About the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic

For over 70 years, some of the finest tennis players in the world have come to Montgomery in early spring to do battle. How did Montgomery come to host one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country? The answer lies in Montgomery’s “Mr. Tennis”– Jack Bushman.

In 1949, Mr. Bushman, a Montgomery resident, was the President of the Southern Lawn Tennis Association. He wanted to tie-in a world class tennis tournament to the prestigious Blue Gray football classic. He envisioned starting an event similar to the world renowned Sugar Bowl junior tennis tournament that is played in conjunction with the Sugar Bowl football game. However, he decided the tournament should feature top college players rather than juniors.

Mr. Bushman was the captain of his tennis team at Louisiana State University. His memories of the excitement and color of college tennis was no doubt rooted in his decision to feature college players.

For the first 30 years, the Blue Gray tournament was an individual contest rather than the present day team competition. In the beginning, the tournament was held at The Montgomery Country Club. In 1969, the site was moved to Huntingdon College for a few years until it was moved to the present locations of Lagoon Park and O’Connor Tennis Centers.

During this time of individual competition, many of the finest college players in the country came to Montgomery to play the Blue Gray. Many of these players went on to become some of the top professional players in the world. A brief list of names would include: Stan Smith, Tony Trabert, Barry McKay, Chuck McKinley, Charlie Pasarell, Tim and Tom Gullickson, Kevin Curren, Steve Denton and Vince Van Patten.

The tournament continued to bring in top players such as exhibition matches by Pancho Gonzalez, Frankie Parker, Jack Kramer, and Bobby Riggs.

In 1983, Mr. Bushman went to the NCAA Championships and approached top college coaches about the possibility of changing the event to a team competition. The coaches liked the idea of playing in a team tournament to prepare them for the season ending NCAA team championships. Thus, the tournament was reborn as a team event and remains so today.

Since becoming a team sport, the top tennis programs in the country have played the Blue Gray. Storied tennis programs such as USC, Pepperdine, Notre Dame, Harvard, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, as well as our local favorites Alabama and Auburn, have participated.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the Blue Gray is the southern hospitality it offers. Tennis fans across Montgomery open up their homes and keep the players throughout the tournament. Life long friendships have developed between players and host families.

Many of the players from the current era have gone on to great success in the professional ranks. Some of the more notable former Blue Gray players would include Paul Annacone, Mikael Pernfors, Richey Reneberg, Murphy and Luke Jensen, Mali Vai Washington and current stars – Mahesh Bhupathi and James Blake.

In all, there have been seven Grand Slam (Wimbledon, US Open, French Open and Australian Open) single finalists and over thirty Grand Slam double champions that can trace their careers back to Montgomery and the Blue Gray.

It is a unanimous consensus among college coaches that the Blue Gray National Collegiate Tennis Classic is one of the top tennis events in the country. Mr. Bushman’s legacy and his spirit live on in this great sporting event.

Past Champions

Coach John McWilliams Sportsmanship Award

Coach John McWilliams Sportsmanship Award Coach McWilliams' experience as a tennis player led to a lifelong love of the game and a decorated career as a tennis coach and teaching professional. He attended the University of Alabama where he played #1 and served as captain of the varsity tennis team. Coach McWilliams was a strong advocate of sportsmanship above all. Obituary

Year Team Champion MVP Award John McWilliams Sportsmanship Award
2024 Princeton (M)
Alabama (W)
Paul Inchauspe, Princeton (M)
Anne Marie Hiser, Alabama (W)
Ozan Baris, Michigan State (M)
Mariya Polishchuk, Texas Tech (W)
2023 Auburn (M)
Wake Forest (W)
Finn Murgett, Auburn (M)
Casie Wooten, Wake Forest (W)
Jan Galka, Auburn (M)
Rhea Shrivastava, Yale (W)
2022 Middle Tennessee (M)
Oklahoma State (W)
Stepan Holis, Middle Tennessee (M)
Mananchaya Sawangkaew, Oklahoma State (W)
Will Peters, Princeton (M)
Anna Brylin, Wake Forest (W)
2021 No tournament held
2020 Ole Miss (M)
Wake Forest (W)
Nikola Slavic, Ole Miss (M)
Chandler Carter, Wake Forest (W)
Alexey Nesterov, Alabama (M)
Clare McKee, Princeton (W)
2019 Arizona (M)
Oklahoma State (W)
Alejandro Reguant, Arizona (M)
Lisa Marie Rioux, Oklahoma State (W)

