The Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame Mourns the Loss of Bernard "Tut" Bartzen
July 11, 2019
The Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame mourns the loss of 1982 inductee Bernard "Tut" Bartzen who passed away July 10, 2019 at the age of 91.
Bernard “Tut” Bartzen was born in 1927 in Austin. He began playing tennis when he was 10 years old in San Angelo under all-time great coach, George Richey. Bartzen won the 1943 and 1944 state high school singles titles and the 1942 doubles title while playing for San Angelo High School. He played collegiate tennis at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he had a 50-0 singles record and won the NCAA doubles title his senior year. As team captain, he led the team to two NCAA titles.
Following his collegiate career, Bartzen broke into the top 10 in the USTA rankings and remained there for nine consecutive years (1953-1961). His wins included the Men’s National Clay Court Championship four times. Bartzen reached the semifinals of the U.S. National Championships in 1959 and the quarterfinals in 1955. He also won the Canadian National title in 1954. Representing the USA in Davis Cup competition, Bartzen went undefeated in 15 straight matches. He acted as the co-captain of the 1959 and 1960 Davis Cup Teams. Bartzen had many notable wins, including over Rod Laver, Rafael Osuna, Tony Trabert, Roy Emerson, Barry McKay, Vic Seixas and Dick Savitt.
After his playing career, Bartzen served 12 years as head tennis pro at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, where he hosted the Colonial National Invitational Tournament and built a tennis program for both juniors and adults that served as a model for other prominent clubs.
In 1974, TCU asked him to become its first full-time head varsity tennis coach, responsible for both the men's and women's programs. His tennis teams were ranked nationally every year but one in a 20 year stretch. In 1976 he became director of tennis at the Mary Potishman Lard Tennis Center, later renamed Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. He retired in 1998.
During his coaching career, Bartzen was awarded many honors, including the 1997 Rolex Meritorious Service Award from the Intercollegiate Tennis Associations (ITA). He was a member of the inaugural Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Class in 1982 and was elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.