The Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame is a non-profit institution dedicated to the collection and preservation of tennis history, particularly in Texas. The goal of the Museum to celebrate and preserve the evolving story of tennis in Texas while providing role models through the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame. We provide a place where every tennis player – from the occasional recreational player to the professional player – can connect with the history of the game and learn about its impact on social and cultural life in Texas and the nation.
The Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame was started by Charlie and Emadele McCleary in 1981. Under the McClearys, the Museum began inducted members to the Hall of Fame and collecting early tennis artifacts.
In the early 1990s, the McClearys collaborated with other state-wide museum boards and built the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Complex near Baylor University. The building was opened in 1993 and the Tennis Museum moved into approximately 2,000 square feet in this complex.
Charlie also arranged for several large object donations to the Museum during this time period, including a donation by Dallas resident Lamar Hunt. The Hunt collection contains photographs, paperwork and artifacts from the World Championship Tennis tournament that was held in Dallas from 1972 to 1989. A part of this substantial collection is currently exhibited.
In 2002, the Museum began educational programming at local schools and creating small traveling exhibits to display at tennis events in Dallas, Houston and elsewhere. Past programs have included essay contents with the Waco Library and Regional Tennis Center, reading programs and guided tours of the Museum. In 2004, the Museum moved the stored collections to a better facility with improved climate control to best preserve the tennis material in its collection.
In 2013, the board of directors entered into a maintenance agreement with the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame team includes a full time executive director, a curator, and a collections manager, as well as other personnel to help manage the tennis space. They also announced that the Museum's board had approved a total redesign and renovation of the 2,000 square foot space. A Capital Campaign was held in 2014 and $500,000 was raised for the renovation. The Museum was closed from June-November 2015 while the space underwent a massive facelift.
In 2016, the board launched a comprehensive strategic planning process designed to lay out a strategic path for TTMHOF’s continued revitalization. That process culminated in a new strategic plan that includes six strategic initiatives. These initiatives are supported by a revised mission and vision that capture the spirit of the Museum's new direction. TTMHOF’s new mission—“to celebrate and preserve the evolving story of tennis in Texas”—is the foundation of all of the institution’s ongoing work. The new vision, for the museum to be —“a recognized destination that inspires a sense of place and history among generations of tennis enthusiasts”—serves as TTMHOF’s collective goal.
July 3, 1981 - Ribbon cutting of the original museum on Jefferson Street in Waco.
1983 Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
Entrance into the Hall of Fame Inductee Gallery at the renovated Museum.
The History of the Museum