Anna Brylin, Wake Forest (W)
2018 Arizona State (M)
Illinois (W)
Michael Geerts, Arizona State (M)
Jaclyn Switkes, Illinois (W)
Luke Gamble, Princeton (M)
Julia O'Loughlin, Denver (W)
2017 Rice (M)
Auburn (W)
Eric Rutledge, Rice (M)
Andie Dikosavljevic, Auburn (W)
Freddy Mesmer, Virginia Tech (M)
Sabrina Federici, Texas Tech (W)
2016 Alabama (M)
Oklahoma State (W)
Arjun Kadhe, Oklahoma State (M)
Vikoriya Lushkova, Oklahoma State (W)
Becker O'Shaughnessey, Alabama (M)
Matea Cutura, Pepperdine (W)
2015 South Florida (M)
Alabama (W)
Roberto Cid, South Florida (M)
Maya Jansen, Alabama (W)
Zack McCourt, Princeton (M)
Gabriela Talaba, Texas Tech (W)
2014 Boise State (M)
Alabama (W)
Brendan McClain, Boise State (M)
Mary Anne Daines, Alabama (W)
Andrew Bettles, Boise State (M)
Natalie Beazant, Rice (W)
2013 Boise State (M)
Virginia (W)
Andrew Bettles, Boise State (M)
Stephanie Nauta, Virginia (W)
Ashok Narayana, Columbia (M)
Caroline Magnusson, Tulane (W)
2012 Mississippi State (M)
Virginia (W)
Artem Ilyushin, Mississippi State (M)
Hana Tomljanovic, Virginia (W)
Damian Hume, Boise St (M)
Alexa Guarachi, Alabama (W)
2011 Pepperdine (M)
Notre Dame (W)
Sebastian Fanselow, Pepperdine (M)
Kristy Frilling, Notre Dame (W)
Tim Puetz, Auburn (M)
Emily Fraser, Virginia (W)
2010 Texas Tech Raony Carvalho, Texas Tech Entire team of Furman
2009 Tennessee John Patrick Smith, Tennessee Saketh Myneni, Alabama
2008 Tulsa Victor Kolik, Tulsa Terence Nugent, Auburn
2007 Notre Dame Stephen Bass, Notre Dame Joseph Jung, Alabama
2006 VCU Arnau Brugues, Tulsa Stephen Bass, Notre Dame
2005 Tulane Ted Angelinos, Tulane
Alberto Sottocorno, Tulane
Jeff Kader, William & Mary
2004 VCU Pedro Nieto, VCU Michael Kogan, Tulane
2003 VCU Martin Ott, VCU Michael Kogan, Tulane
2002 Illinois Javier Taborgia, Notre Dame Amer Delic, Illinois
2001 Notre Dame Peter Luczak, Fresno State Nick Fustar, Fresno State
2000 Illinois/Fresno State
Cary Franklin, Illinois Ryan Boward, North Carolina St
1999 SMU Robert Samuelson, Tulane Cary Franklin, Illinois
1998 Boise State Daniel Merkert, Boise State Jonathan Pastel, Davidson
1997 Mississippi Johan Hede, Mississippi Mitty Arnold, Harvard
1996 Texas Christian David Caldwell, North Carolina Paul Robinson, Texas Christian
1995 Texas Chad Clark, Texas Brint Morrow, North Carolina
1994 Texas Chad Clark, Texas Andy Zurcher, Notre Dame
1993 Notre Dame Roland Thornqvist, North Carolina Will Forsyth, Notre Dame
1992 Mississippi State Jose Noriega, San Diego Roland Thornqvist, North Carolina
1991 Southern California David DiLucia, Notre Dame Byron Black, Southern California
1990 Tennessee Stephane Simian, South Carolina Dan Mattera, San Diego
1989 Alabama Clinton Ferreira, Alabama Ricky Benson, Kentucky
1988 Southern California Robbie Weiss, Pepperdine Malavai Washington, Michigan
1987 Southern California Ricky Leach, Southern California Den Bishop, SMU
1986 SMU Richey Reneburg, SMU Ricky Leach, Southern California
1985 Pepperdine Michael Pernfors, Georgia Ed Nagel, Pepperdine
1984 Auburn Not given Not given
Year Singles Champion Doubles Champion
1978 Waren Eber Insufficient data
1977 Terry Moor Insufficient data
1976 Terry Moor Insufficient data
1975 Butch Walts Insufficient data
1974 Victor Amaya Insufficient data
1973 Raz Reid Tim Vann/George Hardie
1972 Humphrey Hose Tim Vann/George Hardie
1971 Humphrey Hose Pancho Withall/K. McMillan and Andrew Chavez/Roberto Chavez
1970 Peter Vanlingen Marcello Lara/Vicente Zarazua
1969 No tournament held
1968 Joaquin Loyo-Mayo Not held
1967 Mike Belkin Zan Guerry/Dan Bleckinger
1966 Tom Edlefsen Tom Edlefsen/Stan Smith
1965 Bitsy Harrison Sherwood Stewart/Detley Nitsche
1964 Andy Lloyd Andy Llloyd/John Powless
1963 Bill LeNoir Andy Llloyd/Butch Newman
1962 Mike Belkin Cliff Bucholz/Butch Newman
1961 Mike Franks Jerry Moss/Alfonso Ochoa
1960 Crawford Henry Mike Franks/Crawford Henry
1959 Ron Holmberg John Powless/John Skogstad
1958 Gustav Palafox Gustav Palafox/Ron Holmberg
1957 Bill Quiliian Barry McKay/Ronnie Holmberg
1956 Wade Herren Jerry Moss/Whitney Reed
1955 Eddie Moylan Gus Palafox/Orlando Garrido
1954 Allen Morris Ed Rubinoff/Al Harum
1953 Ham Richardson Sidney Schwartz/Don Kaiser
1952 Don Kaiser Wade Herren/Tom Molloy
1951 Jack Tuero Calhoun Dickson/Tom Falkenburg
1950 Ricardo Balbiers Insufficient data
1949 Jack Tuero Insufficient data

Hall of Fame Members

For over 70 years the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic has welcomed talented college tennis athletes to the Capital City. Initially Blue Gray was an individual tournament and grew to become a team tournament currently hosting 8 women’s teams and 8 men’s teams. The Blue Gray committee has witnessed athletes who played in Blue Gray early in their careers go on to expand their tennis careers and achieve honors in their athletic industry. Our consideration extends beyond players to include the coaches who, for some, have been bringing a talented team for over 30 years to play the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic.

2024 Inductee: Tim Puetz - Auburn

Puetz joined the Tigers in the spring of 2008 and quickly climbed the national rankings. In his first season as a Tiger, Puetz put together a team-best record of 18-7, including a 16-6 mark in dual matches, and was named to the All-SEC Second Team and the All-SEC Freshman Team. In 2009, Puetz earned All-America honors after reaching the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship with partner Alexey Tsyrenov, and again the following year after reaching the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Men's Singles Tournament. Puetz was awarded the Sportsmanship Award at the 2011 Blue Gray after leading the Tigers to the championship finals.

