Sept. 26, 1997
Sept. 26, 1997
With the first stage of construction completed in 1993, the Scott Speicher Tennis Center at the Donald Loucks Courts opened its gates to the public for the first time at a Children’s Miracle Network charity tournament. Since then, many successful and prestigious tournaments have graced the courts at one of Florida State University’s premier athletic facilities.
At a cost of $1.2 million with another $800,000 for recent additions, Florida State’s Speicher Tennis Center has become an example of the increasing dedication and committment the University has to all of it’s varsity athletic programs.
The Speicher Tennis Center houses 12 lighted hard courts, over 1,000 court level seats, coaching offices, men’s and women’s locker rooms, an equipment and storage rooms and a public address system. The growing pride Florida State has for it’s tennis program and it’s tennis center was amplified just after it’s opening in 1994, when the United States Tennis Association (USTA) awarded the structure it’s “Top Notch” facility award.
The Speicher Tennis Center was named in honor of Lieutenant Commander Michael Scott Speicher, a graduate of Florida State University and the first American casualty during Operation Desert Storm. By presidential directive, the facility bears the name the “Scott Speicher Tennis Center.”
H. Donald Loucks was the program’s first tennis coach and is well known as the pioneer of Florida State tennis. He began his coaching career in 1936 at the University School of Florida State College for Women where he coached all sports. This was the beginning of an association with Florida State which crossed six decades, 1936 – 1980, ending with his retirement as Professor Emeritus of Physical Education. In 1942, while serving as an officer in the Army, Loucks was stationed at West Point where he coached the plebe basketball and tennis teams.
In 1947, Loucks became Florida State’s first basketball coach and a year later was named the schools’ first tennis coach. His tennis team was the first athletic team to have a winning season. The varsity tennis courts were named for him in 1981. He served as Dean of Men from 1957 – 1967 and was known as a servant of leadership, service and devotion to many worthy causes.
The Speicher Tennis Center was designed by EMO/Architects, Inc., a Tallahassee-based architectural firm, in collaboration with Global Consult Group, Inc., an internationally recognized Tennis Facility Design Consultant. The complex was funded by private sources and supervised through the state university system of Florida.
Through it’s short three year existence, the Scott Speicher Tennis Center at the Donald Loucks Courts has served as the home court for all Florida State men’s and women’s home dual matches, the annual Seminole Fall Classics, City of Tallahassee tennis championships, various USTA regional and zone tournaments, the 1994 and 1995 NCAA Men’s regional tournament and the annual Children’s Miracle Network Charity Invitational benefitting Shands Hospital in Gainesville.