Degheri Tennis Center
The Degheri Tennis Center, formerly known as the Santa Clara University Tennis Center, is the home of both the men's and women's programs. The facility is one of finest tennis venues of its size on the West Coast and boasts a distinct Bronco home court advantage.
In 1998, Santa Clara took the tennis courts that served the university since the 1950s and replaced them with the Pat Malley Recreation & Fitness Center. The coaching staff and athletic department administration used the opportunity to create a first-class tennis facility to serve as a launching pad to greater success for the SCU tennis programs and increase recreational opportunities for the campus community.
Opened in January 1999, the $2.5 million facility includes nine championship lighted courts with seating for 750 spectators. The west side of the Center is lined with bleachers while the east side is highlighted by the Player's Circle, a landscaped knoll that provides hillside seating for matches, as well as space for team meetings and hospitality receptions. The main building, yet to be constructed, will house coaching offices, team locker rooms, restrooms and storage. In all, the Degheri Tennis Center reflects the energy and intimacy of a collegiate environment.
The Degheri Tennis Center has proven to be fruitful for both Bronco tennis programs, as they have enjoyed very successful home campaigns since the new facility opened. They have also provided opportunities for fan involvement. The grassy knoll became home to the "Hecklers on the Hill," a student booster group whose members receive a club t-shirt and barbecue while cheering on the Broncos. With the "Hecklery on the Hill" and tremendous local fan support, the center has become one of the best home atmospheres in the conference.
In 2006, SCU hosted the West Coast Conference Women's Tennis Championships and the school played host to the men's championships in 2008.
The facility has been used for a variety of marquee collegiate tennis events. The men's program hosted the prestigious OMNI Hotels ITA Fall Regional in 2001, as well as the West Coast Conference Championships during the spring of 2000 and 2004. The women have served as host to the league's annual event in 2002 and 2006.
The Degheri Tennis Center is also home to annual Bronco summer camps for children and adults, a calendar year-round academy for developing young junior players, the official training grounds for South Bay Smash wheelchair tennis, and clinics and community-action programs coordinated through partnerships with organizations such as the Northern California Tennis Association and Youth Tennis Advantage.
The Tennis Center was renamed in February 2004 after Bert Degheri, who attended SCU in 1958-59 and was a member of the men's squad. Degheri transferred to the University of San Diego, where he graduated in 1961. In addition to his gift to Santa Clara, Degheri has donated funds to build USD's newly-opened alumni center, and St. Francis High School in La Canada, Calif., for a performing arts center.
In all, the Degheri Tennis Center is a facility that is functional and inspirational, as Santa Clara has been able to greatly expand its student and community participation in the sport of tennis, and at the same time, showcase a competitive stage that reflects the high quality, spirit and dedication of its student-athletes and coaches.