Middle Tennessee State University broke ground for its new $7.1 million outdoor tennis complex in a ceremony Thursday, Sept. 15, on the site for the new facility at the corner of Middle Tennessee Boulevard and Greenland Drive on the Blue Raider campus.
This new state of the art facility will serve as the on-campus home of MTSU’s men’s and women’s tennis programs, featuring new locker rooms, spectator facilities for 250 Blue Raiders fans, eight upgraded tennis courts and new coaches’ offices, among many other amenities.
“Today, we mark yet another milestone in fulfilling our mission of educating and serving our students as they prepare for their bright futures,” said President Sidney A. McPhee. “This is a transformational and comprehensive effort that will dramatically enhance our athletics facilities, but also create a vibrant entry portal to our campus. Thanks to this support, our tennis student-athletes will be able to practice and play in a facility that ranks among the very best in the region.”
Built on the site of the current Buck Bouldin Tennis Courts, this new tennis complex is the latest development to get underway from MTSU Athletics’ “Build Blue” capital campaign, with the goal to provide all 17 MTSU Athletics programs with the resources and infrastructure to compete at a championship level.
“Today is a glorious day for our athletic department and our tennis programs,” said Director of Athletics Chris Massaro. “This will be a catalyst to move our tennis programs forward and improve on the great success they have already displayed. This is a tremendous way to ignite our Build Blue campaign.”
Men’s tennis coach Jimmy Borendame and women’s tennis coach Tayo Bailey-Duvall were joined by student athletes from their programs at the groundbreaking ceremony, as well as members of the MTSU Board of Trustees, donors and Blue Raider fans from around the Midstate community.
The Blue Raider men’s tennis program recently won its third-straight Conference USA title in 2022, while the women’s tennis program earned the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s All-Academic Team award for the fifth consecutive year in 2022.
“This new facility is for the student-athletes, alumni, supporters, fans and the community,” an ecstatic Borendame said. “I believe this new facility will give us a special on-campus home. It will enhance our ability to recruit, develop our student-athletes and create another great home match atmosphere. This is a great day to be a Blue Raider.”
“What an awesome time to be an MTSU tennis student-athlete,” added Bailey-Duvall. “This is very exciting for everyone here and from what I’ve learned over the last few years, there’s a lot of memories and fond thoughts about the tennis courts here. One of the most important ones, as mentioned by Dr. McPhee and Chris (Massaro), is Sandy Neal. I am honored to share the court in a place where she’s worked at.”
Neal, a former MTSU player and former coach of the volleyball and tennis teams, will be inducted into the Blue Raider Sports Hall of Fame next month.
A professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance until her retirement in 2021 after 44 years of service at the university, Neal was the MTSU women’s tennis coach from 1978 to 1990 and a five-time Ohio Valley Conference coach of the year.