History of the TTCA

Excerpts from Cattle to Courts reprinted with permission from the author (our own Ken McAllister):

Texas Tennis Coaches Association

The University Interscholastic League (UIL), formed in 1913, first hosted a state boys doubles championship in 1914 followed by boys singles in 1919. Girls singles and doubles were added in 1920. The University of Texas Men’s Tennis Coach, Dr. D. A. Penick, influenced this beginning and was the Director of Tennis for the UIL for over 30 years. As coaches became more expert, play improved and grew during these early years.

At one time known as the Texas High School Tennis Coaches Association, the TTCA began as annual informal meetings of the coaches of the players who made it to the UIL State Tournament in Austin in the spring of each year. Renowned coaches such as Wright Chrane of Pyote, Bill Estes of Crane, and Chuck Avera of Wichita Falls were probable informal Presidents in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. The first formal President was selected in 1963: Hall of Fame Coach Robert Gardner of Rosenburg Lamar Consolidated High School. 

The original purpose of the group was to discuss concerns and ideas for Texas high school tennis. The UIL, under the direction of Athletic Director Dr. Bailey Marshall, designated the TTCA as the official voice of school tennis at the Executive Committee meetings of the UIL in 1963. The focus of TTCA became the task of improving the rules of UIL to benefit tennis. The meetings in Austin quickly began to include all high school coaches for input and action for these improvements. 

As the strength and credibility of the TTCA grew, the mission of the organization expanded to education and improvement of its members. It began by hosting four regional clinics for coaches in 1973. This continued until the leadership hosted a statewide Tennis Coaching Workshop at Newks Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels in January of 1978. This later switched to the now annual date in early December of each year. The success of this has been recognized nationwide and accepted by most school districts in Texas as the approved training for school tennis coaches. Currently, more than 400 coaches attend.

The most notable accomplishment of TTCA began in the 1960’s as experimental programs of high school team tennis leagues: one in Corpus Christi with area high schools, a class 3A district in West Texas with Snyder, Lubbock Dunbar, Brownfield, Lubbock Estacado, and programs in San Antonio and Houston, similar to Corpus Christi’s. Led by Terry Oxford of Alamo Heights, the TTCA began a fall high school Team Tennis competition statewide in 1974 for class 3A and 4A. The program was so successful that, with TTCA lobbying, the UIL added it to its fall events in 1982 for what became 5A. In 1983, 4A was added. The TTCA continued to run a 3A-and-under spring event that continues to this day. Several other state tennis organizations have made efforts to copy Texas’ most successful high school tennis event in the United States. 

The resulting tennis programs for the larger high schools (4A, 5A, 6A) in Texas is a year-round competitive program with UIL Team Tennis in the fall with the subsequent state championships in November and the UIL individual state championships in May. The events for each team match are 6 boys singles, 3 boys doubles, 6 girls singles, 3 girls doubles, and 1 mixed doubles, which means that each team is required to enter 7 boys and 7 girls in a combined team effort. The individual state championship events in the spring are the same 5 events. Texas schools of all sizes have district and regional competitions that qualify for the state championship event.

TTCA Past Presidents 

1963 Robert Gardner   2003-05 Randy Stewart
1964 Bob Clark   2005-08 Steve Bonds
1965 David Kent   2008-10 Tim Calhoun
1966-70 Dalton Hill   2010-12 Ruben Vargas
1971-74 Ken McAllister   2012-14 Daniel Marshall
1975-77 Jerry Franklin   2014-16 Bobby Kleinecke
1977-78 Jerry Dechert   2016-18 Joey Cantu
1978-80 Steve Buck   2018-20 Tyson Stewart
1980-82 Steve Buck      
1982-84 Novice Kniffen      
1984-86 Perry Coursey      
1986-88 Wendell Sadler      
1988-90 Allen Holliday      
1990-93 Paul Smith      
1993-95 Robert Dunivan      
1995-97 Betty Sue Welch      
1997-99 Barry Kniffen      
1999-01 David Mueller      
2001-03 Jim Longbotham      

 

TTCA Executive Directors

 1991-96  Joanne Padgett
 1996-02  Arthur Rosiles
2002-17 Steve Buck
2017-Present Bobby Kleinecke

 

TTCA HISTORY TIMELINE


1914


The University Interscholastic League (UIL) hosted the first boys doubles state championship in 1914, followed by boys singles in 1919, and girls singles and doubles in 1920.

1915

Dr. Daniel A. Penick was the Director of Tennis for the UIL for the first 30+ years.  My notes say He was named director at the time the association was established.

1963

Robert Gardner of Rosenburg Lamar Consolidated High School was elected President at the first formal meeting of the Texas High School Tennis Coaches Association later changed to the Texas Tennis Coaches Association (TTCA).

1967

The UIL officially recognized the TTCA as the official voice for Texas high school tennis. With this responsibility the TTCA meetings began to draw coaches statewide to decide on goals to improve the tennis rules in Texas. 

1969

Double Representation (two singles and two doubles entries, boys and girls) allowed in District.

1974

Double Representation (1st and 2nd Place) advance to Regional and from Regional to State Tournaments. 

1976

Establishment of the TTCA sponsored Texas High School Team Tennis playoffs to a State Championship for AAA and AAAA (later AAAA, AAAAA, and AAAAAA) in the fall and AA and below (now AAA and below) in the spring.

1979

Established a tennis coach’s convention to be held the first weekend in December run by the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch outside of New Braunfels, TX for continuing education of school coaches in Texas

1982

UIL recognizes the success of the Team Tennis tournament and takes took over the event in 1982 for 5A and 1983 for 4A (now 6A and 5A). The TTCA continued to run the AAA (now AAAA) and under until 2015 when the UIL adopted AAAA Team Tennis as one of its sponsored sports leaving AAA and under as a TTCA event.

2003

UIL added Mixed Doubles to District, Regional, and State tournaments as well as Team Tennis making Texas one of the few states to recognize the co-educational nature of its high school tennis programs.

2009

TTCA Board created the position of and hired the first Executive Director Steve Buck to aid the President in the continuity of progress of the Association.

2010

TTCA took financial control and responsibility running the annual Convention within the organization, where over 500 coaches attend annually each December.

2015

Annual Convention was moved from Newcombe Tennis Ranch to Horseshoe Bay Resort outside of Marble Falls where over 500 coaches come annually from across the state to celebrate and educate about school tennis.

2015

The UIL adopted AAAA Team Tennis leaving the AAA and Under as a TTCA event.

Present  The modern TTCA represents the model for school tennis associations in the US and has consistently held onto its three main goals of 1) working with the UIL for positive rule changes, 2) hosting and disseminating education for its members, and 3) running and improving Texas High School Tennis for the tennis kids in Texas. The TTCA has 600+ members.