2024 Inductee: Erin Routliffe - Alabama

Routliffe played for the Tide from 2013-2018 and helped lead Alabama to a championship at the 2014 Blue Gray. She won the NCAA Doubles as a freshman with Maya Jensen, and the two were named the ITA Women's Doubles Team of the Year. Routliffe was also named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year and First Team All-SEC. In 2015, Routliffe helped Alabama win their second straight Blue Gray championship. Routliffe capped her second season at The Capstone with her second consecutive NCAA Doubles Championship with partner Maya Jansen to become just the third doubles team in the history of NCAA women's tennis to win back-to-back national titles.

Victor Amaya – University of Michigan

The left-handed Amaya's career high ranking of no. 15 in the world, which he attained in June, 1980. Amaya nearly broke the winning streak of tennis legend Bjorn Borg in the first round of the 1978 Wimbledon Championships, with his 135 mph lefty serve he had Borg down 2 sets to 1 before losing 9-8, 1-6, 6-1, 3-6, 3-6.

Paul Annacone – University of Tennessee

Annacone played three years at Tennessee, 1982-84. He was named the Intercollegiate player of the year in 1984, going 51-3 in singles while winning the ITA indoor singles championship that year. He was named all-SEC and all-American all three years of his college career with the 'Vols', amassing a 115-22 career singles record. As a pro, he achieved his career best singles ranking in 1985 of world no. 12. He won 3 singles titles during his career and was a Wimbledon quarterfinalist in 1984. Later, he was the coach of Pete Sampras and Tim Henman.

Bobby Bayliss - Notre Dame

Over the past 40+ years, Bob Bayliss has built a reputation as one of the top collegiate tennis coaches in the country. Few others have turned out so many exceptional players, had such great team success and earned as many honors as Bayliss.

Mike Belkin - University of Miami

Belkin was a two time champion of the Blue Gray in 1962 and 1967. In 1962, at the age 17, he came to Montgomery from his home country of Canada and became the youngest champion in Blue Gray history. At Miami, he was a top ranked collegiate player reaching the finals of 1965 NCAA individual championships, where he lost to Arthur Ashe in three sets. He was the number one player in Canada five times between 1966 and 1972. Belkin won his home country's championship in 1969, 1970 and 1972. In Davis Cup play, he holds a winning record of 18 - 11. He reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 1968. Belkin was inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994.

James Blake – Harvard

Blake was born in Yonkers, New York and played his college tennis at Harvard. He left after one year to turn professional. Blake was inspired to pursue tennis after hearing his role model, Arthur Ashe, speak at the Harlem Junior Tennis Program. At age 21, he became the third African-American man to play the Davis Cup for the United States. He reached a top 20 world ranking before retiring from professional tennis in 2013.

Mahesh Bhupathi – University of Mississippi

From India, Bhupathi led the Rebels to the NCAA Championship team finals in 1995 and won the NCAA Doubles Championship. In 1999, Bhupathi won three doubles titles including the French Open and Wimbledon. He and his partner, Leander Paes reached the finals of all four Grand Slam events, the first time such a feat has been achieved in the Open Era. In 2006, he teamed with Martina Hingis to capture the Australian Open Mixed title. It was the sixth mixed doubles Grand Slam for Bhupathi, and a first for Hingis. By winning the Australian Open, Bhupathi completed a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles.

Andrew Burrow – University of Miami

From South Africa. Andrew completed a 100-win record at Miami in his four years and capped it off in 1987 with the NCAA National Singles Championship while leading the UM Tennis Team to a top eight finish. Burrow is a member of the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame and currently oversees the racquet program at the The Reserve Club in Aiken, South Carolina.

Kevin Curren – University of Texas

Curren played college tennis for the University of Texas and won the NCAA singles title in 1979. In 1984, Curren powered his way through the draw and played Mats Wilander in the final of the Australian, which he lost in four sets. In 1985, Curren reached the final at Wimbledon. En route to the final, he comprehensively defeated future six-time Grand Slam winner, Stefan Edberg in the fourth round, the then-World No. 1 John McEnroe in the quarter-finals, and World No. 3 Jimmy Connors in the semi-finals. In the final he lost in four sets to Boris Becker. Though he never won a Grand Slam singles title, Curren did win four Grand Slam doubles titles. During his career, Curren won five top-level singles titles and 26 doubles titles. His career-high rankings were World No. 5 in singles and World No. 3 in doubles.

Steve Denton – University of Texas

Denton lettered four years at Texas from 1976 to 1979. During his time with the Longhorns, he accumulated an 85-22 singles and tallied a 72-18 doubles. As a pro, he and Kevin Curren captured the US Open doubles title. He also represented the United States in the 1982 and 1983 Davis Cups. During his career, Denton defeated the likes of Boris Becker, John McEnroe and Stan Smith in singles. He was named the 1981 Most Improved Player Award by Tennis Magazine; and in 1982, was named the 1982 recipient of the Sportsmanship Award by the Association of Tennis Professionals. In 1984, he also broke the world record for fastest serve of 138 mph, a record that stood in the Guiness Book of World Records for 13 years. Denton was ranked as high as No. 11 in the world on the ATP Rankings in singles and No. 2 in doubles. He is currently the head coach at Texas A&M CC.

Donald Dell – Yale Universtiy

Dell played his collegiate tennis at Yale where he was a three-time All-American (in 1958, '59 & '60). He reached the NCAA singles finals in 1959 and was a semifinalist in 1960. He played on the U.S. Davis cup team in 1961 and 1963 and was the captain of the winning Cup teams of 1968 and 1969. He was a quarterfinalist at the US Open in 1961.

