Aug 29, 2013
WACO - Former Lamar standout Cathy Beene became just the fourth player in school history to earn induction to the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame as announced by the organization on Thursday.
"I think it is a huge honor to get this kind of recognition from my peers," Beene said. "I'm just thankful for all the support from the sacrifices that my family as well as my high school coach and Pat Park, my college coach, made in order for me to be successful. I don't look at this as just an honor for me, but for all the mentors that I've had along the way."
Beene is the first Lady Cardinal to be inducted, joining fellow former LU players Tim Heckler, Leo LaBorde and Sherwood Stewart from the men's team. A Kingsville native, Beene joined with partner Linda Rupert to take home the 1973 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women National Championship en route to earning an All-America nod. She also recorded a pair of Texas AIAW singles titles in 1970 and 1971 as well as Texas AIAW doubles crowns with Rupert in 1972 and 1973.
"Lamar was very instrumental to my success," Beene explained. "At the time, there were no scholarships for women, and it was before Title IX. Pat Park made a lot of sacrifices and went out and raised a lot of money so myself and Linda would be able to travel and qualify for the AIAW events. She did a lot of great things for us."
Following a professional career, Beene coached for three tennis clubs and four universities: Texas, Houston, UT Arlington and Georgia Southern. Over that time, she helped develop five All-Americans and took home both a Southwestern Conference and Southern Conference Coach of the Year award.
Since joining the Georgia Southern administration, Beene has been an active member of the NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Committee, chairing it in 2011-12.
Beene was elected to the Lamar Athletics Hall of Honor in 1993, and has since also earned entry into the Rio Grande Valley Hall of Fame.
Previously, Tim Heckler was elected to the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005, joining both Leo LaBorde and Sherwood Stewart, who were both honored in 1996.
The Texas Sports Hall of Fame will host the induction ceremony on November 16. Visit TSHOF.org for more information.