Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Ken McAllister Becomes New TTMHOF Board President After Longtime Board Member Courtney Henderson Retires
The Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame board of directors recently announced that board president Courtney Henderson has retired from that position.
"On behalf of our entire board of directors, we thank Courtney for his many years of outstanding service," said Secretary-Treasurer Jim Chaffin, "His vast knowledge of tennis history and his dedication to the museum and hall of fame will be missed."
Henderson played college tennis at Stanford University for two years and then played on the All-Army tennis team. As a result of winning the Inter-Service competition, all members of the team were entered in the draw at the U.S. Nationals at Forest Hills. Henderson went on to work for the Crown Zellerbach Paper Corporation. After years in the corporate world, Henderson came to the realization that it was not fulfilling. He left his position at Crown Zellerbach to become the head tennis professional at Canyon Creek Country Club in Richardson in 1970. Henderson later took Jack Turpin’s invitation to be head tennis professional at TBarM Racquet Club in 1974. He was inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.
After retiring from TBarM, Henderson played national senior tennis. He was ranked No. 2 in the nation in Men’s 70s Singles in 2005 and No. 4 nationally with fellow inductee, Lee Hamilton, in Men’s 75s Doubles in 2010. Courtney and Carolyn Henderson won six national 140 husband/wife tournaments in a row in 2009 and 2010. Henderson retired from tournament play in 2012. Since that time, he worked tirelessly with the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame board of directors.
The board has asked Ken McAllister to fill the role of President. The succession plan began informally earlier this year and recently became officially ratified.
McAllister has an impressive list of contributions to Texas tennis. The San Angelo native began coaching high school tennis in Snyder (1964-1970) where his players won three UIL state titles. McAllister later coached at Deer Park High School (1970-1974) where he was an early advocate in the formation of UIL team tennis. He has coached over 30 state and nationally ranked players.
An accomplished player, he has had 35 Texas rankings since 1971, five USTA rankings since 1983 and won the 1988 PTR National 45 Singles Championship. Among his many honors, he was named Texas Pro of the Year twice (1976 and 1980) and has been a USPTA Master Professional since 1987.
McAllister served as Director of Tennis at Walden on Lake Conroe, Montgomery, Lakeside Country Club and Lakeway World of Tennis. He has served as president of the Texas Tennis Coaches Association and the USPTA Texas Division.
In 1991, McAllister became Executive Director for USTA Texas overseeing tennis programs in the Texas section of the USTA. Under McAllister's leadership, the USTA Texas Section's staff and budget and members flourished. After 24 years in that role, McAllister retired in 2015.
McAllister was inducted into the Texas Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000, the Snyder High School Athletic Hall of Honor in 2011, the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Southwestern University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
Recently, McAllister published the book Cattle to Courts, a comprehensive look at how Texas became a leader in America's "Tennis Boom" through national and international events. The book highlights the Texas communities, statewide tennis organizations and people who contributed to the sport's growth.
"Leadership succession is one of the board's most important responsibilities," Chaffin said. "After an extensive evaluation, it was clear that Ken McAllister was the right person for the job.”