Probably the least impressive building on Stanford's 8,200 wooded acres is the dark-green shack that nestles against one end of the concrete tennis stadium. It looks like a place for storing sacks of fertilizer. In fact, it's sort of a honeymoon cottage, the headquarters of two unusual marriages—that of the Stanford men's and women's tennis teams and that of coaches Dick and Anne Gould.
Inside, the shack is cramped and cluttered-with a couple of file cabinets, framed photos and magazine covers of past and present Cardinal stars, two sofas and a coffee table, a pair of desks, videotape machines, cases of tennis balls and a mini-refrigerator.
And trophies, some shiny, some festooned with cobwebs. The two newest are special, because in 1978 the Goulds pulled off a unique husband-wife double by coaching national championship teams in the same season.
It is 8 o'clock on a cool spring morning, and the tennis shack is uninhabited. The Phone-Mate has not yet received any messages. It is between quarters at Stanford, but most of the top players will be here in an hour for the first of the day's two workouts. There is to be no holiday for them.
And no holiday for the Goulds. It drizzled the night before, and they are on the 11 Plexipave courts, wielding squeegees, getting rid of the puddles so that not a second of practice time will be lost. So much for the glamour of coaching college tennis.
Later, when the players go off for lunch and rest, the Goulds will catch up on their paper work, answer the phone messages, perform and check off the tasks they listed the night before. Stanford tennis is just one of their enterprises. They give private lessons, teach phys ed classes in the off-season, run the Stanford Tennis Camp and help select tennis teachers for the Club Med resort chain. If time permits before the start of afternoon practice, they will invade the fridge and consume their standard lunch of Cheddar cheese slices on Triscuits washed down by diet soda.
Things are pretty much the same when school is in session. Although there is just one workout for each team then, there is a heavy schedule of dual matches and tournaments. "We get here pretty early in the morning and leave pretty late," says Dick, 41, who has been married to Anne, 27, for a year and a half. "Lots of times there's weekend stuff, and there are things in the summer, even though our teams aren't here. Basically we're together 24 hours a day."
Stanford's men's and women's programs were joined in 1975, in the sense that Dick was made overall tennis director and the teams began practicing on adjacent courts. Before that, the women worked out on the other side of the campus from the tennis stadium.
"I remember sitting down with Dick when they were going to merge the departments," says Nancy Peterson, Stanford's tennis publicist, "and I asked him how he felt about it, because here he had this domain already built. The first thing he said to me was, 'We're going to do the absolute best that we can.'
"That's not the case every place by any means. I know at some other schools, when I've asked what they're doing in women's sports, they've said, 'As little as possible.' "