker room, there are hopes eventually a new locker room and training facility will take its place.
Spring practice starts on Tuesday.