On Tuesday morning, director of athletics Lee De Leon announced plans for an exterior renovation of the Teague Special Event Center and the construction of a two-story tennis facility. Thursday afternoon he followed that up with news of the addition of women’s beach volleyball as a 17th varsity sport.
De Leon said while most people are aware of the newly constructed Elmer Gray Stadium, the renovations to the softball and baseball fields and the ongoing construction on Wildcat Stadium, which is expected to be finished in time for the football team’s 2017 home opener against Houston Baptist, athletics has been quietly raising funds for these projects.
The two projects will total close to three million dollars, as the renovation of Teague is budgeted at $1.25 million and $1.6 million for the new tennis facility.
Teague has been the administrative home of ACU Athletics since 1997, but with the renovations De Leon said it will be able to better accommodate administrative staff, coaches, student-athletes and visitors. Through the renovations athletics plans to make Teague more closely resemble the eventual exterior of Wildcat Stadium and expand the lobby area.
The two-story tennis facility will be built on the east side of the three main courts, between the courts and ACU Drive. De Leon said the first floor will consist of public restrooms, a small game-day training room, locker rooms for each team and assistant coaches’ offices. On the second floor there will be a team room, player’s lounge, head coach’s and a covered balcony that will allow coaches and staff to watch the matches.
Athletics also plans to name the facility after head coach Hutton Jones’ father.
De Leon said construction on the projects will begin soon, but no official timetable has been set.
To accommodate the addition of beach volleyball, De Leon said the plan is to convert the outdoor basketball court on the east side of the rec and the grass area to the south of the courts into a facility complete with three competition courts.
ACU joins Houston Baptist, Central Arkansas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and New Orleans as the fifth team within the Southland Conference to add beach volleyball.
De Leon said the beach volleyball program will begin competition in the spring of 2018, and the team will be fielded from members of the indoor team and coached by assistant volleyball coach Breann Nesselhuf. At this point the Southland needs just one more team to support a conference tournament and send its champion to the NCAA tournament.