Serving an Ace for Ole Miss Tennis
Aug. 3, 2017

By Tina Hahn

Fans of Ole Miss Tennis can leave their winter coats at home come January as the Rebels begin competing in a new $11 million indoor facility, which has received a major boost from longtime tennis enthusiasts.

A $300,000 gift from Louis and Lucia Brandt of Houston, Texas, helped jump-start construction on the 52,000-square-foot, two-story building. Located southeast of the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletic Performance Center on Manning Way, the facility will feature six indoor tennis courts for practice and competition, grandstand bleacher seating for 300 spectators, fan amenities and a spacious lobby. 

Former Ole Miss tennis team member and mathematics alumnus Louis Brandt — an Oxford native who practically grew up on campus with his dad, an economics professor — has enjoyed playing tennis for more than seven decades. His previous support of the tennis programs include resources for the Gillom Center, which had indoor courts before the renovation, and the varsity tennis pavilion on Magnolia Drive.

“Athletics has always been part of my life,” Brandt said. “Through college athletics, people are brought back to campus and are able to stay connected. That’s extremely important to a university. The location of the new center is perfect, and the project will be an outstanding addition among Southeastern Conference facilities.

“I love the sport of tennis because it is one you can play all of your life.  It is both physically and mentally challenging, tennis equipment is inexpensive, and there are a lot of courts available, especially in Oxford. In fact, since 2014, there is even a new club in town. I partnered with two others to create The Goose Creek Club, a family-oriented tennis, fitness and swim club offering the only clay courts between Memphis and Jackson.“ 

Keith Carter, senior associate athletics director for development and executive director of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, spoke of Brandt’s “significant, far-reaching impact” on building Ole Miss tennis programs to the level they enjoy today.

“The remarkable achievements for which our tennis programs are now known have been possible because of the generosity of the Brandts and a few other dedicated alumni who understand the investments needed to succeed in our highly-competitive conference,” he said. “This new gift from the Brandts demonstrates a deep commitment to seeing Ole Miss tennis programs thrive in the SEC and on the national stage. We are extremely grateful for their support.” 

Tennis has come a long way since Brandt began playing at 12 years of age, with wooden rackets.

“There was no tennis instruction in Oxford so my friends and I learned by watching the Ole Miss team members who primarily came from towns where they had the luxury of tennis instruction during high school. 

“When I was around 14, I taught myself to string rackets. I purchased equipment from the Sears Roebuck catalog and, after destroying several rackets, became brave enough to put up a sign at the university advertising my services. People responded, and I began to string rackets for college students and eventually for some members of the tennis team.”

Brandt’s love of tennis and his love of Ole Miss combined to inspire his and Lucia’s support of the men’s and women’s programs, both financially and as enthusiastic fans. Brandt says he is “very proud” of the tennis programs, giving former longtime head coach Billy Chadwick the credit for setting a high bar for team success. “His successors are maintaining that level of accomplishment.”

Women’s tennis head coach Mark Beyers expressed his appreciation for the couple’s generosity. 

“It is great to see the Brandts at more home matches now that they are spending additional time in Oxford. Louis has been so wonderful to Ole Miss and specifically to Ole Miss tennis. His support has given our student-athletes an opportunity to practice and compete in some of the best facilities in the country,” Beyers said.

Men’s head coach Toby Hansson agreed, saying, “Louis Brandt is a lifelong supporter of our Ole Miss tennis programs. His commitment has enabled the Rebels to boast one of the nation’s premier indoor tennis facilities. His and Lucia’s dedication to our new facility will help ensure that our student-athletes can continue to successfully train and compete at the highest level.

"We are humbled by his contributions, and both the men’s and women’s programs will feel the impact of his generosity for years to come.”

During his college years, Brandt played varsity tennis along with Phil Berry, Bill Watson, Buddy Williamson and Morris Denton. Brandt’s Ole Miss doubles partner, Denton, is back as an Oxford resident now that he has retired, enabling the two to continue playing tennis together.

Brandt began making gifts to the tennis programs in 1989, and later in 2001, began a 10-year program of providing added compensation for tennis coaches, helping bring their salaries in line with others in the SEC.

The Brandts’ philanthropic gifts permeate every area of Louis’ alma mater; a University of Texas (UT) alumna, Lucia has also become a faithful Ole Miss supporter. While serving as the chair of the University Foundation, Louis played a pivotal role in the foundation’s current facilities when he provided the funds in 1992 to purchase the Memory House from the John Falkner family. After the home underwent extensive renovations, it was renamed Brandt Memory House in his honor in 1995. The facilities are utilized daily for foundation business, university meetings, donor events and university-wide activities. 

