Fike Recreation Center

A History of Competition and Student Fitness

Fike Recreation was originally named the "Clemson Field House" opened in 1930. The Facility was renamed after Rupert Fike, a renowned doctor and Clemson Alumnus, in 1966. The name was then officially changed to Fike Recreation Center in 1971. Fike was built originally to host Clemson basketball and other sporting events. The first intercollegiate competition hosted in Fike was a basketball game between Clemson and Furman University in 1931. In 1941 the facility expanded to include boxing, racquetball, tennis, and weightlifting.

In 1975, the McHugh Natatorium opened with an eight-lane, 25-yard racing pool and a 13.5 foot diving pool. The Athletic Department moved to Jervey and the Department of Intramurals and Recreation move into Fike. The expansion include three large multipurpose rooms and 10 handball courts. In 2001, a 33,000 square feet addition was built that included the Swann Fitness Center, in honor of Joseph Swann, which provided new equipment, rock climbing walls, and two new gymnasiums.

Before Clemson Basketball moved to Littlejohn Coliseum in 1968, Fike was known for being an intimidating atmosphere for opponents. Former Wake Forest head coach Horace "Bones" McKinney was quoted as saying "That place was so dark that the referees had to come in wearing coal miners' helmets. It was dark brown everywhere, and when they started playing things were pitch black. People's feet were the out-of-bounds marks and they'd sit there and pluck the hair on our players' legs when they tried to throw the play in." 
"I'd call a timeout to change strategy, and there'd be 30-40 young men looking over my shoulder as I wrote on the sideline in chalk. They'd keep hollering, 'No, Bones, that'll never work,' 'You better get back on the bus,' 'That plan wouldn't win in Peewee League,' things like that. The din would never stop."