Indoor tennis headed to Norman

NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department announced today that it will build an $8.4 million indoor tennis facility. Construction on The Gregg Wadley Pavilion at the Headington Family Tennis Center is set to begin this fall.

"We are very appreciative of the gifts of these generous donors that allow us to have one of the finest university tennis facilities in the country," said OU President David L. Boren.

OU Vice President for Athletics Program and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione said the new facility strengthens the tennis program and OU’s Athletics Department.

“We are grateful to those who share our vision for the future,” said Castiglione. “They enable us to make this wonderful enhancement for our men’s and women’s tennis programs. I think it is especially noteworthy that many of the donations came from former student-athletes.

“Our record demonstrates our continued dedication to a broad-based intercollegiate athletics program. This facility will provide a significant asset in the development of OU tennis programs and in turn, help make our entire department more successful.”

The facility is being named to honor Gregg Wadley, founder of Datacom Sciences, who together with his wife, Dr. Susan E. Brackett, an OU alumna and formerly an instructor in the university’s College of Dentistry, provided the lead gift for the project. The couple, who also established the Susan E. Brackett Endowed Chair for the OU School of Dance, resides in Oklahoma City.

"OU has had a long, rich tradition of great tennis and this is our way of extending and enriching that legacy,” Wadley said. “Also, tennis has been a lifelong hobby and passion of mine. I've enjoyed exciting competition and made terrific friends through tennis. Betsy and I hope OU students and friends of the University will use this facility to enhance their lives through the great sport of tennis."

Other major gifts include $1.5 million from Dallas businessman, OU alumni and former OU tennis letter-winner Tim Headington, and $1 million from the Sarkeys Foundation.

Headington also was the lead donor on the Sooner’s outdoor facility, which opened in 2001.

“On behalf of the Headington Family, I was very proud to make a gift to the OU tennis program,” he said. “As a former OU tennis athlete, I know the value of state-of-the-art facilities. It is an honor for me and my family to contribute to OU athletics future.”

The Sarkeys gift will be recognized with a plaza at the Headington Center in the names of the late Robert S. Rizley, formerly a Sarkeys Foundation Board member, and Joseph W. Morris, a current member of that board.

A number of other donors participated in this project, including several former student-athletes.

The indoor facility, which will be located east of the Headington Family Tennis Center outdoor courts, is scheduled for a December 2008 completion.

Highlights of the new, 55,000 square-foot facility include six air-conditioned courts, championship-quality lighting and surface, and approximately 375 chair-back seats for spectators (elevated between courts).