G. Scott Dillon

Scott has served as the Head Referee for the Blue Gray since 1986, a span of over 30 consecutive years. His tenure at the Blue Gray is truly a remarkable feat of dedication and loyalty. Scott began his love affair with college tennis during his playing days at Drake University. After Drake, he attended graduate school at North Dakota State University where he eventually served as the men’s varsity tennis coach. After 6 years as a college coach and USPTA teaching professional, Scott began a very successful business career in the medical field. Scott held various managerial positions for different healthcare providers. In 2010, this career path led him to start Hospital Physician Advisors, where he continues to serve as the managing partner. Throughout his very busy career, he maintained a commitment to tennis officiating for 36 years. During this time, he served as chair umpire and Deputy Referee for the NCAA National Championships. Additionally, he has dutifully served college tennis as Head Referee for prestigious events such as The National Team Indoor Championships, The All-American Championships, National Indoor Championships, National Clay Court Championships, ACC and SEC Championships. Scott has also officiated on the professional circuit at Indian Wells, Cincinnati, The Trans-American and The US Open. He has been recognized by the USTA as an Umpire Emeritus.

David Dilucia – University of Notre Dame

DiLucia's storied career at Notre Dame - which still stands as the best by any player under head coach Bob Bayliss - saw him ascend to the national #1 rankings in both singles and doubles, earning All-America accolades in singles in 1990, '91, and '92, as well as in doubles in his final two campaigns. He still holds several Irish career records, including those for singles victories (146-33 record), combined singles and doubles wins (219-63), wins at No. 1 singles (90-11), and wins at No. 1 doubles (45-19). DiLucia is the only ND player ever to be ranked #1 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) in singles and is the only Notre Dame player to have won more than 37 singles matches in a season (38-9 in 1988-89 and 46-7 in 1990-91). In his final season, DiLucia turned in an incredible 21-1 mark at No. 1 singles, leading the Irish to the title match of the NCAA Championship. DiLucia recently left his position with the USTA to take over as the personal coach for the world's #1-ranked women's player, Lindsay Davenport.

Patrick DuPre - Stanford

From Anniston, Alabama, DuPre had a very successful junior career, capped in 1972 win he achieved a national ranking of No. 2. In the same year, he won the National Junior Hard Court, Clay Court and Indoor double titles. At Stanford, he was an All-American and led his team to the NCAA championships in 1973 and 1974. As a pro, he was ranked as high as 30 in the world and had wins over such notable players as Lendl, McEnroe, Wilander, Noah, Tanner, Ashe, and Laver. The highlight of his professional career was achieved in 1979 when he reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon.

Ellis Ferreira – University of Alabama

Ferreira played at Alabama ’88-’91 and was a 3-time All-American. As a pro, he achieved a career high world ranking of 2 in doubles and No. 1 as a team with Rick Leach. He captured both the men’s (2000) and mixed (2001) doubles titles at the Australian Open. He was a member of the South African Olympic and Davis Cup Squads.

Peter Fleming – University of Michigan

During the 1980s, Fleming teamed up with fellow American John McEnroe to dominate the men's doubles game. The duo won 57 doubles titles together, including four at Wimbledon (1979, 1981, 1983, and 1984) and three at the U.S.Open (1979, 1981 and 1983). Fleming also played on three American Davis Cup winning teams (1979, 1981 and 1982). Fleming reached the World No. 1 doubles ranking in 1984. His career-high singles ranking was World No. 8 in 1980. Over the course of his career Fleming won three top-level singles titles and 60 doubles titles.

Pancho Gonzalez

Gonzalez was probably as good as anyone who ever played the game, if not better. Gonzales quit school in the 10th grade and joined the Navy in 1945. He was discharged in 1947, and less than a year later became the second youngest player ever to win the national singles title. Two years later, he won the 1949 Wimbledon singles championship. He was renowned for his great rages against opponents, officials, photographers, newsmen and even spectators. However, these fits only served to intensify his own play. "We hoped he wouldn't get upset; it just made him tougher," said Rod Laver of Gonzalez. Gonzales turned professional, joining Jack Kramer on a nationwide tour and consistently beat the best professionals around, including Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Frank Sedgman, Segura, and Tony Trabert. The 6-3" Gonzales was especially noted for his great serve, which was once clocked at 112 mph. His last moment in the spotlight was in the 1969 Wimbledon tournament. The 41-year-old Gonzales beat 25-year-old former Blue Gray great, Charlie Pasarell, in a 112-game match that lasted 5 hours and 12 minutes, the longest in Wimbledon history. The scores were 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, and 11-9. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall Of Fame in 1968.

Alexa Guarachi - Alabama

Alexa Guarachi played at the Univeristy of Alabama where she had an outstanding career. She now plays on the WTA tour, reaching a doubles ranking as high as 11 in the world, with a finals appearance in the French Open and semifinals in the US Open.

Tim Gullikson – Northern Illinois Universtiy

During his career as a tennis player, Tim won 15 top-level doubles titles – 10 of them partnering his identical twin brother Tom. The brothers were runners-up in the men's doubles competition at Wimbledon in 1983. Tim also won a total of four top-level singles titles. His career-high rankings were World No. 15 in singles, 1979, and No. 6 in doubles, 1984. After retiring as a player, Tim turned his talents to coaching. He worked with several stars including Martina Navratilova, Mary Joe Fernandez and Aaron Krickstein. Tim is probably best remembered for his work with Pete Sampras. At the beginning of 1995, Tim was diagnosed with brain tumors. Tim died in May 1996.

Tom Gullikson – Northern Illinois University

In additon to his victories with his brother, Tim, Tom also won the mixed doubles title at the US Open in 1984, partnering with Manuela Maleeva. Tom won one top-level singles title at Newport in 1985. His career-high rankings were World No. 34 in singles and no. 9 in doubles. Tom was the United States Davis Cup Captain from 1994 to 1999. He captained the team that won the Davis Cup in 1995. In 1996, Tom was coach of the US men's Olympic tennis team, and guided Andre Agassi to winning the Olympic Gold Medal in Atlanta.

