Induction Year: 1996
Leo LaBorde (1918-2012) was born July 7, 1918 in Effie, Lousiana to Oscar and Alice LaBorde. He graduated from Beaumont High School before attending Lamar University. After serving in the Navy during World War II, LaBorde graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1947. He lettered on the tennis team at both schools. LaBorde later earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Houston in 1951. He taught and coached high school tennis in Baytown, where he installed the Baytown Public Schools Tennis Program, which produced 75 district, regional and state titles between 1949 and 1955.
LaBorde was ranked in the top 10 tennis players in Texas from 1941 through 1955 and was selected as the first tennis pro at Dallas Athletic Club Country Club in 1955. From 1956 to 1966, he was the Southern Methodist University tennis coach, where his team was the Southwest Conference Champs in 1960. While in Dallas, he was an organizer of the Dallas Cotton Bowl Indoor Tennis Tournament in 1957 that continues to this day. In 1969, LaBorde moved to Amarillo to teach and coach at Amarillo Junior College until he retired in 1983. LaBorde was inducted into the Texas Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996.
LaBorde was a great ambassador for the sport of tennis during his long career as a coach and teaching professional. He mentored and developed hundreds of junior and college tennis players and contributed tirelessly to the sport he loved so dearly.