TN Sports 360

APSU finds new purpose for indoor tennis facility

Courtesy photo

By Cody Bush

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay, courtesy of the generous support from its donors, announced plans to reconfigure the current indoor tennis center into an indoor practice facility to benefit the department.

The new indoor practice facility will provide more than 26,000 square feet of practice space. The surface, installed by Shaw Sports Turf, will be a grass-like material with a sand/rubber infill similar in an updated version of the surface at Fortera Stadium.

Upon the completion of the indoor practice facility, it will be just the fourth all-sport indoor practice facility in the Ohio Valley Conference, joining Eastern Illinois, Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State.

“When we started this journey at Austin Peay, it was our goal to look for transformative opportunities to improve the student athlete experience and serve our primary constituents better,” said Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison. “Converting existing space into an indoor facility available to all Governors student-athletes gives them the ability to train regardless of inclement weather and relieves many of the scheduling conflicts we experienced due to only having one artificial turf surface on campus. The addition of this indoor facility also provides our coaches with proof of our commitment to competitive and developmental excellence when they are out on the recruiting trail.”

While the indoor practice facility’s primary users will be the Governors’ baseball, softball, football, and track and field programs, the facility will be available to the more than 300 Austin Peay student-athletes. Each of the Governors squads now will have a dedicated indoor space for practice allowing them to centralize their teams for training and workouts, particularly during inclement weather.

Originally opened in September 1985, the indoor tennis center has housed only the Governors men and women’s tennis teams since its opening. The university athletics department recently completed a resurfacing of the outdoor tennis courts for use during the upcoming season. The department also has future improvements for its outdoor tennis facilities in the planning stages.

“Our tennis program also will experience several upgrades to our outdoor tennis facility in the near future,” said Harrison. “Currently we are completing a renovation to create eight championship level courts and looking at plans for a scoreboard system and seating worthy of a championship-level program as a part of our athletics facility strategic plan.”

Additionally, the athletics department is working to build a strategic plan for its athletics facilities that will encompass the department’s needs for the next several years.

Quotes from Austin Peay coaches

Austin Peay director of sports performance Christopher Campbell:

“Austin Peay Sports Performance is excited to have an indoor training facility. This facility will be a significant and transformative factor for all student-athletes giving us opportunities for additional space for year-round training, including during inclement weather. The opportunity for our student-athletes to train in a facility with a grass-like surface assists with conditioning and injury prevention. This progressive opportunity puts Austin Peay ahead of our competition.”

Austin Peay head softball coach Kassie Stanfill:

“What our Athletics Director, Gerald Harrison, has been able to accomplish within his two years at Austin Peay is incredible. We have seen facility upgrades across the board, and the start of an all-sport indoor facility is another achievement to add to his list of accomplishments. This facility will provide our student-athletes the chance to continue improving their game at an intense level, no matter the weather. I know softball is extremely excited for this addition and cannot wait to share it with our athletes.”

Austin Peay head women’s golf coach Jessica Cathey:

“The men’s and women’s golf teams are looking forward to having a place on campus where we can go when the weather gets rough, especially during the spring semester. It will also be great to have somewhere on campus where we can feel more connected to the other sports since we are typically off-campus at a local course.”

Austin Peay head baseball coach Travis Janssen:

“Today is a great day for Austin Peay athletics.  Getting a new indoor practice facility will be a game-changer for the baseball program.  The facility will allow us the flexibility for practice planning during the winter months.  We couldn’t be more excited about the addition of this facility for our student-athletes.”

Other All-Sport Indoor Facilities in the Ohio Valley Conference

·         Eastern Illinois – 60,000 square feet (built 1967, 2001 renovation)

·         Tennessee Tech – 10,000 square feet (2010)

·         Tennessee State – 60,750 square feet (2011)

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