February 23, 2021: by Liberty University Athletics
The Liberty Indoor Tennis Center, the new indoor home of Liberty University’s men’s and women’s tennis teams, officially opened with a dedication ceremony on Tuesday.
Speakers included Liberty Director of Athletics Ian McCaw, Men’s Tennis Head Coach Derek Schwandt, Women’s Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren, and Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer Megan Lucas.
Anna (Dollar) Moore, 19, Lady Flames ‘women’s tennis alumna, held the opening prayer of the ceremonies and Major Gifts’ Assistant Athletics Director Jeff Alder offered the dedication prayer.
The $ 5 million project was first announced on November 14, 2019, and construction of the 48,000-square-foot facility began on April 23, 2020. Located adjacent to the Cook Tennis Complex, the project was made possible by an anonymous $ 3 donation. million, the greatest gift in Flames Club history. The facility has six courts and can accommodate 100 fans. The building will also house changing rooms, a team lounge, a laundry room and a concession room.
A building requires team funding, architects, construction management and crew, an athletic director with a long-term vision to support excellent coaches and give them the space they need to excel, said Liberty President Jerry Prevo. This was the vision of our school’s founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr., that we would train students, including student athletes, who would use their talents for the glory of God.
The indoor center hosted its first games on February 13, when the Lady Flames defeated both Davidson (final 7-0) and Towson (final 6-1) that day. Two days later (February 15), the Flames men’s tennis team defeated William & Mary 5-2 in their first game at the new facility.
God has blessed us with one of the best tennis facilities in the country, so we are very grateful, said Liberty Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. It took a lot of hands to establish this facility and we are all indebted to them. It turned out even better than we had dreamed and we are so excited to be able to pass it on to our teams and our student athletes. Liberty Tennis is on the rise and this facility will provide our student athletes with an incredible place to train and compete year round regardless of the Lynchburg region climate. It will also allow us to attract some of the best teams in the region and the country to compete here too.
Among the many administrators, players and supporters gathered for the ceremony, Liberty Associate Athletics Director and Executive Director of Development Mike Hagen acknowledged Jim Nichols, Vice President for Development; Dan Deter, Vice President for Major Construction, who, along with Matthew Houser, Planning & Construction Project Manager, oversaw the one-year project; as well as Gaurav Gupte from project architect Odell Associates; and Senior Associate Athletics Director for Internal Operations Mickey Guridy.
Schwandt, Flames’ fourth-year head coach, said the facility is humiliating to him. Schwandt urged his players to remain hungry and humble as they pursue the prize of glorifying God and fulfilling the Great Commission.
The vision of freedom, Training champions for Christ, means our actions, our attitude, our words, what we do, we want to honor God by doing it to the best of our ability, Schwandt said. We must remember that being great in God’s eyes means being a servant, he added, pointing to assistant coach Trevor Foshey as an example of a coach with a servant heart.
Lady Flames ninth year Head Coach Jeff Maren wants the new facility to be a memory maker for Libertys student athletes and potential recruits making official campus visits to the university.
Recruiting is now going to be a piece of cake, he said. This will be our first stop on our recruiting tour when we have visitors.
Yes, we are going to win a lot of competitions and those will be memories and these guys and girls will have their share of wins here, he added, but even more than that, the time they spend together and the laughs and just the fun , the family atmosphere that this facility helps us create is something that will last a lifetime.
Prevo has applauded the success of Flames and Lady Flames so far this season and how they are true ambassadors for the sport on a global stage with players from Sweden, Armenia, Vietnam, Peru, England, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa. , Germany and the United States.
What I find most remarkable is how International our squads are, he said, noting that the men’s team represents seven countries and six languages and the women’s team represents seven countries and five languages. Dr. Falwell wanted to see students from all over the country come to Liberty University, and that dream is currently only being fulfilled by these student athletes. Your coaches tell me you are a passionate, hardworking group of athletes who love Liberty. I thank you for that spirit and for being fantastic ambassadors for our university when you set foot on the tennis courts, both here and beyond.
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