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    Fighting Irish

    May 15, 1998

    Tennis Facilities

    Eck Tennis Pavilion

    One of Notre Dame's newest athletic facilities is the Eck Tennis Pavilion, dedicated in June 1987. The building was in the national spotlight in the spring of 1994 as the Irish served as host to the NCAA men's championship and once again will be a critical facility as the Irish play host to the 1998 NCAA women's championship.

    The indoor facility houses six laykold courts, offices, locker rooms and a spacious spectator viewing area upstairs that is ideally suited for videotaping.

    "It is truly one of the great collegiate indoor tennis facilities in the country," says Irish coach Bob Bayliss. "It has enabled us to attract the serious tennis players who previously would have had to go elsewhere."

    In September 1988, the Eck Pavilion received the 1988 United States Tennis Association Award for architectural design. As a result, the USTA presented the facility with a handsome wooden plaque, a large sign to be placed in front of the pavilion and a complimentary one-year membership in the USTA. In addition, the facility and its award are recognized in an inscription on a large mahogany board displayed in the lobby of the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, N.Y.

    The facility was underwritten by Franklin E. Eck. He is chairman and chief executive officer of Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc., which produces corrugated plastic drainage pipe for agricultural and commercial purposes.

    A 1944 graduate in chemical engineering at Notre Dame, Eck earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1949. In 1984, he endowed a collection in chemical engineering in Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library.

    The generosity of Eck also made Notre Dame's baseball facility, Frank Eck Stadium, possible.

    Courtney Tennis Center

    Notre Dame's Courtney Tennis Center, newly resurfaced in the summer of 1993, was again in the national spotlight as the school served as host to the 1994 NCAA men's tennis championship and will serve as the main facility for the 1998 NCAA women's tennis championship.

    Improvements to the facility include a new public address system, expanded seating for the championship at 1,500 and renovation of a control building, which was used for the tournament.

    In the past, it not only has been the site of some of the finest competition in the Midwest, but also in the nation and the world as well. The facility was the site of what tennis coaches still consider to be the finest collection of collegiate tennis talent ever assembled -- the 1971 NCAA Championship.

    In that spring classic, then-freshman Jimmy Connors of UCLA defeated Stanford's Roscoe Tanner in five sets to capture the individual title.

    Financed entirely by prominent Washington, D.C., attorney Jeremiah Courtney, the 30-year-old facility has been the home of Fighting Irish tennis since 1967.

    The numerous courts and the brand-new laykold surface make the Courtney Center a popular spot for students and faculty as well as the varsity tennis teams. New windscreens were added to all of the courts in 1988 and bleacher seating on the number one and number two courts were added that summer.

    Courtney is a 1932 graduate of Columbia, where he captained the tennis team. His two sons, however, passed up Columbia for Notre Dame and went on to play tennis under Tom Fallon.



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