UT-Permian Basin Adds Men's and Women's Tennis
After a 22-year hiatus, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin will once again have a tennis program.
“When you look at it logically, tennis would make a great addition to the athletic department,” Athletic Director Steve Aicinena said. “We already have a place to play and it is a conference sport. Further, it will expand participation opportunities for our male and female student-athletes.”
At this point, the 2010-2011 program will be a club team. The plan is to move tennis to a full intercollegiate sport for the 2011-2012 season.
Currently, Heartland Conference tennis, with five men’s teams, is one school short from having an automatic qualifier in Men’s Tennis. With the addition of UTPB, the Heartland will have guaranteed participants in the Men’s NCAA Regional Tournament. The Heartland Conference already has an automatic qualifier in Women’s Tennis.
Women’s tennis first started at UTPB back in 1972 and was nationally competitive, playing against NCAA D-I schools all around the nation as an NAIA program (there was no men’s team the first time we had the program). However, the program was cut in 1988 because of budget concerns.
UTPB, a junior and senior college at the time, became a four year school in 1991 and reinstated the athletic program in 1994 with club volleyball and men’s soccer.
This is the first time that UTPB has added a new sport since 2004 when baseball and men’s and women’s cross country became official sports.