[Chattanooga, TN]… Three Southeastern Conference tennis programs recently installed new court surfaces in their varsity facilities, each the work of Chattanooga's Competition Athletic Surfaces. The company successfully won bids to install surfaces at the University of Tennessee, the University of Alabama, and Mississippi State University.
According to Lee Murray, president of Competition Athletic Surfaces, winning the bid was the easy part; conforming to three different programs was something else altogether. "College tennis surfaces are as varied as college tennis coaches. One school wanted a slower surface; another wanted more bounce; and a couple of them wanted the school logo incorporated into their surfaces. We were able to demonstrate our experience working with the varied materials, and we had the staff experience to go with it," Mr. Murray said.
Coaches at each of the schools have praised their new tennis court surfaces. Jenny Mainz, head women's coach at Alabama said, "The University of Alabama and Competition Athletic Surfaces have enjoyed an outstanding relationship for many years, and the company has worked on many projects for Alabama. They are professional, organized and proficient; the quality of their work is exemplary, and they met all of our expectations in a timely manner"
Billy Pate, head coach on the men's side of court in Tuscaloosa, and SEC Co-Coach of the Year in 2007, said, "Competition Athletic Surfaces is an industry leader in workmanship, efficiency and customer satisfaction. The professional quality of their product is first class and the indoor surfacing project provided us with one of the highest quality playing surfaces in the nation."
The folks in Knoxville were equally enthusiastic. Tennessee women's coach, Mike Patrick, said, "The surface got rave reviews, and they came out just as we had asked" Men's coach Sam Winterbotham, added, "The courts are great! I really appreciate making sure the job was done as well as it was."
The SEC is arguably the most competitive conference in the country. Ten of the men's programs and 9 of the women's programs were ranked in the top 75 in the country, according to the May 2007 Fila college poll. In addition to the SEC schools, Competition Athletic Surfaces has also installed new surfaces at two other top 75 schools: the University of North Carolina and East Tennessee State University.
In the past few years, Competition Athletic Surfaces has built new courts or reconditioned existing courts throughout the Southeast, including Georgia and South Carolina. According to Mr. Murray, the company is as much about "service" as it is about "surface." "We are very much a relationship company. We understand how a court surface has to conform to a program philosophy, and there's a lot of trust that has to develop between us and the coaches," Mr. Murray stated.
Mississippi State coach Per Nilsson certainly agrees. Coach Nilsson said, "Lee Murray and his staff were very professional and we are extremely happy with the result. Next time we need work done on our courts, we won't have to search for a company, we'll call Competition Athletic Surfaces."