Daily Egyptian

SIU women’s tennis dedicates locker room to former coach

By Jesse Robertson

The SIU women’s tennis team’s locker room got a major upgrade thanks to a two-year fundraiser created by a Saluki hall of famer.

The team officially dedicated its new locker room to former SIU coach Judy Auld — who coached women’s tennis for more than 30 years — on Saturday morning.

Auld, who graduated from the university in 1969 as a four-sport athlete, led her teams to a 405-332 record.

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“Personally, I feel very honored and humbled by the locker room being named after me,” Auld said. “It would have been a facility I would have enjoyed having for my student-athletes as they were very deserving of it. It proves the program is moving in the right direction, recognizing the tennis team and treating them as equals with all other programs.”

Retired SIU associate athletic director Charlotte West, left, and former women’s tennis coach Judy Auld cut a ribbon during a locker room dedication ceremony Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at SIU Arena. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

Retired SIU associate athletic director Charlotte West, left, and former women’s tennis coach Judy Auld cut a ribbon during a locker room dedication ceremony Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at SIU Arena. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

The locker room now boasts a new TV, re-fitted lights, doors on lockers, new sofas and a fridge.

“Our new locker room will be a nice showpiece for recruits,” current coach Audra Anderson said. “It will also be a great place for our girls to relax and enjoy having a great student-athlete experience.”

Efforts to renovate the locker room began in 2014 when former associate athletic director Charlotte West decided to honor Auld, one of SIU’s all-time great coaches.

West, a former administrator, teamed up with previous players and community members to raise more than $40,000 for the project, which was finished in March.

Throughout her career, West was a trailblazer for women’s athletics. She served a term as president of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, the top governing body for collegiate women’s sports at the time.

Charlotte West, retired SIU associate athletic director, gives a speech during the women’s tennis locker room dedication to Judy Auld on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at SIU Arena. West served as associate athletic director during Auld’s 30-year career as SIU women’s tennis coach. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

Charlotte West, retired SIU associate athletic director, gives a speech during the women’s tennis locker room dedication to Judy Auld on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at SIU Arena. West served as associate athletic director during Auld’s 30-year career as SIU women’s tennis coach. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

During her time at SIU, Auld posted six 20-win seasons, 32 individual conference champions in singles and doubles and contributed to 44 all-conference honorees. She also won Gateway Coach of the Year in 1988 after her team finished second in the league.

Individual lockers were named after donors who support the program. Auld said she bought two lockers for her and West’s family.

MORE: Both SIU tennis teams to be led by one head coach

More than 45 people were in attendance to see the official ribbon cutting, including athletic alumni, donors and former members of the women’s tennis team.

“I want people to remember her 10 years from now,” West said. “That’s the whole reason I got started.”

Athena Chrysanthou contributed to this report.

Jesse Robertson can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3333.

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