Induction Year: 1991
Jim Parker (born 1943) grew up in a tennis family in the Missouri Valley. He came to Texas to play tennis for Rice Institute. He earned a B.A. in political science in 1965 and an M.A. from the University of Texas in 1968. The winner of more than 80 USTA National Championships and 14 ITF World Championships, Parker played the first match of the Open Era at the 1968 U.S. Open. He was the winner of 11 USPTA national championships and was ranked No. 1 in the ITF World Senior Rankings five times. Parker was also a member of World Championship U.S. Dubler, Perry, Austria and Von Cramm Cup teams. In 2003 Parker won a “Gold Slam” by capturing national titles on all four surfaces: hard, clay, indoor and grass.
Parker returned to the Rice campus to coach the men’s tennis team from 1973 to 1976. In 1976, he joined the Houston Racquet Club, serving as head pro until 2006. He was inducted into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 and has remained involved with Rice.
Parker also contributed to tennis off the court, serving on the board of directors of the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame and as president of the USPTA Texas Division. He continues to compete in senior tennis and is the youngest man to reach 100 gold balls for winning Super National tennis tournaments.