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Medical Mutual of Ohio pledges major gift to enhance CSU tennis facilities

Upgraded tennis facilities to support varsity programs and community wellness

A $1.4 million gift from Cleveland-based Medical Mutual of Ohio to Cleveland State University will allow CSU to create an all-season tennis facility for use by the men’s and women’s varsity tennis teams, the university community and the public.

In recognition of the significance of the contribution, the new facility will be named the Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion. The funds will allow CSU to transform its six existing tennis courts by installing a new, permanent dome, along with mechanical systems to provide heat, air and insulation for year-round play.

“With Medical Mutual we have a partner in promoting the health of our university and community. This generous gift will allow us to provide another avenue for wellness while adding an amenity to downtown Cleveland,” said CSU President Ronald M. Berkman.

Medical Mutual is the largest health insurer headquartered in Ohio, and it has previously partnered with CSU to support internship and scholarship programs. The upgraded tennis courts will be the only indoor facility of its kind in downtown Cleveland and will enable CSU varsity teams to relocate practices and competitions to the CSU campus throughout the year. The university will explore rentals and other programming for community members.

“Our company promotes the vital link between physical activity and the lifelong maintenance of good health, and we recognize Cleveland State’s shared commitment to this through its strong intercollegiate athletics and campus-wide wellness programs,” said Rick Chiricosta, Medical Mutual Chairman, President and CEO. "Medical Mutual and Cleveland State have enjoyed a partnership for 22 years and we are happy to help them achieve success any way we can."

CSU fields varsity men’s and women’s tennis teams that compete in the Division I Horizon League. The sport is a long-standing varsity program at CSU, with history dating back to 1936. Last season the men's team appeared in its seventh straight Horizon League Championship. The women’s team, also a strong force in the Horizon League, last season earned Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Team honors for the eighth time. The teams are led by head coach Brian Etzkin.

“CSU will be the only school in the Horizon League to have an on-campus, indoor tennis facility, which will provide a competitive edge for our varsity teams. The upgrades will improve our ability to train student-athletes and will provide a significant boost to our recruitment of top Ohio, U.S. and International tennis prospects,” said CSU Director of Athletics John Parry.