C.R. “Bob” Mapes
Induction Year: 1994
Bob Mapes (1927-2014) a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, began playing tennis at twelve when, due to an ear infection from swimming, his parents decided to give him tennis lessons instead. At fourteen he began playing local tournaments. He contributed to many wins for Will Rogers High School in Oklahoma and in his senior he reached the finals of the interstate tournament. He played high school tennis for Will Rogers High School and lettered for three years at Baylor University.
In the fall of 1950, Mapes started his coaching career at Beeville, Texas. Early in his career he coached basketball, football and tennis. He coached at Beeville, Mineral Wells, Midland and at Carroll High School.
In 1960 Lloyd Sessions and Howard Butt encouraged him to move to Corpus Christi to become the head pro of the HEB tennis center, which was being built. Bob accepted and coached the Carroll High School tennis team until 1962 when he became pro at HEB and was also asked to coach at the University of Corpus Christi.
Mapes served as the head tennis coach at the University of Corpus Christi (UCC) from 1962 to 1973. He compiled a record of 118-28-2 during that time, building UCC into a national power at the NAIA level, including winning two NAIA singles and doubles national titles. In 1971, the program transitioned to the NCAA Division I level. UCC was ranked inside the top 10 through 1973, when the university discontinued athletics.
Mapes was the head tennis professional at the HEB Tennis Center in Corpus Christi for 32 years. He was instrumental in bringing major college tennis events to Corpus Christi, including the NCAA Championships and the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships. He is credited with developing the “team tennis” format and creating the first ever team tournament, the HEB Collegiate Team Championships.
Mapes has served as President of the Texas Professional Tennis Association in 1970. He was instrumental in bringing the United States Professional Tennis Association’s national convention to Texas in 1971.
Mapes spent fifteen years as a tournament referee and oversaw two NCAA Championships and three USTA/ITA National Small College Championships. In addition to the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, Mapes was inducted into the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.