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North Carolina - Facilities

Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center

In keeping with the University of North Carolina's tradition of offering quality facilities for its student-athletes, the University dedicated an indoor/outdoor tennis facility adjacent to the A.E. Finley Golf Course on N.C. Highway 54 in Chapel Hill in September 1992.

The Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center, which took four years to come to fruition, was the crowning jewel in a decade-long campaign to improve the athletic facilities at the University.

The tennis center, located off Skakle Drive, was dedicated Saturday, Sept. 12, 1992, with a crowd of more than 1,000 Carolina tennis enthusiasts in attendance. Paul Hardin, then-chancellor of the University, and John Swofford, the athletic director at the time, officially dedicated the structure and named the facility that now serves as the home of the Tar Heels' men's and women's tennis programs.

The facility is named for Ceasar Cone II, a 1928 alumnus of the University who played tennis at Carolina and was a great benefactor of the school throughout his life. Cone went on to found Cone Mills in Greensboro, N.C., one of the most successful textile manufacturing entities in the South. The center also bears the name of John Kenfield, the legendary Tar Heel tennis coach who compiled a sterling record of 434-30-2 in dual-match play from 1928-55. Kenfield's teams won 15 Southern Conference championships and two Atlantic Coast Conference team championships during his tenure. He coached the likes of Bitsy Grant, Wilmer Hines and Vic Seixas at UNC and his 1948 team finished third in the nation. Kenfield was Carolina's first-ever full-time tennis coach, and he took over the reins of the UNC team in time to coach Ceasar Cone II in his senior season in 1928.

Fund-raising on the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center was completed in early 1991 and construction on the facility began in the spring of that year.

Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center

Bill Moore of Raleigh, N.C., chaired the fund-raising committee that helped bring the facility to fruition. Other members of the Tennis Fundraising Committee were Cliff Alphin of Dunn, N.C., Billy Armfield of Madison, N.C., Kelly Bowles of Greensboro, N.C., Herb Browne of Charlotte, N.C., Tom Chewning of Richmond, Va., Jim Corn of Lattimore, N.C., Lyons Gray of Winston-Salem, N.C., Kitty Harrison of Chapel Hill, N.C., Katherine Hogan of Raleigh, N.C., Paul Hoolahan of New Orleans, La., Allen Morris of Clinton, S.C., M.W. Peebles, Jr. of Petersburg, Va., Moyer Smith of Chapel Hill, N.C., Sue Walsh of Durham, N.C., Keith Stoneman of Charlotte, N.C., John Swofford of Greensboro, N.C., and Ernie Williamson of Chapel Hill, N.C.

The $2 million complex includes:

  • Six indoor and 12 outdoor, lighted, hard surface tennis courts
  • Indoor spectator viewing on the upper level of the indoor center
  • Men's and women's varsity dressing facilities
  • Public and visitor dressing facilities
  • Fully-equipped weight-training rooms for both varsity teams
  • An alley for coaches behind each set of indoor courts
  • Offices and public restrooms on the upper level of the center core
  • Indoor area of approximately 47,500 square feet
  • Air conditioning for the indoor area
  • Halide lighting on all courts
  • Indirect lighting on the indoor courts

    The center has been put to good use in its first seven years of existence. The first exhibition matches were played at the dedication ceremonies, prior to the UNC-Furman football game

    Since then, Carolina's men's tennis squad has hosted at least one tournament at the tennis center each of the past eight falls. From 1992 to 1998, Carolina hosted the Tar Heel Invitational, an outdoor tournament featuring regional teams from the Southeastern United States.

    In November 1992, the Tar Heels were the host institution for the ITA Region II Indoor Singles and Doubles Championships, which features the top men's singles and doubles players from the South Atlantic Region. North Carolina has hosted the Region II championships each fall since then for a total of eight seasons. Winners of the Region II Championships advance to the ITA national indoor tournament each year.

    In 1994, a memorabilia area was created on the upper level of the center core of the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. The brainchild of Director of Tennis Sam Paul, the memorabilia area was the work of curator Dave Lohse, the media relations director for olympic sports at the University, and graphic designer Clay Carmichael of Carrboro, N.C.