The Comerford Pavilion will include top notch locker rooms, coaches offices, recruiting lounge, conference room, viewing deck for supporters, among many other amenities to be announced. It will replace the shed that is currently used by both programs.
In addition to the Pavilion, new NCAA-championship lighting will be installed around Mustang Tennis Complex which will allow the Cal Poly men’s and women’s teams to have matches at night and host NCAA Tournament matches. The hope is that this will also serve the community on an even larger scale, allowing for increased court availability, including the opportunity for wheelchair tennis matches to be played at Mustang Tennis Complex.
“The Comerford Pavilion will be a tremendous home to both the Cal Poly men’s and women’s teams as they continue to gain momentum on a national scale,” said John Ronca, who served as the Chair of the steering committee on the project. “It’s our hope that the facility will be the bridge that connects students, alumni and community supporters to a venue they can take pride in and enjoy together.”
So far, Cal Poly has raised $ 5.5 million of the $ 6.5 million to complete the entire project. The $ 5.5 million that has been donated has come from several generous members of the Cal Poly and Central Coast community whose goals are to see the tennis programs become some of the best in the country.
The lead gift to the project is from Kevin and Carolyn Comerford. Kevin is a Cal Poly alum, and their daughter is currently a sophomore at Cal Poly. Kevin and Carolyn share a passion for tennis and a love for Cal Poly and the tennis programs which is why they decided to support this best in the Big West project.
“Our love for tennis and the excitement around helping build Cal Poly tennis into a top-20 program for both the men and the women (is why we got involved),” Kevin Comerford said. “My wife and I have decided to build a home in San Luis Obispo, and we felt that getting involved with the tennis program would help us get ingrained in the community, inside the university, and at Cal Poly. I have recently gotten to know John Ronca and (Cal Poly men’s tennis assistant coach) Eric Johnsonboth of whom have been instrumental in getting me excited about where the program is headed, which led to our donation. “
In addition to it being a great place that donors and fans will have expanded viewing to watch matches, the Comerford Pavilion will also greatly enhance and help coaches in recruiting. Both men’s head coach Nick Carless and women’s head coach Kat Winterhalter feel having one of the premier facilities on the west coast will help them consistently bring in top recruits and develop players at a high rate.
“I want to thank the Comerford Family, the Ronca Family, the Salmon family, and our alumni and people in our local community for making this project a reality,” Carless said. “As the premier facility in our conference, the Comerford Pavilion will allow both programs to recruit and develop top talent from here in California, across the country and from around the world. This facility will benefit generations of Mustang student-athletes, providing them a home to train and compete in while representing one of the best universities and communities in the entire world. “
“The impact of this new tennis pavilion will be felt for years to come,” Winterhalter said. “The new facility will not only be an amazing recruiting tool for attracting high caliber student-athletes, but it also changes our current student-athletes’ day-to-day experience. For them to have a home base on campus, a locker room of their own, an area to study before and after practices, a place to string racquets and interact with their teammates and coaches, are all invaluable amenities. This area has an incredible tennis community and being able to play in front of that community is an amazing experience for our student-athletes and we look forward to having the community and spectators be able to reap the benefits, too. “
Under Carless over the last decade, Cal Poly men’s tennis has seen tremendous success. He has guided the Mustangs to three Big West Regular Season Championships, two Big West Conference Tournament Championships, and two NCAA Tournament appearances. Under his watch by him, Cal Poly has seen at least two All-Big West Singles First Team selections and one All-Big West Doubles pairing selection in every one of his seasons. They have also been in the national rankings each of the last ten years and have reached the championship match of the Big West Tournament five of the last six years.
On the women’s side, Winterhalter directed Cal Poly to its best season in a decade in 2021. They finished with a record of 14-3, the program’s most wins since 2011 while reaching the championship match of the Big West Tournament for the first time since 2007. The team also ended the season ranked No. 62 in the country. During her tenure di lei, 14 players have earned All-Conference honors.
The goal of the Comerford Pavilion is to help both programs see even more success and help them in their quest for Big West and National Championships while also being a place where fans, alumni, and supporters can gather to watch the programs in a best-in -class tennis facility.
Donations are still needed to help raise the final $ 1 million needed to complete the entire project. Alumni and community members who are inclined to donate should contact Assistant Athletic Director for Development, Jenna Tognazzini by phone at (805) 503-6382 or by email at email@example.com.
For more information about donating to the Comerford Pavilion project, click HERE