Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame Annual Banquet Set for November
August 30, 2019
WACO, TEXAS – The Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame will host its 39th Annual Banquet on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco. The theme of this year’s event is "WCT: A Game Changer". The evening will culminate with the induction of the 2019 Hall of Fame Class. This year’s inductees are Cliff Drysdale, Al Hill, Jr, Harry Parten and Carol Welder.
Self-guided tours of the museum will begin at 5:00 P.M.
Banquet ticket holders are invited to a cocktail reception from 6:00-7:00 P.M. The bar will feature tennis-themed cocktails from sponsor Tito's Homemade Vodka and an assortment of wine and beer.
Banquet and Dinner
The banquet and dinner will take place at 7:00 P.M. Cliff Drysdale, former top-ranked professional tennis player and well-known ESPN tennis announcer, will be the guest speaker.
Banquet tickets are $85 each. A table of eight can be reserved for $650. Tickets can be ordered online.
The official host hotel for this year’s banquet is the Hampton Inn Waco located at 4259 North I-35, Waco, Texas, 76705, 254-412-1999.
Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2019:
Cliff Drysdale is a former championship player and an outspoken and influential leader on issues on and off the court. While a top-ranked professional tennis player in the 1960s and early 1970s, he was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, was in the top 10 six times and won 35 singles titles. Drysdale was one of the “Handsome Eight,” a group of players signed by Lamar Hunt in 1968 to play in the newly formed World Championship Tennis (WCT) series.
Drysdale was instrumental in the founding of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and served as its first president from 1972-1974. During that time, Drysdale moved his family to Lakeway to serve as the touring professional at “The World of Tennis,”a very unique first class tennis facility. He put the facility on the tennis map by hosting resort clinics, professional tournaments and a number of high profile events throughout his tenure.
Drysdale has been an ESPN tennis commentator for more than 40 years, since the network’s very first tennis telecast. He is the founder of Cliff Drysdale Tennis tennis manages 32 tennis related facilities now under the umbrella of Troon golf company. In 1998, he was awarded the USTA William Johnston award for his contributions to men’s tennis. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.
Al Hill, Jr.
Al Hill, Jr (1945-2017) was an entrepreneur, philanthropist, oilman and developer but he will forever be remembered for his involvement in modernizing tennis into the professional circuit we have today. In 1968, Hill co-founded World Championship Tennis (WCT) with his uncle, Lamar Hunt, and promoter Dave Dixon. In the span of one decade, they transformed tennis from an amateur sport into a professional powerhouse watched by millions on network television.
While growing up in Dallas, Hill was one of the top 10 juniors in the nation in both singles and doubles. As an eighth grader at St. Mark's School of Texas, his tennis skills were so good that he was placed on the varsity team where he became an unprecedented 5-year letterman. Trinity University signed him to a tennis scholarship. As a Trinity Tiger, he was a team captain who amassed a singles record of 38-11. Today, varsity home matches are played in Al G. Hill Jr. Tennis Stadium, thanks to a generous donation by Hill in 2011 that helped fund a complete renovation of the varsity tennis courts.
As a highly ranked amateur player, Hill played in many prestigious events, including Wimbledon. He was a member of the United States Junior Davis Cup Team in 1962 and won the 1964 Canadian National Men's Doubles Championship.
Harry Parten is known for his pioneering efforts in the tennis pro business, his thirty-one-year tenure as Director of Tennis at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston and his success in bringing top level professional tennis players to Texas through the River Oaks Tournament.
Parten was a self-taught tennis player who went on to excel on his high school tennis team at W.B. Ray High School in Corpus. He put himself through college on a tennis scholarship at the University of Houston earning a civil engineering degree. After 2 years of engineering, he was offered the position of Director of Tennis at River Oaks Country Club. This career change not only changed his life, but the future of tennis in Texas. His passion for tennis along with his own high standards were responsible for his many achievements in the tennis industry throughout the years
His influence left a lasting impression on many Texas teaching professionals. Parten was a charter member of the Texas Professional Tennis Association (TPTA) where he wrote the constitution and by-laws for the TPTA. He served as president in 1968, vice-president and secretary.
Carol Welder, a native Texan, has dedicated much of her adult life to giving back to the sport of tennis. From 1986-1995, she served as the executive director of the Capital Area Tennis Association (CATA) in Austin where she developed the program and curriculum for National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) and schools. She also established Good Sports, a program about character and courage and developed a six-week curriculum based on trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Since 1983, Welder has served on and chaired many USTA Texas committees. While president of the organization from 2003-2004, Welder led the search and purchase of an office building that resulted in a new home for the USTA Texas Section. She also developed the “Buddy System”, a cooperative working relationship among departments on programming and marketing. Welder has served on the Texas Section Foundation Board and on the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
On the national level, Welder has served on and chaired numerous USTA committees. She was a Director at Large on the USTA board of directors from 2009-2010 and Vice President from 2011-2012.
For her contributions to tennis, Welder was awarded the W. T. Caswell Service Award by USTA Texas in 2005. CATA honored her as the first recipient of the Carol Welder Community Service Award in 2008. In 2012, the USTA awarded her the Barbara Williams Leadership Award.
Welder is an active player, participating in both state and national tournaments. She has been state ranked in various age divisions and captained many league teams.