Wade Herron - Tulane University

Herron, a Birmingham, AL native, played in the first Blue Gray Classic 60 years ago. He won the Blue Gray doubles championships in 1952, and got his named etched on the Blue Gray trophy with the singles championship in 1956. Over his illustrious career, Herren won more than 200 singles and doubles titles including, the SEC #1 singles title while at Tulane University in 1948. During his lifetime, Herron has been able to touch on almost every aspect of the game of tennis from player to publisher to successful court constructor to inventor of tennis products. Since 1959, Herren has been a club tennis director, state and Southern tennis administrator, and the head of Herron's of Birmingham, a company that builds tennis courts. He has been inducted into the Southern Tennis Association Hall of Fame, the Alabama Tennis Association Hall of Fame, and the Birmingham Southern Hall of Fame.

Ron Holmberg - Tulane University

Ron Holmberg was born January 27, 1938 in Brooklyn. He started playing tennis on the public courts and won the first tournament he entered at age 12. This started a love affair with tennis that continues to this day. In 1953, Ron won three out of the four possible U.S. National Junior titles. In 1956, he defeated Rod Laver in the junior finals of Wimbledon to be crowned “World Champion.” He played his collegiate tennis at Tulane University where he was a three-time All-American. Holmberg won the SEC singles championship three times and the NCAA doubles championship twice. Ron played in several Blue Gray events when it was an individual competition (as opposed to today’s team event). He captured back-to-back Blue Gray doubles titles in 1957 and 1958. In 1959, he broke through to win the singles championship. Ron has been selected to be a member of the U.S. Davis Cup Team three times. He was ranked in the “TOP TEN” of U.S. Men’s singles for a remarkable nine years. In 1971, after retiring from professional competition, Ron became the varsity tennis coach at West Point. He remains involved in teaching the great game of tennis to this day and is widely recognized as one of the game's outstanding teachers. Among others, he is in the NCAA Hall-of-Fame and the Eastern Tennis Hall-of-Fame. In 1997, Ron was the recipient of the USPTA “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Stephen Huss – Auburn Universtiy

Huss played at Auburn from 1996-2000 where he achieved All-American honors in doubles in 1998 and in singles in 2000, while playing in NCAA tournament in both of those years. Huss captured the 1999 National Clay Court doubles title (with Tiago Ruffoni) and his 93 career doubles victories is an Auburn school record. As a pro, his highlight was in 2005 when he partnered Wesley Moodie (former Blue Gray star) to capture the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon.

Luke and Murphy Jenson – USC and University of Georgia

Luke went to USC and was an All-American in 1985 and in 1987. Murphy went to Georgia and he was an All-American in 1991. On the pro tour, the tennis establishment wasn’t quite ready for the brothers’ arrival in 1993 when, just six months into their professional careers, they pulled off a staggering coup: a French Open doubles win that catapulted them onto the global stage. And, among the raised eyebrows at the chest butts, high fives and self-expression of this new breed of rock ‘n’ roll tennis, the brothers built themselves a loyal following that persists to this day.

Jack Kramer

Kramer grew up in the Los Angeles area. He achieved international notice in 1939 as a teenager when he was selected to play doubles, alongside Joe Hunt, for the U.S. in the Davis Cup finale against Australia. At 18, Kramer was the youngest to play in the Cup title round. In 1940, Davis Cup Captain, Walter Pate, decided to let Ted Schroeder and Kramer do it all, controversial until the pals paralyzed the favored Aussies on opening day. Schroeder won in five over John Bromwich and Kramer nailed Dinny Pails, 8-6, 6-2, 9-7. Together they grabbed the Cup by flattening the team that had beaten Hunt and Kramer in '39. Because of the war, Kramer missed three years of tennis. He returned to the game with a vengeance taking the US title in Forrest Hills in 1946 and 1947. He also took the Wimbledon title in 1947, a tournament where he also won the doubles crown in ’46 and ’47. One of the shrewdest operators in tennis, Kramer was looked to for advice when the open era began in 1968. In 1972 he was instrumental in forming the Association of Tennis Pros, the male players' union, and was its first executive director. Kramer, winner of 13 U.S. singles and doubles titles, was named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1968.

Rich Leach – University of Southern California

Leach became the first four-time Division 1 All American in singles and doubles at USC, where he played for his father, Dick, and won the NCAA doubles title in 1986 and 1987. As a professional, he became a doubles specialist, and won 5 Grand Slam men's doubles titles (3 Australian Open, 1 Wimbledon, and 1 USOpen), and 4 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles (2 Australian Open, 1 Wimbledon, 1 US Open). Leach reached the World No. 1 doubles ranking in 1990. Leach was a member of the US team which won the Davis Cup in 1990. Partnering Jim Pugh, he won the doubles rubbers in all four of the rounds which the US played in that year, and clinched the team's victory in the final with a win over Pat Cash and John Fitzgerald of Australia.

Dani Leal – Pepperdine / Auburn University Montgomery

Leal played for Pepperdine University for three years where he was a two-time All-American. He earned a top 10 National singles ranking in NCAA and led his team to runner up in the NCAA competition. In 1999, Dani went back to AUM to finish his degree and play tennis. At AUM, he again led his team to a #2 National ranking. Leal was a finalist in doubles at the Nationals and made it to the round of 16 in singles, earning him All-American status once again. He played professional tennis for three years where he reached top 200 in the world. He is currently the Director of Tennis for Wynlakes Golf and Country Club, a long time Blue Gray sponsor.

Peter Luczak – Fresno State University

A Fresno State from 1998-2001, Luczak went 27-0 in his senior season . He was named the 2001 Ted A. Farnsworth/ITA National Senior Player of the Year. Luczak holds the Fresno State record for most career singles wins. He is currently ranked 63 in the world.

