Dr. Daniel A. Penick
Induction Year: 1981
The “Father of Texas Tennis” Dr. Daniel A. Penick was a major force in the spread and organization of tennis in Texas. Penick discovered the sport in 1891, his senior year at the University of Texas, after already lettering successfully in baseball for three years. After earning a B.A. and M.A. from UT and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, Penick returned to the University in 1899 as an instructor of Latin and Greek. From 1920 to 1955, he was a professor of classical languages at UT and served as assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1928 to 1940.
Penick began his coaching career as a volunteer coach for the UT tennis program in 1908 and held the position until 1957. It wasn’t until 1940 that he finally accepted a small stipend for his coaching. During his time as coach, his men won all ten of the Southwest Conference team titles awarded, took thirty-one of the forty individual doubles championships, and captured twenty-six of the forty individual singles championships. In addition, his team won five national doubles championships and two national singles championships.
Penick was a driving force in the University Interscholastic League, serving as the director of tennis for the league at its introduction and positions thereafter. Penick took over as president of the Southwest Conference in 1923 and helped establish the league as one of the most prestigious in the nation during his 13-year tenure. He was president of the Texas State Lawn Tennis Association (TSLTA) for forty-seven years. Upon his retirement from the TSLTA, Penick was named president emeritus and remained involved in the organization until his death on November 1, 1964 at the age of 95.
Penick with the UT Men's Tennis Team
Penick with Wilmer Allison