Men's Tennis

Shahid and Ann Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex Groundbreaking Ceremony set for Friday, April 20, at 10 a.m.
Shahid and Ann Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex Groundbreaking Ceremony set for Friday, April 20, at 10 a.m.

Dedication Ceremony
Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex Groundbreaking, April 16

Updated Gallery: October 12th
First Buildings are Moved, Construction Begins

Updated Gallery: October 30
Construction Continues

Updated Gallery: November 30
All Buildings Cleared

Updated Gallery: January 18, 2008
Foundations Being Laid Down

Updated Gallery: April 22, 2008
Walls Are Starting to Go Up, Ground Leveled for Foundation to Courts

Updated Gallery: June 11, 2008
Progress Being Made; Ground Leveled for Foundation to Courts

Updated Gallery: July 8, 2008
Court Structures Taking Shape; New Locker Rooms Constructed

Updated Gallery: July 23, 2008
Construction Continues

Updated Gallery: August 15, 2008
Foundations Laid Down

Updated Gallery: Sept. 18, 2008
Progress Continues

Updated Gallery: Oct. 6, 2008
Court Surfaces Laid Out


April 16, 2007

URBANA, Ill. - With small beginnings as a student in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois, Shahid Khan had a vision of more. Starting his career off working for the Flex-N-Gate Corporation in 1970, while a student at the U of I, Khan's vision began to take shape and took flight in 1978 when he left Flex-N-Gate to start a new venture designing and building bumpers with an innovative design.

Khan's innovation, a lightweight, continuous piece of metal with no seams to corrode or rust, soon became the industry design standard. From what started out to be a one-man company, inside one garage through one press operation, turned into the backbone of Khan's lifelong success.

Now the successful entrepreneur, and his wife Ann, are funding a major expansion of the Illinois tennis facilities. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Shahid and Ann Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex will take place on Friday, April 20 at 10 am north of the Atkins Tennis Center. Construction of the outdoor tennis complex will compliment the Atkins Tennis Center, insuring the Illinois men's and women's programs will flourish in one of the best comprehensive facilities in the country.

Ron Guenther, Director of Athletics stated, "Top notch, first class facilities are the foundation for recruiting and retaining world-class coaches and players. We are extremely thankful to the Khan family for their support in helping us enhance our amenities and make our tennis facilities among the best in the country. We also would like to express our thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Josef Lakonishok, Mr. and Mrs. Marc Schwartz and Mr. and Mrs. Thom Zimmerman who also have made significant contributions to assist with this project."

Since his graduation from Illinois, Khan received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in 1999 and has served on both the College of Engineering Board of Visitors and College of Business Advisory Council. Additionally, Khan received an Honorary "I" Award from the Varsity "I" Association in 2006.

While Khan's success was based on his education and background in mechanical and industrial engineering, the chairman of Flex-N-Gate attributes another monumental event as his most prized memory while being a student at the University. "My fondest memory while at Illinois came when I met my future wife, Ann," Shahid Khan said about his time at U of I. Likewise, his achievement of creating a $3 billion global auto parts manufacturer from scratch stands as his most prized accomplishment professionally.

A company that has worldwide influence, Khan took little time in making his decision to return to Champaign-Urbana when he was posed with the chance of purchasing Flex-N-Gate back in the late '70s. To this day, Khan is the sole owner of the corporation that employs over 3,500 associates at 10 manufacturing plains in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Canada and Mexico. Annual sales exceed 500 million.

Keeping the company's headquarters in Champaign-Urbana, Khan has decided to use his success for the benefit of the U of I community. Through their philanthropic efforts, Mr. and Mrs. Khan have supported the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Spurlock Museum and most recently the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics with the gift for the Shahid and Ann Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex addition to the existing Atkins Tennis Center. The complex will include 12 outdoor courts, locker rooms, concession areas, a new pro shop, lighting, and seating for 2,000 spectators.

Upon completion, the University Of Illinois Division Of Intercollegiate Athletics will entertain opportunities to host future NCAA, Big Ten and Illinois High School Athletic Association Championships, as well as other major amateur and professional tennis events.