Birmingham-Southern College to name tennis complex for long-time coach

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern College will honor tennis coach Ann Dielen, who has served at the college for more than three decades, by naming the school's tennis complex after her, college officials announced today.

Dielen has been with the BSC tennis program since it was re-established in 1977; since then, she has guided the Panthers to unprecedented levels, including a record number of national championship appearances. She also serves as BSC's senior women's administrator.

"In her time here, Ann has touched the lives of countless students, both on and off these courts," said BSC's president, Gen. Charles C. Krulak. "We're thrilled to be able to honor her this way."

An official naming ceremony for the Ann Dielen Tennis Complex is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, March 7, followed by both the men's and women's tennis teams hosting Millsaps.

Under Dielen's direction, the women's team participated in the NAIA National Championships every year from the tournament's inception in 1980 until BSC's final NAIA membership season in 2001. No other program can boast this impressive feat. The men's team, which was under Dielen's guidance until she turned it over to former assistant Brian Rahaley, was equally successful, reaching the national tournament 19 of 24 seasons.

"Ann has been incredibly dedicated to Birmingham-Southern College over the past 37 years, and not only has been an outstanding tennis coach, but a wonderful role model for her student athletes," said BSC Athletic Director Joe Dean. "This is a very deserving tribute to her."

She has been past president of the National Tennis Association; was named NAIA District Coach of the Year seven times; was the ITA Women's Tennis Coach of the Year in 1992; and received the USTA Community Service Award in 1997. As of this Feb. 20, her women's coaching record from 1983 stands at 418-199 (.677). Her men's coaching record from 1984 to 2001 is 205-182 (.530).

Dielen has also played for the Alabama Senior Cup team and the Southern Senior Cup team, finishing first in national competition five straight seasons. She won six Doubles National Championships (1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997) with partner Ann Etheredge. They also won the National 40 Clay Court doubles title in 1996 and 1998.