TTCA Mourns the Passing of Hall of Fame Member Pat Wikse

Funeral services for Pat Wikse will take place Friday, July 14th at 10am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in 
Odessa, TX. 
Patrick LaVerne Wikse
July 2, 1936-July 7, 2023
(The following is from his daughter Casey - state finalist in GS 1988.)
What characteristics does one have to have to be considered GOAT (greatest of all time) status? Are you bigger, stronger,  fitter than your counterpart? Do you possess special talents that go above and beyond the norm? Are you smarter than your competitor? As I put words on paper, I ponder these questions and come to the conclusion that it is not how you view yourself,  but how others perceive you.  My father, Pat Wikse, is a perfect example of a well respected leader in his community who, time and time again, has shown honesty,  integrity,  love and support for his family,  friends,  peers, students and former athletes.  
Patrick LaVerne Wikse was born on July 2nd, 1936 in Rockford, Illinois to LaVerne and Gladys Wikse. He graduated from West High School and attended Iowa Wesleyan University where he played both football and tennis. He earned a teaching degree in Education majoring in History.  His first teaching job was in a small Illinois town called Paw Paw. From there, he moved to New Mexico to teach and coach three years in Las Cruces and three years in Carlsbad  before returning to Illinois. He accepted to teach and coach at Harlem High School in Loves Park where he was involved coaching many sports before building his own tennis program.  He incorporated the teachings of Dennis Van der Meer and was very adamant that his athletes were taught the correct fundamentals as this played a crucial role in their development of sound skills.  In 1973, he led the Huskies to their first NIC-10 title in any sport.  While continuing to build a successful tennis program,  he went back to school and obtained his Master's degree in History.  
In 1981, he moved his family to Odessa, Texas and took the head tennis coaching position at Permian High School. He felt this was a better opportunity for his three children to pursue their dreams to play at the college level. In the 21 years as the head tennis coach, he had 30 District qualifiers, 11 Regional qualifiers, 4 State quarterfinalists, 5 State semifinalists and 1 State finalist. He has had several All-Americans with many players receiving scholarships at the university level. 
He has been honored as "Coach of the Year" in Texas by his fellow peers and eventually was inducted into the Texas Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame. In honor of his service at Permian High School, the Pat Wikse Tennis Facility was built and named for him.  
Coach Wikse always gave his time freely to thousands of athletes during his 41 years of coaching and after retiring. He continued to offer his knowledge and expertise to young coaches and players alike. His love for the sport of tennis is immeasurable as is the lives he has touched through a common interest that he shared with each and every individual.  Not only did he turn out great players, but he instilled life lessons and values that shaped these athletes into outstanding human beings with great careers and families of their own.  Many of his former students and athletes have continued a friendship over the years which is a reflection on the positive influence he had on their lives.        
So, when I look back at my father's life,  I can say, unequivocally, that he is the GOAT. He was a loving father, a brilliant coach, a mentor, but most of all, my best friend. The high morals and values he lived by were not only seen by his family, but every life he touched. You will be sorely missed,  but incredibly loved.