Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center
In keeping with the University of North Carolina athletic department's tradition of offering extraordinary facilities for its student-athletes, the University dedicated a superb indoor/outdoor tennis facility adjacent to the Friday Center on North Carolina 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 on Don Skakle Drive, was dedicated September 12, 1992, with more than 1,000 Carolina tennis enthusiasts in attendance. Paul Hardin, the the chancellor of the University, and then athletic director John Swofford officially dedicated and named the facility that has served as the home of the Tar Heels' men's and women's tennis programs for nearly two decades.
The facility honors Caesar Cone, II, a 1928 alumnus of the University, who played tennis at Carolina and was a tremendous benefactor of the school throughout his life. Cone went on to establish Cone Mills in Greensboro, N.C., one of the most successful textile manufacturing entities in the history of 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 team championships and two Atlantic Coast Conference team championships during his tenure. Kenfield coached the likes of All-Americas Bitsy Grant, Wilmer Hines and Vic Seixas at UNC and his 1948 team finished third in the nation, UNC's highest national finish in history. Kenfield was Carolina's first-ever full-time tennis coach, and he took over the reins of the UNC team in time to coach Caesar 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.
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, Billy Armfield, Kelly Bowles, Herb Browne, Tom Chewning, Jim Corn, Lyons Gray, Kitty Harrison, Katherine Hogan, Paul Hoolahan, Allen Morris, M.W. Peebles, Jr., Moyer Smith, Sue Walsh, Keith Stoneman, John Swofford and Ernie Williamson.
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
• Outdoor seating for 2,000 in the Rauch Family Tennis Stadium
• 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
UNC added a new outdoor, state-of-the-art scoreboard to the facility prior to the 2004 campaign. It is located at the site of courts No. 1, 2 and 3. 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 each fall in addition to the spring dual match schedule.
Beginning in November 1992, the Tar Heels were named the host institution for the ITA Mideast Region Indoor Singles and Doubles Championships, which featured the top men's singles and doubles players from the Mideast Region. Winners of the Mideast Region Championships advance to the ITA national indoor tournaments each year. Carolina hosted that tournament every year from 1992 through 2008, except in 2007. In 2009, the ITA realigned its regions, placing UNC in the Carolinas Region. The Tar Heels hosted the ITA Carolinas Regional in the falls of 2009 and 2010.
The Tar Heels' men's team have hosted NCAA regional tournaments at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in four of the past seven years -- 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008.