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Hall of Fame loses two members

August 17, 2016 06:16 PM

Chet Murphy, 1917-2016

The news came in July, and was hard to believe for many of his former students. Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee (2005) Chet Murphy had passed away at the age of 98. 

A former tennis player, coach, instructor and author, Chet and his twin brother, William, won consecutive Big Ten Conference doubles championships while competing for theUniversity of Chicago (1938 and 1939). In 1939, he was also the runner-up in the NCAA singles and doubles championships. Murphy later had a long career as a tennis coach and instructor at the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Berkeley and The Broadmoor resort in Colorado. He has also published several books on tennis.

In 1941, Murphy received a master's degree in physical education from George Williams College in Chicago. Then he served five years as a naval aviator in World War II. After being discharged from the Navy, Murphy began a career as a tennis coach. He taught Lorraine Williams, who won the National 15 Singles title in 1953. He taught and coached tennis at the University of Chicago, University of Detroit, University of Denver, University of Minnesota and University of California, Berkeley. In four years at Minnesota (1956–1959), Murphy started with a team in 1956 that went 1-7, but turned the program into a winner with a 9-4 record in 1959. In ten years as the tennis coach at Cal (1960–1969), Murphy compiled a record of 80-52. His best season at Cal was 1961, when his team finished with a record of 11-3, placed third in the AAWU, and advanced to the NCAA Semifinals, finishing third.

While on a summer break from college coaching, Murphy accepted a position as head tennis professional at The Broadmoor in Colorado. He returned the following summer and began a program that "helped establish the Broadmoor as one of the preeminent tennis centers in the United States."[10] In addition to collegiate coaching, Murphy directed the tennis programs at The Broadmoor for 44 summers.

Murphy had success as a writer of books about tennis. He and his brother, Bill, co-authored the "Tennis Handbook", first published in 1962. On his own or as a co-author with his brother, Chet Murphy also wrote "Advanced Tennis," "Tennis for the Player, Teacher, and Coach," "Tennis for Thinking Players," "Lifetime of Tested Tennis Tips," and "A Parents Guide to Teaching Kids to Play."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Murphy family, as well as his family at The Broadmoor where he was the tennis director for nearly 40 years.


Tom Keach, 1929-2016

A few short weeks later, more sad news came from southern Colorado, as Colorado Tennis Hall of Famer Tom Keach passed away. 

According to his obituary....
"Tom did not go peacefully; he left fighting just as hard as he did on the tennis court. Charter member of Greater Pueblo Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001. Named CSU Outstanding Alumnus as well as many other awards. He devoted time and energy to many organizations and he donated to every non-profit that approached him. He offered encouragement and a smile to anyone who needed it."

Tom played his prep tennis at Pueblo Central High School and then played collegiately at Colorado State University. He began his career in education in 1952, and received his Masters in Education Administration from the University of Northern Colorado in 1959. Tom retired in 1983 after more than 30 years of dedicated service.

In 1961, Tom encouraged Pueblo’s Recreation Department to add tennis to its list of activities, and that summer he started the Pueblo School District's Summer Tennis Program. In seven summers, Tom introduced more than 500 kids to tennis.

In 1975, Tom spearheaded the building of a 17-court tennis facility at Pueblo’s City Park. The city tore down a pool and moved a softball field to build the courts. Today, the facility is one of the top park tennis centers in Colorado. 

He was inducted into the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001. USTA Colorado extends its condolences to Tom's wife, Louise, and his family.



Read their Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame bios here.



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