The sports complex including Gross Coliseum and Cunningham Hall was constructed in 1973. Gross Coliseum houses the basketball arena and running track. A total 322,979 gross square feet comprises the sports facility. Seating is available in Gross Coliseum for 6,196 spectators in the balcony and bleacher areas. The facility accommodates approximately 1,400 more people at Commencement ceremonies when seating is arranged on the Coliseum floor for graduates and to accommodate handicapped seating.
Gross Coliseum is named for Paul "Busch" Gross. His relationship with the university goes back to his years as a student athlete. Paul "Busch" Gross was an outstanding football player on the 1917 team that was undefeated and won the Kansas Athletic Conference championship. He also played in the 1921 season when the conference championship was again won by the Fort Hays Kansas Normal School, now Fort Hays State University. This was the last football championship for the university for thirteen years. Paul "Busch" Gross was employed by the university in 1934 as a backfield coach in the football program and as head basketball coach. The football team once again won the conference championship that year.
In February, 1943, Mr. Gross was employed by the university to train cadets in the Army Air Force Flying Training Command. The military wanted its pilots to have solid mental and physical preparation for pre-flight school. Cadets were given an hour of rigorous physical conditioning each day and academic instruction in geography, history, English, mathematics and physics.
Mr. Gross also served the university as Athletic Director. He passed away in December, 1964.