Louis Brandt’s business career has been centered in Texas, where he founded and later sold The Brandt Company, which is now a division of a New York Stock Exchange company. He also holds an engineering degree from UT.

For more information about the Forward Together campaign for Ole Miss Athletics, contact Keith Carter at, call 662-915-7159 or visit



    • Kermit Davis Eager To Lead Ole Miss Hoops

      Monday, March 19, 2018 - Men's Basketball

      Kermit Davis walked onto a makeshift stage constructed on the floor of the court he will put a product on next fall as he returned to his home state to be introduced as Ole Miss' next head men's basketball... read more

    • Rebels Smash Trio of Home Runs, Stifle Tennessee Bats In SEC Series Win

      Sunday, March 18, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss. - A heavy dosage of mid-90s fastballs was the remedy for James McArthur's six innings of two-hit baseball in a 5-0, series-clinching win over Tennessee on Sunday afternoon. The junior right-hander worked both sides of the plate,... read more

    • Feigl Continues Dominance as Rebels Even Series

      Saturday, March 17, 2018 - Baseball

      Mike Bianco balked on declaring Brady Feigl's 6.1 inning, nine-strikeout outing on Saturday against Tennessee his best one, but that's mostly because there have been ample to choose from. The junior right-hander has been consistently dominant sandwiched in the... read more

    • Experienced Rebels Ready For SEC Play

      Thursday, March 15, 2018 -

      The 2017 SEC season brought with it some hard lessons and adverse situations for a young Ole Miss ball club. But this time around, a team that ran through its nonconference slate at 17-1 and has consistently shown signs... read more

    • Kermit Davis Poised to Lead Ole Miss Hoops

      Thursday, March 15, 2018 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss officially announced the hiring of Kermit Davis to be the school's next head men's basketball coach. Davis arrives in Oxford after serving as the head coach of Middle Tennessee State for the last 16 seasons. "I'm incredibly honored... read more

    • Rebel Alums: Where are They Now

      Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - Men's Tennis

      96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} In our third installment of... read more

    • Spring Practice Rolls On For Ole Miss

      Wednesday, March 7, 2018 -

      Ole Miss is now knee deep into spring ball and endured its fifth practice on Wednesday afternoon. Head coach Matt Luke says he has been pleased with the development of some the younger players in the early stagesof spring... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Rebel Bats Bury Governors

      Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - Baseball

      Thomas Dillard demolished a pair of fastballs in the second and third innings of Ole Miss' 11-4 win over Austin Peay on Tuesday night and nearly singled handedly gave Houston Roth a 5-1 run lead by collecting those  four... read more

    • Linton Adjusting to New Home in Offensive Backfield

      Friday, March 2, 2018 -

      Armani Linton just wanted to help out any way he could. He wasn't getting as many reps in practice last fall at his natural position of safety and he wanted to do more. "I was sitting around not doing... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Rebels Grind Out Win Over Murray State

      Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - Baseball

      Thomas Dillard turned to Nick Fortes in the dugout in the early innings of Tuesday's game against Murray State with the Rebels trailing 4-0 and had a message for the junior catcher."I told him we were going to win this... read more

    • Luke Discusses 2018 Team as Spring Practice Arrives

      Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - Football

      Watch Press Conference | Press Conference TranscriptPhoto Gallery | 2018 Spring ProspectusThe focus will be on players and not plays, Ole Miss head football coach Matt Luke proclaimed at his Tuesday press conference opening spring football, referring to how valuable the... read more

    • Mike Smith's Rebels Shaped by Coach's Military Background

      Tuesday, February 27, 2018 -

      Mike Smith sits at his desk and stares intently at his computer screen in his office one afternoon in early February. A 2018 season with lofty expectations attached to it is set to begin in Gulf Shores, Alabama in... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Rebs Sweep Green Wave with 6th Inning Deluge

      Sunday, February 25, 2018 - Baseball

      The timely hits just keep coming for No. 9 Ole Miss. A Thomas Dillard walk loaded the bases one at-bat after Ole Miss had chased Tulane starter Keegan Gillies who had turned in six innings of one-run ball scattering four... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Ole Miss Takes Two from Tulane

      Saturday, February 24, 2018 - Baseball

      It was not quite the typical day at the ballpark for No. 9 Ole Miss, but it was certainly an efficient one as the Rebels put two in the win column over Tulane after Friday night's game was postponed in... read more

    • Luke, Players to Appear at SEC Media Days 2018

      Thursday, February 22, 2018 - Football

      The SEC announced its schedule for its annual SEC Media Days which will take place July 16-19 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke and three players that have not yet been... read more




  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago