VOL. 112 | NO. 85 | Tuesday, May 19, 1998
By LAURIE JOHNSON
for sports academy
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
When Memphis native Tim Dulin opened Dulins Sports Academy in 1991, he wanted to offer young people something he and his friends didnt have while they were growing up.
He wanted to give them the chance to learn the finer points of sports from baseball to soccer to cheerleading from current and former professionals.
With this concept, Dulin apparently has hit a home run with young players and their parents. Demand for the academys various programs, camps and clinics has grown so strong through the years, Dulin said, that he is doubling the size of the academy.
Construction is underway on a 23,000-square-foot addition to Dulins Sports Academy at 7790 Fischer Steel Road in Cordova which will increase its size to 46,000 square feet.
"So many kids want the opportunity to learn from professional instructors in their respective sports," Dulin said. "This will definitely allow us to widen our customer base."
The addition, which Dulin said will represent a multi-million-dollar investment for the academy, will include 10,000 square feet of cheerleader training space including a competition-grade floor and gymnastics equipment; 2,000 square feet of strength training and conditioning space with free weights and other weight-training machines; and two soccer arenas, a running track, batting cages, party rooms and a dance hall.
The new wing also will have a spectator viewing area above the soccer fields, Dulin said.
A building permit valued at $100,000 for footing and foundation work has been issued by Shelby County Code Enforcement. Smith-Doyle Contractors Inc. is the general contractor for the project, which is expected to be finished in September.
The new wing was designed by Memphis architect Brady Moore. SouthTrust Bank is providing financing for the project.
Dulin, who played baseball for the University of Memphis and professionally with the Baltimore Orioles, first opened the sports academy in a 4,000-square-foot warehouse on Macon Road.
Dulin moved the academy to its present location in 1994, and since then, annual attendance at the facility has registered in the thousands.
"We have indoor soccer, cheerleading and baseball training programs," Dulin said. "We teach kids in private lessons and in groups. Teams also come in and use our facility, and we offer camps for kids all over West Tennessee and East Arkansas."
Participants in academy programs range in age from 7 years old to young adults, including college and professional athletes, he said.
Dulin said he opened the academy to give young athletes the opportunity to learn proper techniques from professionals.
"I wanted to give them something we didnt have here when we were growing up," he said. "All of our instructors are either current or former professional players and trainers.
"They teach them the right fundamentals and help instill confidence and discipline they can carry over into their everyday life."
Instructors at the academy include Dave Clark of the Houston Astros and Larry Herndon, a batting instructor for the Detroit Tigers.
Dulin said some of his former students include Jay Hood, a former baseball standout at Germantown High School who now plays for Georgia Tech, and Chris Lotterhos, who now plays baseball for Mississippi State.
Dulin said he plans to expand the academy further during the next three years.
"We have some room left to expand this facility if we need to," he said. "And, we are also looking at going into some other communities in the Mid-South."