On Saturday, January 28, the University of Redlands celebrated the completion of a milestone project — the Coach Jim Verdieck Tennis Center. Paying tribute to the winning legacy of Bulldog Tennis — including that of the beloved coach for whom the center is named — the new facility will improve the competitive experience for the University’s student-athletes.
“Bulldog Athletics is such a key part of our University community,” said University of Redlands President Krista L. Newkirk. “I am so proud to name this facility after one of the best collegiate coaches of all time in our nation, and a true leader in the history of our University.”
The new, multi-million-dollar facility — with Redlands orange groves and views of the snow-capped San Bernardino Mountains as a backdrop — replaces the University’s original tennis courts built back in the 1960s. The center offers 12 courts on a post-tension concrete playing surface and an improved layout for spectator viewing. Additionally, both men’s and women’s tennis teams will now compete simultaneously. The new center will also enable the University to host regional Division III tournaments as well as NCAA championships.
Three generations of Coach Verdieck’s family attended the dedication and his two sons participated in the ceremonial ribbon cutting and inaugural rally on Court 2, which holds special significance, as it was Coach Verdieck’s teaching court.
"We are ecstatic about the completion of the Coach Jim Verdieck Tennis Center,” said Peter Yellico, head men’s and women’s tennis coach. “This new facility will be monumental for our current and former players and not possible without the support from University administration, alumni, and friends of Bulldog Tennis, specifically, Coach Verdieck's sons, Doug and Randy Verdieck.”
From 1946 through 1984, Coach Jim Verdieck, known simply as “Coach” throughout Southern California and the tennis community around the globe, led the men’s tennis team to 921 victories, 34 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championships, and an unrivaled 15 national championships. His impressive record of success is honored in eight different Hall of Fames across the nation, including the elite Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame.
President Newkirk added, “As you walk through the facility and view the numerous plaques from our generous supporters, you truly get a sense of how special the Redlands experience is.”