Barry MacKay - University of Michigan

MacKay was the first Big Ten player to win the NCAA tennis singles title in 1957. As a professional, MacKay enjoyed a 20-year career as both a top amateur and a professional tennis player, punctuated with five U.S. Davis Cup appearances (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960), the No. 1 U.S. ranking in 1960. Barry MacKay now provides color commentary, play-by-play and lead analysis for The Tennis Channel's coverage of the top tennis tournaments in the world. MacKay is an accomplished, versatile broadcaster with 30 years of experience off the court that has teamed him with Arthur Ashe, Bud Collins, Beth Herr, Leif Shiras, among others, and made him the voice U.S. fans tuned to for events such as the US Open, Wimbledon and ATP tennis.

Chuck McKinley - Trinity University

McKinley was a short, stubby Missourian. At the YMCA in St. Louis, he was a star in ping-pong and tennis. While at Trinity, he was favored to win the U.S. Intercollegiate title in 1963. However, he obtained permission from the college president to go for the larger prize, Wimbledon. Seeded fourth, McKinley went through the draw without losing a set to take the title. Later, McKinley was more intent on getting a college degree and establishing himself in business than having a long career in tennis. McKinley resisted professional offers, and his career was relatively brief. He was ranked seven successive years in the U.S. Top Ten from 1960, No. 1 in 1962 and 1963, and four times in the World Top Ten from 1961, No. 2 in 1963. The great McKinley died tragically of a brain tumor shortly after learning, in 1986, that he had been named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Wesley Moodie – Auburn University Montgomery / Boise State University

Moodie played two years at AUM from 1997-98 before transferring to Boise State, where he played for two years from 1999-2000. He earned collegiate All-American honors all four years of college - twice at each school... Led Boise State to Big West conference title and finished No. 4 in doubles rankings in 1999 as a junior and reached the NCAA semifinals. Moodie teamed with Stephen Huss (former Auburn and Blue Gray star) in 2005 to capture the doubles title at Wimbledon.

Frankie Parker

Parker was a marvelous groundstroker, particularly on the backhand side, and a paragon of durability. He was ranked in the U.S. Top 10, 17 straight years (1933-49), a male record until Jimmy Connors surpassed it in 1988. He was ranked number one in the United States in 1933, 1944 and 1945. He was the oldest ever to play in the US Open at 52 in 1968. He entered in 1968 for fun, this man who had teamed with Don Budge and Gene Mako to win the Davis Cup for the U.S. in 1937, saying he wanted to be part of yet another era, the "open." He lost his first match to eventual champion, Arthur Ashe, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. This completed a championship career that began with a third-round defeat in 1932. In between, Sgt. Parker won the U.S. title on his 13th try in 1944, again in 1945, both while on leave from the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. Parker won 12 of 14 Davis Cup matches. In 1948 he won both singles in the successful defense against Australia. He was ranked in the World Top 10 six times between 1937 and 1949, and no. 1 in 1948. He entered the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1966.

Charlie Pasarell - UCLA

Pasarell was a three time All American at UCLA in 1963,1964 and 1966. He was the roommate of Arthur Ashe while at UCLA. Despite being the number-one-ranked American in 1967 and a world-class player for 15 years, Pasarell is far better known for one loss than any of his many victories. At Wimbledon in 1969 in his prime at 25, Pasarell was matched against 41 year old great - Pancho Gonzalez. The match became the longest in Wimbledon history, played over two days, the 5-hour, 12-minute struggle was won by Gonzalez, 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9.

Greg Patton – Boise State University

Boise State men’s tennis has become a familiar player on the national collegiate tennis scene thanks in large part to head coach Greg Patton, who is in his 22nd season overall at the helm of the program and 16th since he returned in 2003 after a short four year break to work with USA Tennis. During Patton’s tenure he has led Boise State to 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, 14 conference tournament titles in four different leagues and an overall record of 448-199.

Patton has put together an impressive 799-392 career record over 37 years as a collegiate head coach, which currently ranks him first nationally for most wins by an active NCAA Division I men’s tennis coach and fourth all-time.

During Patton’s 21-year tenure with the Broncos he has coached five players to All-America status, including Luke Shields twice in singles (2005 and 2007) and once in doubles (2005), Thomas Schoeck in doubles (2005) with Shields, Guillame Bouvier in singles (2004), as well as the doubles team of Ernesto Diaz and Albin Polonyi (1996). In addition, he has coached six conference players of the year: Ernesto Diaz (Big Sky 1996 and Big West 1997), Luke Shields (WAC 2007), Clancy Shields (WAC 2009), James Meredith (WAC 2010) and Andy Bettles (MW 2013). He has also coached five conference freshman of the year, while 44 of his players have combined for 113 all-conference honors (81 first team and 32 second team).

While successfully leading the Bronco program, Patton has captured many individual honors including being inducted into four different hall of fames: UC Irvine Athletic Hall of Fame (2000), Boise State University Athletic Hall of Fame (2001), Idaho Tennis Association Hall of Fame (2013) and USTA Intermountain Region Hall of Fame (2015). He has been named the NCAA National Coach of the Year (1997), USPTA College Tennis Coach of the Year (2013), Intercollegiate Tennis Association Region Coach of the Year five times (1994, 1997, 2004, 2012, 2014) and a conference coach of the year 10 times spanning four leagues: Mountain West (2012), Western Athletic Conference (2005-07 and 2009), Big West (1997) and Big Sky (1993-96). In addition he has received the USTA Intermountain Tennis Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2013), Keys to the City of Boise (2013) and the USTA/NCAA National Community Service Award twice (1997 and 2003).

John Peers - Middle Tennessee State

John Peers played at Middle Tennessee State, ending his senior year at Baylor University. He is an incredibly successful doubles player on the ATP tour, with a career high ranking of No. 2 in the world. He won the bronze medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in mixed doubles. He has won the US Open, Australian Open, and has reached the finals and semis of the French Open and Wimbledon.

