WACO, Texas - With an eye toward bringing future NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Championship finals to Central Texas while also maintaining Baylor's tennis programs among the nation's elite, Mark and Paula Hurd have made another generous financial gift that will be used to further enhance the Baylor Tennis Center.
The proposed renovations were approved by the Baylor Board of Regents during their July 21-22 meeting in Waco. In addition, Baylor's governing body also approved renaming the Baylor Tennis Center as the Hurd Tennis Center in honor of the Hurd's continued support of the tennis programs.
"Baylor's tennis programs are incredibly fortunate to once again benefit from the generous support of Mark and Paula Hurd ," said Ian McCaw, Baylor's Director of Athletics. "These facility enhancements will make the Hurd Tennis Center the nation's premiere collegiate facility.
"We have successfully hosted numerous Big 12 Championships and NCAA 1st and 2nd round events over the years, and we believe these enhancements will allow Baylor to successfully bid to host future NCAA Championship tennis finals," he added.
The approved enhancements include a new scoreboard that will allow fans to follow the matches on all 12 Hurd Tennis Center courts, shaded spectator seating over the Hulse Grandstand which overlooks the championship courts and the addition of VIP seating. In addition, the gift will allow for the purchase of a video streaming system to air Baylor matches via the school's official athletics web site, BaylorBears.com, while also providing for additional landscaping around the complex.
"Baylor tennis is blessed to have supporters like Mark and Paula Hurd," said Baylor Director of Tennis and head men's coach Matt Knoll. "Their commitment to our program takes what was already an outstanding outdoor tennis facility to another level. Our coaches and student athletes will practice and compete on the finest tennis facility in the nation once these upgrades are complete. The fact that Mark played for Baylor makes his gift all the more meaningful."
Since 2000, Baylor has hosted three Big 12 men's and women's championships, nine NCAA men's first and second rounds and seven NCAA women's first and second round events.
"We are very thankful for the generosity of the Hurd family as they are helping to take our program to even greater heights," said Baylor head women's tennis coach Joey Scrivano. "These enhancements will send a powerful message about the commitment to future success as we recruit the world to bring in search of outstanding student-athletes."
In 2009, the Hurd's generosity provided a total renovation of the tennis programs locker rooms, health training rooms, meeting rooms, coaches' offices, championship lobby and pro shop. In October of 2009, the clubhouse was officially renamed the Hurd Tennis Building after the former BU player and current Oracle co-president. Those renovations were featured in the fall 2010 Athletics Administration magazine, which is the official publication of the National Associate of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Each locker room now features a common area complete with a computer, a projector that allows student athletes to watch match video on the overhead screen. The actual lockers are situated off of the lounge area in a circular room that features a wood floor and 12 individual wood lockers. A shower area completes the locker room facility.
The building's championship lobby features a trophy case for the men and for the women that is filled with the two programs' combined four national championship trophies (one team and three individual), 31 Big 12 Conference titles (17 men and 14 women) and numerous other trophies recognizing the accomplishments of both programs.
Baylor men's and women's tennis continued their winning ways during the 2010-2011 season. Both programs finished No. 6 in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, giving the Bears their 10th straight top eight ranking and the fourth consecutive season for the Lady Bears to be ranked among the nation's top six in the season-ending poll. The Baylor men won the Big 12 regular-season title and reached the NCAA quarterfinals, while the women's team reached the NCAA Final Four for the second time in program history after sweeping the Big 12 regular-season and tournament crowns.