The twelve outdoor tennis courts behind the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center have a new name and a new look. The new Cordish Tennis Center was funded as the result of an alumni game played by Jonathan Cordish ’90, who was nationally ranked throughout the course of his Brandeis tennis career and helped the Judges advance to the NCAA Division III National Championships in 1989. During his alumni match two years ago, a fast serve to Cordish hit a crack in the court and careened wildly the wrong way, causing Cordish to mishit his return. He commented that this bad bounce was going to cost him a lot of money — and it did. 

Soon after the match, Cordish and his wife, Melissa Cordish ’90, made a lead gift to establish the Cordish Tennis Center. The project involved a complete overhaul of the outdoor courts and the development of a new outdoor facility. 

This was not the first time that the Cordish’s had donated money to update the Brandeis tennis courts. In 2016, the couple also made the lead gift for a project that refurbished the indoor tennis courts at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. Ben Lamanna, former coach of both men’s and women’s Brandeis tennis teams credits that effort as being a major reason that the team has developed into a bigger threat as an opponent. Last year was the first time that both the Brandeis men’s and women’s teams, had earned Top 10 positions in the NCAA Division III rankings, according to the Brandeis Alumni and Friends News Website. 

The last time the outdoor courts were redone was in 2004, and after weathering the Boston climate for many years, the courts had started to break down. The cracks were starting to affect play, and as a result, the ability of Brandeis to recruit top high school players who wanted to play on high quality courts. The Cordish gift, along with gifts from other alumni, made it possible for a new tennis complex along with a new scoreboard to be built. 

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Activitas, Inc. was responsible for the design, Murray Construction did the excavating and landscaping and Cape and Island Tennis & Track did the courts. In an interview with the Justice, Pauri Pandian, the new head coach of the University men’s and women’s tennis teams, noted that the new outdoor courts have credited excitement among potential new recruits as they have been touring Brandeis, which should help the Brandeis tennis teams develop into a stronger and more dominant team in the NCAA Division III.