Mikael Pernfors – University of Georgia

At Georgia, Pernfors became the first player since Dennis Ralston ( a former Blue Gray coach) to win back-to-back NCAA singles titles in 1984 and 1985. One of the most memorably matches in Blue Gray history was the 1984 battle between Pernfors and Annacone of Tennessee, which Pernfors one in three exciting sets. As a pro, Pernfors reached his first (and only) Grand Slam singles final in 1986 at the French Open. He defeated Boris Becker in the quarter-finals and Henri Leconte in the semi-finals. In the final, he fell to World No. 1 Ivan Lendl. Pernfors retired from the professional tour in 1996 after a career in which he won three top-level singles and one doubles title. His career-high singles ranking was world no.10 in 1986.

Richie Reneberg – Southern Methodist University

Reneberg was a three-time All-America (1985-87) at SMU. He reached the 1986 NCAA singles finals. As a pro, he was the ATP Newcomer of the Year in 1987. He was ranked as high as no. 1 in the world in doubles. He partnered with Jim Grabb to capture the 1992 US Open doubles title. He and Grabb also reached the Wimbledon finals in that same year. He played on the United States Davis Cup team and compiled a 6-3 career Davis Cup record (5-3 in doubles). He also played in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Ham Richardson – Tulane University

During his days as a member of the Tulane tennis team from 1952-55, Ham Richardson won a pair of NCAA singles titles and four SEC singles and doubles titles while maintaining a 3.92 grade point average. In 1954 while at Tulane, Richardson was honored as one of America's Ten Most Outstanding Young Men and he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1955. He was a member of seven United States Davis Cup teams; Richardson twice served as the Davis Cup Captain and compiled a record of 20-2 while representing the U.S. His victories included a win in the decisive doubles match in the U.S. victory over Australia in the Davis Cup finals in 1958. The top-ranked American tennis player in 1956 and 1958, he also won the U.S. Doubles Championship in 1958.

Bobby Riggs

Riggs first began to make tennis progress at the age of 12, when Dr. Esther Bartosh saw him hitting balls and took over his instruction. In 1934, at 16, he beat Frank Shields, a finalist at Wimbledon and Forest Hills. Two years later Riggs was ranked No. 4 in the country, and he was second to Don Budge in 1937. Riggs had the best record in the world in 1939. In that year, he took triple crown (singles, doubles and mixed) at Wimbledon, and later added the U.S. Championships. In 1942 he lost in the finals of the U.S. Pro Championships to Budge. But the next time they met was after World War II, in 1946, and this time Riggs beat Budge in the U.S. Pro final at Forest Hills. They went on tour and Riggs won 24 matches to 22 for Budge. Again in 1947 they met in the final of the Pro Championships and Riggs won in five long sets. Years later, in 1973, after fading into virtual obscurity as a senior player who would make a bet on the drop of a hat, Riggs was back, taking on first Margaret Court and then Billie Jean King in the Battle of the Sexes. He defeated Court, but King made him look old and slow in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, win before a record tennis crowd of 30,472, at Houston's Astrodome. He made the World Top Ten, 1937, 1938, and was world no. 1 in 1939. He was named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967.

Paul Scarpa - Furman University

On March 6, 2009, Furman coach Paul Scarpa etched his name in the college tennis history books when he became the sport's winningest coach in NCAA Division I history as he picked up his 820th victory in Furman's 6-1 win over Yale. Coach Scarpa has lead his team to 17 Southern Conference Championships. While Scarpa's influence has left its mark at Furman and in South Carolina, it has also been felt at the national level. In 1993, the NCAA began utilizing a new dual match scoring system - known simply as the Scarpa System, the format specifies that all matches begin with doubles play featuring eight-game pro sets playing for one team doubles point - it is the system used in college play today. Along the way, Coach Scarpa has positively affected thousands of young people through his coaching, camps and mentoring. He was a reputation of taking good tennis players and making them great. Coach Scarpa was a fine college player for Florida State where he won the CAA Eastern Intercollegiates. Long after his college career, he was a quarterfinalist at the National 35s clay-court championships. Coach Scarpa has also been inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, the USTA Southern Tennis Hall-of-Fame, and the Furman Hall-of-Fame.

Vic Seixas – University of North Carolina

Elias Victor Seixas, Jr., born August 30, 1923, in Philadelphia, played the U.S. Championships at Forest Hills a record 28 times between 1940 and 1969, winning the singles in 1954 over Rex Hartwig, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. He played more Davis Cup matches than any other American, until John McEnroe, winning 38 of 55 singles and doubles encounters during his seven years on the team between 1951 and 1957. Thirteen times he was ranked in the Top Ten in the U.S. between 1942 and 1966, setting an American longevity record of a 24-year span between his first and last entries (later equaled by Pancho Gonzalez, 1948-72). In 1953, when Seixas won the Wimbledon singles over Kurt Nielsen and led the U.S. to the Davis Cup Final, he was considered No. 3 in the amateur world, his high point. Although he helped the U.S. attain the finale every year he played Davis Cup, the team could win only once, the high spot of 1954 when he and former Blue Gray star, Tony Trabert were victorious. Seixas won 15 major titles in singles, doubles and mixed, setting a Wimbledon record by winning the mixed four successive years, 1953, 1954, 1955 with Doris Hart, and 1956 with Shirley Fry. In 1997, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Bryan Shelton – Georgia Tech

From Huntsville, Al, Shelton earned all-ACC honors in each of his four seasons from 1985-88 and garnered All-America honors in 1988. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1988 NCAA Singles Championship, falling to eventual champion and former Blue Gray star, Robbie Weiss. As a pro, he was a six-time Wimbledon participant; Shelton's top victory in the prestigious tournament came in 1994 against second-seeded Michael Stich in the first round en route to a berth in the quarterfinals. After retiring from the tour, Shelton coached MaliVai Washington, a 1996 Wimbledon finalist, until being named a USTA National Coach. He is presently the head women’s coach at Tech.

Tim Siegel - Texas Tech

Siegel played collegiate tennis for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1983–1986. He was named an All-American in 1985 and 1986 and a three-time SWC singles champion. During the 1984 season, Siegel helped lead the Razorbacks to the program's third SWC championship.

