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2007 Southern Tennis Hall of Fame Inductees Named

October 20, 2006 10:39 AM

The USTA Southern Section announced that Cleveland, Tennessee’s Kay McDaniel and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina’s Stan Smith have been selected for induction into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame. The 2007 induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, January 20, 2007 at the Westin in Atlanta, GA.

The first Southern Tennis Hall of Fame class was inducted in 1977.

Kay McDaniel
Kay McDaniel, of Cleveland, TN has had a passion for the game of tennis since she first picked up a racquet at 11 years of age. Her journey began with a racquet bought with green stamps and carried her to # 30 world ranking on the Women’s Professional Tour.

Kay purchased her first tennis racquet by saving green stamps for six months until she had 50 stamp books, which she then traded for a racquet at a local sporting goods store in Shreveport, LA. McDaniel spent countless hours hitting on a brick wall of a library that was located a few blocks from her house before seeking out tennis lessons. Determined to learn the game, Kay approached a local tennis pro but was told to come back in two years when she grew a bit taller. Not deterred, Kay headed back to the trusty wall and two years to the day went back to the tennis pro primed to begin her lessons.

Passion, determination, and hard work proved to be enough to carry McDaniel through a successful junior career in which she secured number one rankings in the USTA Southern 14, 16, and 18 divisions. She took her talents on to Louisiana State University where she played in the number one position for three years and was a three time All-American.

After reaching the semi-finals in singles of the National Collegiate Tournament, Kay decided it was time to turn pro. In her first year on the women’s professional tour, Kay found herself playing at the Wimbledon Championships and finished the year ranked 75th in the world. She went on to compete in six Wimbledon Championships, six U.S. Opens, and three French Opens. Along with winning a singles title in Atlanta and doubles titles in Houston and Las Vegas on the Virginia Slims Tour, McDaniel picked up the award for “Fastest Serve in Women’s Tennis” when she was clocked at 105 mph. McDaniel played in the era of other amazing female players such as Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf. Even competing against the most legendary players in the game, McDaniel reached career high rankings of #30 in singles and #20 in doubles.

Just before she was set to compete in her seventh Wimbledon, Kay had a change of heart and decided that it was time to retire from the tour. Shortly after retirement Kay was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and Addison’s disease. Although these incurable diseases created new obstacles for McDaniel, she
persevered and launched a new career as Assistant Professor of Sport and Human Performance at Lee University.

Her unrelenting spirit proved to be a testimony to her students and she received a nomination to “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” and the “Honor an Educator” award from the International Honor Society for Educators. Serving as the Collegiate Coach for the Lee University tennis team, McDaniel was named the Tennessee-Virginia Athletic Conference “Coach of the Year.” The Louisiana Governor and Council on Physical Fitness and Sport honored McDaniel with an “Outstanding Achievement Award.” The annual “Kay McDaniel Walk for Lupus” was established when university students and community members came together to create the fundraiser in her honor.

Stan Smith
Stan Smith is not only a legend throughout the Southern Section, but is highly touted as one of the best male tennis players to ever play the game. With numerous titles on his resume, Smith’s career has been one for the record books, but perhaps he is best known for his legacy of sportsmanship and dedication to the game.

Smith grew up in Southern California and was a three time All-American at the University of Southern California, winning the U.S Intercollegiate singles in 1968 and doubles with Bob Lutz in 1967 and 1968. After graduating with a finance degree, Smith went on to dominate the professional tour in the early 1970’s. He secured the number one ranking in the world in 1971 and 1972, and was the United States' top ranked player in 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1973. Smith captured the U.S. Open title in 1971 and Wimbledon title in 1972. Partnering once again with Bob Lutz, the pair won four U.S. Open doubles titles, one Australian Open championship, and appeared in eight other grand slam finals. They are the only doubles team in tennis history to win U.S national titles on grass, clay, hard-court and indoor surfaces.

In 1968, Smith began his run representing the United States in the Davis Cup. During this 11 year span he had 24 matches (winning 22) and went home with seven Cup victories. Between 1967 and 1980, Smith found himself ranked among the United States' top ten tennis players 11 times with six of the years being consecutive. Smith won the 35-and older title at Wimbledon in 1984 and 1985, and at the U.S. Open in 1984. He also won the 55-and over title at the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2004.

Stan and his wife, Margie moved to Hilton Head, SC in the late 1970’s and Smith launched into a coaching career. He served as the Director of Coaching for the USTA Player Development Program from 1988 to 1995 where he was involved in the development of players such as Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, Mike & Bob Bryan, Todd Martin, Chanda Rubin, MaliVai Washington and Chris Woodruff. In 2000, Smith was named head coach of the Men’s Olympic team competing in Sydney, Australia. Smith paired with Billy Stearns in 2002 and founded the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy at Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head, SC. The Academy was designed to enhance individual junior player development and prepares junior players for collegiate and professional competition.

Adding to his long list of tennis accomplishments, he is also the name behind Adidas best selling tennis shoe. The “Stan Smith” tennis shoe has gone on to be one of the most popular shoes of all time, selling over 30 million.

Smith was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 1985 and the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.

Founded in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in this country. In addition to owning the US Open and selecting members of the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic teams, the USTA administers a variety of programs nationwide for players of all ages and ability levels and, as a not-for-profit organization, the association invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis. It is divided into 17 sections, of which the USTA Southern Section is the largest. The 168,000 USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up the USTA Southern Section, and account for approximately 25% of the total USTA membership. A professional staff housed in Norcross, GA carries out the USTA Southern Section’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a Board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by the USTA Southern Section visit www.southerntennis.com.

 

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