Home to the Mountaineer Wrestling and Indoor Track and Field Teams
Varsity Gymnasium, a cornerstone for generations of Appalachian students, for academics, athletics, and former host to graduations and commencements, is the home to the ASU wrestling program. All practice facilities, competition seating, coaches' offices, athletic training and strength training areas for the program are located under one roof.
The track and field programs also utilize Varsity Gym for practice and competition. ASU's throwers and pole vaulters call the facility's expansive space home. The team also conducts daily practices that are held on the second level of the gym on the new mondo track that was installed during January of 2008.
In February of 2000 the final buzzer sounded on a vital part of the history of Appalachian athletics. When the 1999-2000 men's and women's basketball seasons concluded, it was the final season for Varsity Gym to serve as the home of Mountaineer basketball, marking the end of a 32-year relationship. The volleyball program played its final season in Varsity Gym in 2000.
When it opened in 1968, the facility was labeled a "Dream Come True”. Varsity Gym has been a focal point of Appalachian State University and the community it serves.
The building cost $2,000,000 to build and was North Carolina’s largest indoor athletic facility west of Charlotte and Winston-Salem at the time of completion. Since its opening in 1968, the University has more than doubled in size from 5,600 students to its current population of over 14,500.
More than 1,000,000 fans saw the Appalachian men’s and women’s basketball programs play in the building and eight times, more than 7,000 fans have witnessed games.
Varsity Gym has occasionally served high school athletic contests and tournaments.
Not only an athletic, intramural program and health, leisure and exercise science facility, Varsity Gym has a storied history of hosting nationally-recognized entertainers.
Crowds have visited Varsity Gym to witness various circuses, they’ve also seen The Harlem Globetrotters and Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallions of Austria.
The list of entertainers and concerts to step on the stage in Varsity Gym is a diverse group, covering several musical genres. Bruce Springstein, Chicago, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Steppenwolf, The Allman Brothers Band, The Fifth Dimension, Andrew Gold, Dionne Warwick, Bread, Phish, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Pablo Cruise, Kenny Rogers, The Carpenters, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose, Ronnie Milsap, Edgar Winter, Gary Puckett, The Lettermen, The Chairmen of the Board, The Four Tops, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Temptations, The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett and Ray Charles all made appearances in Varsity.
Several public speakers, ranging from educational to political to comedic have addressed large crowds in Varsity Gym. John Houseman, Jane Fonda, US consumer advocate Ralph Nader, entertainer Bill Murray, Harry Reasoner of 60 Minutes, US Army General Thomas Kelly, as well as Grammy Award-winning poet, writer, composer and actress Maya Angelou all stood behind the Varsity Gym podium.
Varsity Gym served as the preseason training camp home for the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets visited Boone during their first two seasons in the NBA (1988-1989, 1989-1990).
For more than 30 years, the 8,000 seat venue annually hosted Appalachian’s May and December commencement exercises. Convocation, the yearly fall gathering of ASU faculty, staff and students is another of the key events held in Varsity Gym.