Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center
The University of Mississippi’s Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center ranks as one of the nation’s finest collegiate facilities. Located in the heart of campus and surrounded by towering magnolia trees, the tennis center (completed in 1990) underwent dramatic enhancements in 2012, complimenting an already stunning facility.
The $2 million expansion included improving player and coach areas with a new team building for both the men’s and women’s team—with locker rooms and team meeting rooms—while the existing building was renovated to include new offices for both head coaches and assistant coaches as well as visiting lockerrooms and a stringing room. Rooftop pavilions above each team building provide additional viewing for fans to enjoy all the exciting action. Additional renovations included a gameday operations box next to the pavilion between courts two and five.
A new computerized scoreboard and message center was added in 2011 along with smaller scoreboards on each court providing fans point-by-point scoring for all six courts during each match.
The complex combines the Greek revival architecture that is predominant on the Oxford campus, housing a 500-seat stadium. Courtside pavilions provide additional seating for 300, giving fans the opportunity to be right on top of the action. The varsity facility has nine championship courts all with lighting.
The Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center has served as host to SEC Championships, most recently, the 2012 SEC Women’s Tennis Championship. In 2013, the facility will host the SEC Men’s Tennis Championship. Other events at the Tennis Center include Women’s ITA South Regional Championships, the USTA National Interscholastic Championships and numerous NCAA Men’s and Women’s first and second rounds, including in 2012.
Legendary Ole Miss men’s head coach Billy Chadwick, who coached the Rebels for 35 years, steered the development of the center from its inception.
“Our objective was to build a state of the art tennis center that would enhance and compliment the beauty of the campus,” Chadwick said. “With the renovations, it is a showplace for the University.
“When Palmer/Salloum was built, the objective of creating a state-of-the-art tennis center was met. The expansion is a compliment to the existing space and advances our facilities even further.”
“We are thrilled with the additions to the tennis center,” women's head coach Mark Beyers said. “It will enable us to continue attracting the top players in the nation and around the world as we strive to compete for more championships.”
The primary benefactor of the tennis center is John N. Palmer, a 1956 alumnus of Ole Miss, who is currently the U.S. Ambassador to Portugal. He was joined in this effort by Mitchell Salloum Jr., a businessman from Gulfport, who is a 1955 alumnus of the University. The center honors the late Mitchell Salloum, Sr., a 1926 law graduate and a 1960-61 President of the Ole Miss Alumni Association. Additional funds were provided by donations to the Drive for Athletics at Ole Miss. Donors who made significant gifts toward other parts of the stadium include Louis Brandt, Jack Dunbar and William Galtney.
Galtney contributed $1 million to the renovation/expansion, and in recognition of his generous donation, the courts were named the William F. Galtney, Jr., Tennis Courts.
The Ole Miss tennis programs also benefit from the Gillom Sports Center, which opened in 1997. The facility contains three indoor tennis courts, allowing both tennis teams to play all their matches in Oxford.
The outstanding tennis facilities echo the success of the tennis programs and helps them continue their quest for championships. It shows the commitment and dedication the University has made toward these sports.
“We are fortunate to have the support of our athletic department,” Chadwick said. “This total team effort is what has placed our tennis programs at the top of the collegiate world.”