The men’s tennis team rode in style Saturday to its match at Texas Tech in Lubbock.
Thanks to a generous donor, the team received a new Mercedes van about two weeks ago to take on road trips for away matches.
Talks about the donation began in late September, and the actual donation was received the first week of January, head tennis coach David Roditi said.
Emblazoned with purple, a horned frog and the TCU logo, a casual bystander might say it screams of TCU pride.
When the doors are opened, premium leather seats come into view. Each seat is individual and upholstered with what seems like the finest, sleekest black leather money can buy. Purple horned frogs are embroidered into the headrest of each seat as well.
The process to get the van began last semester when several team members met with the donor when the team traveled to a tournament in Midland, Tex., Roditi said.
The donor, a TCU graduate, asked the team what it needed because he wanted to get involved with the program, Roditi said.
“Zach Nichols, who is our PR person, he’s great with people,” Roditi said. “He basically got the job done.”
Talks about the donation began in late September, and the actual donation was received the first week of January, Roditi said.
Roditi would not reveal the identity of the donor or the amount of the donation for privacy reasons.
“It’s higher than your typical van and not as high as a private plane,” Roditi joked.
The golf team has a similar van, and that is where the design for the tennis team’s van came about, Roditi said.
The new van has served as a bonding experience for the team. Roditi said he was working on recruiting on his computer during the trip to Lubbock. The players seem to be quite fond of it as well.
Nichols said his favorite feature was a tie between the television and the reclining seats.
The ride back from Lubbock was very comfortable for Nichols since he claimed one of the front reclining seats.
“On the way back, my doubles partner and I won so we got first selection on the seats,” Nichols said.
Those who win get to pick seats first, Nichols said. If more than two people win, then seat selection is based on seniority, so it is a win-win situation for Nichols.
Junior tennis player Paul Chappell said his favorite feature of the van was the spaciousness and the reclining seats.
“Driving six hours in the old, white van was rough on our knees,” Chappell said.
Roditi wanted it to be known that the van was not exclusively just for use by the men’s tennis team. He said the women’s team would be using it as well.
The admission office would also be using the van in the future to take potential students and recruits on tours around campus, Roditi said.
The next road trip will be to the University of Oklahoma on March 20.