Dec. 4, 2013
NEW BRAUNFELS – Ron Wesbrooks’ Lamar coaching career may have ended in 1987, but his legacy has stood the test of time as he is set to be inducted into the Texas Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame on Friday.
Wesbrooks, who first set foot on campus as a graduate student in 1969, took over the head coaching role for the university in the fall of 1970 and led to Cardinals to just their second Southland Conference title in 1973. He’d go on to record 198 career victories over 16 years, both marks ranking the most in school history.
“I came here as a graduate student, and I was fortunate enough to stick around,” Wesbrooks said. “Lewis Hilley really put Lamar men’s tennis on the map with the national titles in the NAIA, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time as we moved into Division I. It was a good team when I got here, and I still remember the 1973 team, which had several international players but also three players from Beaumont. It was a really special group.”
Wesbrooks is the first Lamar coach to be inducted into the Texas Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame, and he joins Cathy Beene as the second person with LU ties to be inducted into a hall of fame this year. Following Friday’s ceremony, a plaque bearing Wesbrooks’ name will be on permanent display at Newcombe’s Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels as well as at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.
“It’s really a nice honor, and since I’ve been out of coaching for so long, I was kind of surprised to get the phone call,” Wesbrooks said. “The TTCA is made up of a variety of coaches from both the high school and college levels, and they are very active in trying to educate and promote the value of tennis. It’s a beautiful game that can teach you a lot about life, and this organization shares that belief.”
Since stepping down as LU’s coach in 1987, Wesbrooks has continued to teach at the university, introducing more than 5,000 students to the game over his tenure. He’s also remained very involved with the Beaumont Labor Day Tennis Tournament since 1973 and helped start the Southeast Texas Tennis Association Zone Advancement Tournament, both of which are sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association.
Wesbrooks has remained one of LU’s biggest tennis fans, and he’s a regular at Thompson Family Tennis Center on campus. Earlier this fall, the name of the annual Lamar men’s tennis tournament was changed to the Ron Wesbrooks Invitational in his honor.
The TTCA Hall of Fame induction will take place on Friday evening at 6 p.m. at the T Bar M Resort and Conference Center in New Braunfels.