Southern Utah Adds Men's Tennis
August 13, 2012
Since the 1970s, over 350 men’s tennis program has been discontinued – but good news recently came out of the west when it was announced that Southern Utah University will add men’s varsity tennis for the 2012-13 campaign.
The addition of men’s tennis coincides with the Thunderbird’s entry into the Big Sky Conference, which officially took effect July 1. Southern Utah’s conference brethren will include California State University-Sacramento, the University of Montana (defending league champion), Eastern Washington University, Idaho State University, Montana State University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Northern Colorado, Portland State University and Weber State University. The University of North Dakota will also be adding tennis as a new member of the Big Sky.
Southern Utah becomes the sixth Division I program in the state, joining geographical rival Weber State along with Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, Utah State University and Utah Valley University, which added men’s tennis in 2009.
“Obviously anytime you can add sports it is a great day for intercollegiate athletics. You are adding more student-athletes and giving them an opportunity to participate in a sport they love to play,” said Southern Utah Director of Athletics Ken Beazer. “We’ve been able to enhance the performance of our women’s team on the court and we look forward to doing the same with the men’s program.”
The T-birds will be coached by Lenny Lee, who has guided the women’s team since the program’s inception in 1994. During that span, Lee has been named Summit League Coach of the Year three times and led SUU to six conference titles.
“We’re excited to add men’s tennis at Southern Utah,” said Neil Gardner, assistant AD for media relations. “Women’s tennis has been successful for some time for us. Our addition to the Big Sky will give a few more guys chances to play collegiately at this end of the state. We look forward to developing a solid program.”
For more information about collegiate tennis programs being added and dropped, check out the ITA Advocacy page by clicking here.