Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 23, 2003

UH courts to get overhaul

By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer

By July, the University of Hawai'i hopes to name a men's tennis coach to succeed Jim Schwitters. The new coach will have the program's first full-time position, no place to play and five pukas on the roster left by this year's seniors.

"It's been kind of embarrassing to bring teams in," UH women's coach Carolyn Katayama says of the condition of the school's tennis courts.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

After decades of neglect and years of delay, the 'Bows' 12-court structure will be totally rebuilt beginning in September, according to Teri Wilhelm Chang, UH assistant athletics director for facilities.

The project will cost $3.5 million and is expected to last nine months.

It will be nothing new for the men's team, which did not have a home match in two of Schwitters' final three seasons because of unsafe conditions. Schwitters announced his retirement before last season, his 38th with the school.

Rainbow Wahine tennis coach Carolyn Katayama hopes to play her matches next season at the new Central O'ahu Regional Park. It is a commuting nightmare, but beats the embarrassment of what coaches and players have sadly called home the past several years.

The UH complex next to the parking structure in the quarry has a natural spring below. The water rose, causing perpetual cracks and problems, treated by interim repairs over the years. For the past three years, most of the courts were not safe, let alone at Division I standards.

The old courts will be torn out and drainage put in. All 12 courts, set in banks of two, will have new lights and be enclosed to keep unauthorized users out. The facility is open only to students, faculty and staff, but could be available for outside play by request and at a cost, to help maintain the courts. The school hopes to finally host its first camps and clinics.

"Hopefully we can set up programs to generate some revenue to make it partially self-supporting," Katayama says. "We have to maintain it, that's the big part. We have to re-surface every three to five years. If we keep them up, then they will last a long time.

"It's been kind of embarrassing to bring teams in. That's why we didn't play there this season. I was tired of apologizing."

The new courts will be moved closer to the parking structure, allowing space for bleachers for 200 to 400 by the center courts. Entry will be on the Cooke Field side by the old batting cages.

The money is coming from the university's Repair and Maintenance Fund so no "new" structures are allowed. The complex does not have rest rooms, offices or locker rooms. Those are in future plans along with storage.


More than 70 applied for the position of UH men's tennis coach. The school has cut the list down to three, who will be brought in from the Mainland for interviews.

The pay range is $33,000 to $55,572. The new hire will be the program's first full-time coach. UH athletics director Herman Frazier says he hopes to announce the new coach by July 1.