Following his time playing for the Razorbacks, Siegel went on to play professionally. He reached a top 100 world ranking in doubles, the quarterfinals at the U.S. Clay Court Championships, and semifinals in Brisbane, Bologna and Florence. Siegel also reached the third round of doubles at the US Open, Australian Open and the second round of Wimbledon.

Siegel was hired for the head coaching position for the Texas Tech Red Raiders men's tennis team for the start of the 1992 season. In 2005, Siegel was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year after winning a school record 25 games and finishing second in regular season conference play. Siegel received the award again in 2008 after posting the program's only second 20-win season in Big 12 play.

In 2015, Siegel's son, Luke, was injured in a golf cart accident and suffered head and chest trauma which led to TBI and anoxic brain injury. The Siegel family formed the Team Luke Foundation to benefit families with children suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

Stan Smith – University of Southern California

Smith was an All-American player at USC winning the U.S Intercollegiate singles in 1968 and doubles with Bob Lutz in 1967 and 1968. After graduating, Smith began his impressive record with an 11 year career in the Davis Cup beginning in 1968. During this 11 year span he had 24 matches (winning 22) and went home with seven Davis Cup victories. Smith won 39 singles titles and 61 doubles crowns in his pro career. Together, he and Lutz won the U.S. Doubles Championships four times and the Australian Doubles Championships once. They are the only doubles team in tennis history to win U.S national titles on grass, clay, hard-court and indoor surfaces. Smith’s crowning achievements include being ranked among the U.S top ten tennis players 11 times between 1967 and 1980 and, including No.1 four of those years. He was on the world’s Top 10 list, six times in a row and was No.1 in 1971 and 1972 after winning at U.S Open and Wimbledon. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.

Jack Tuero – Tulane

Jack Tuero won the very first Blue Gray Singles Championship in 1949. That same year, he went on to win the SEC singles championships, and the NCAA singles championships. He repeated as Champion of the Blue Gray in 1951. His 1951 Blue Gray win was over Tony Trabert, a five-time grand slam singles champion. As a junior, Jack was the number one ranked player in the south, and number 2 in the United States. Other notable achievements include: SEC singles champion 1947, 1948 and 1949 / SEC doubles champion 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950. He was also Runner-up at the 1945 US Open doubles championships. He was born to an athletic family. His father, Oscar Tuero, was a famous baseball player from Cuba that pitched in the major leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals. Jack settled in Beverly Hills, CA where he was a successful teaching pro. His 2004 obituary stated, "The thing that made Jack a genuine champion was his magnificent heart, his genuine joy, his laughter, his sense of humor, and his boundless generosity." By all accounts, Jack Tuero was highly respected, greatly admired and well-liked by players, coaches and officials throughout the United States.

MaliVai Washington – University of Michigan

Washington was Big Ten Player of the year in 1989. After a successful college career, he went on to become ranked as high as no. 11 in the world as a professional. He won four career singles titles and reached the singles final of Wimbledon in 1996. As a Davis Cup player, he compiled a record of 3-2. He was also a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. Washington has victories over such notable players as Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Jimmy Connors and Michael Chang. He currently serves as a tennis commentator for ESPN.

Tim Wilkinson – "Doctor Dirt"

Wilkison was the #1 ranked junior in the United States and went on to play professional tennis for over 25 years. Tim won 6 singles titles and 9 doubles championships. He is best known for his diving volleys at Wimbledon that earned him the nickname – “Dr. Dirt”. In his playing career Tim has victories over Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Roscoe Tanner, Guilermo Vilas, Yannick Noah, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.

Tony Trabert – University of Cincinnati

Trabert was a standout athlete at Cincinnati. In addition to tennis, he was a starter on the basketball team. In 1951, he captured the Intercollegiate (now knows as the NCAA) singles championship. Trabert's record in 1955 was one of the greatest ever by an American tennis player. He won the three most prestigious tournaments in amateur tennis - the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open championships - en route to being ranked "World No. 1" for the year. Only Grand Slam winners Don Budge and Rod Laver and have ever achieved the same feat. Trabert's own chance at a Grand Slam was stopped with a loss in the semi-finals at the Australian Open. Trabert won 18 tournaments in 1955, compiling a match record of 106 wins to 7 losses. An extremely athletic right-hander who mostly played a serve and volley game, Trabert also won the French singles in 1954 and the U.S. championship in 1953. In fact, he won the only five Grand Slam event finals he appeared in. He won the French doubles in 1950, 1954, and 1955. Trabert, along with former Blue Gray star, Vic Seixas, was an American Davis Cup team mainstay during the early 1950s, during which time the Americans reached the finals 5 times, winning the cup in 1954. Trabert was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1970.

Brian Vahaly – University of Virginia

As a junior, Vahaly captured Easter Bowl 18s title and reached final of Coffee Bowl in Costa Rica in 1997. He achieved a junior ranking of No. 17 in world. While at Virginia, from 1998-2001, he earned All-American honors three years and finished as the school's all-time winningest player. In 2001, he reached singles final at NCAA Championships (unseeded), losing to Matias Boeker of Georgia, ending a 20-match winning streak. He finished as the country's No. 1 player in doubles (34-8) and No. 5 in singles (40-6). Vahaly became the school's first tennis All-America in 1999. As a pro, he has been ranked as high as 64 in the world.

Vince Van Patten

Van Patten won the last Blue Gray to be held as an individual competition. As a pro, he was named the ATP Rookie of the Year in 1979 and achieved a No. 26 world ranking. He had a victory over John McEnroe in the finals of a tournament in Japan. He is probably best known as an actor. He is the youngest son of actor Dick Van Patten. Through the 1990s he guest-starred in over three dozen classic television series including Bonanza, High Chaparral, Medical Center, Adam 12 and The Coutship of Eddie’s Father. His biggest role was the star of The Bionic Boy.
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