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Randy Gregson to Receive Inaugural Dixon Award

June 23, 2005 04:38 PM

By David Phelps
Staff writer,

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame announced that Randy Gregson, former USTA and USTA Southern Section President, has been chosen to receive the first-ever Dave Dixon Leadership Award.

The award is named for the New Orleans businessman known as the "father of the Superdome" for his efforts in both getting the stadium built and landing the Saints.

Dixon, who was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, is also credited with helping to attract events such as the NCAA Final Four and the USA Track and Field Olympic trials.

At a press conference Thursday at the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club, Dixon jokingly referred to it as a memorial award and said that he did not have to look far to find its inaugural recipient.

"They called and asked me to whom would I give the first award, and I said, 'That's very, very easy. It's to my friend Randy Gregson,' " Dixon said.

He pointed to Gregson's contributions to tennis in Louisiana, both on and off the court, in making his decision.

As a player, Gregson won National Clay Court Championships singles and doubles titles in both the 45s and 65s divisions, in addition to a combined 25 Southern Championships in singles and doubles.

Off the court, Gregson, 88, was a member of the United States Tennis Association, the governing body for tennis in America, culminating with his term as president in 1985-86.

Gregson's presidency will be remembered because he barred John McEnroe from Davis Cup competition because of poor sportsmanship. He said that someone should have done it long before he did.

Sportsmanship has always been important to Gregson, and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame executive director Doug Ireland praised him as an ambassador for the state.

"Randy Gregson is a wonderful choice to be the first recipient of this honor," Ireland said in a press release. "He has been an extraordinary representative of Louisiana around the nation and the world in the sport of tennis."

Gregson will receive the award Saturday, June 24 in Natchitoches during the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Also at the inductions ceremonies, Buddy Diliberto will be posthumously presented with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism.




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