History of the TTCA

Excerpts from Cattle to Courts reprinted with permission from the author (our own Ken McAllister):

Texas Tennis Coaches Association

The University Interscholastic League (UIL), formed in 1913, first hosted a state boys doubles championship in 1914 followed by boys singles in 1919. Girls singles and doubles were added in 1920. The University of Texas Men’s Tennis Coach, Dr. D. A. Penick, influenced this beginning and was the Director of Tennis for the UIL for over 30 years. As coaches became more expert, play improved and grew during these early years.

At one time known as the Texas High School Tennis Coaches Association, the TTCA began as annual informal meetings of the coaches of the players who made it to the UIL State Tournament in Austin in the spring of each year. Renowned coaches such as Wright Chrane of Pyote, Bill Estes of Crane, and Chuck Avera of Wichita Falls were probable informal Presidents in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. The first formal President was selected in 1963: Hall of Fame Coach Robert Gardner of Rosenburg Lamar Consolidated High School. 

The original purpose of the group was to discuss concerns and ideas for Texas high school tennis. The UIL, under the direction of Athletic Director Dr. Bailey Marshall, designated the TTCA as the official voice of school tennis at the Executive Committee meetings of the UIL in 1963. The focus of TTCA became the task of improving the rules of UIL to benefit tennis. The meetings in Austin quickly began to include all high school coaches for input and action for these improvements. 

As the strength and credibility of the TTCA grew, the mission of the organization expanded to education and improvement of its members. It began by hosting four regional clinics for coaches in 1973. This continued until the leadership hosted a statewide Tennis Coaching Workshop at Newks Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels in January of 1978. This later switched to the now annual date in early December of each year and in 2015 was moved to Horseshoe Bay Resort in the Texas hillcountry. The success of this has been recognized nationwide and accepted by most school districts in Texas as the approved training for school tennis coaches. Currently, as many as 600 coaches have attended the annual event.  The convention was even held "Virtually" in 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and over 400 coaches attended on their personal computers at home/school.


The most notable accomplishment of TTCA began in the 1960’s as experimental programs of high school team tennis leagues: one in Corpus Christi with area high schools, a class 3A district in West Texas with Snyder, Lubbock Dunbar, Brownfield, Lubbock Estacado, and programs in San Antonio and Houston, similar to Corpus Christi’s. Led by Terry Oxford of Alamo Heights, the TTCA began a fall high school Team Tennis competition statewide in 1974 for class 3A and 4A. The program was so successful that, with TTCA lobbying, the UIL added it to its fall events in 1982 for what became 5A. In 1983, 4A was added. The TTCA continued to run a 3A-and-under spring event that continues to this day. Several other state tennis organizations have made efforts to copy Texas’ most successful high school tennis event in the United States. 

The resulting tennis programs for the larger high schools (4A, 5A, 6A) in Texas is a year-round competitive program with UIL Team Tennis in the fall with the subsequent state championships in November and the UIL individual state championships in May. The events for each team match are 6 boys singles, 3 boys doubles, 6 girls singles, 3 girls doubles, and 1 mixed doubles, which means that each team is required to enter 7 boys and 7 girls in a combined team effort. The individual state championship events in the spring are the same 5 events. Texas schools of all sizes have district and regional competitions that qualify for the state championship event.

TTCA Past Presidents 

1963 Robert Gardner   2003-05 Randy Stewart
1964 Bob Clark   2005-08 Steve Bonds
1965 David Kent   2008-10 Tim Calhoun
1966-70 Dalton Hill   2010-12 Ruben Vargas
1971-74 Ken McAllister   2012-14 Daniel Marshall
1975-77 Jerry Franklin   2014-16 Bobby Kleinecke
1977-78 Jerry Dechert   2016-18 Joey Cantu
1978-80 Steve Buck   2018-20 Tyson Stewart
1980-82 Steve Buck   2020-2022  Michael Bezemek
1982-84 Novice Kniffen   2022-Present   Keith Howard
1984-86 Perry Coursey      
1986-88 Wendell Sadler      
1988-90 Allen Holliday      
1990-93 Paul Smith      
1993-95 Robert Dunivan      
1995-97 Betty Sue Welch      
1997-99 Barry Kniffen      
1999-01 David Mueller      
2001-03 Jim Longbotham      


TTCA Executive Directors

 1991-96  Joanne Padgett
 1996-02  Arthur Rosiles
2002-17 Steve Buck
2017-Present Bobby Kleinecke




The University Interscholastic League (UIL) hosted the first boys doubles state championship in 1914, followed by boys singles in 1919, and girls singles and doubles in 1920.


Dr. Daniel A. Penick was the Director of Tennis for the UIL for the first 30+ years.  My notes say He was named director at the time the association was established.


Robert Gardner of Rosenburg Lamar Consolidated High School was elected President at the first formal meeting of the Texas High School Tennis Coaches Association later changed to the Texas Tennis Coaches Association (TTCA).


The UIL officially recognized the TTCA as the official voice for Texas high school tennis. With this responsibility the TTCA meetings began to draw coaches statewide to decide on goals to improve the tennis rules in Texas. 


Double Representation (two singles and two doubles entries, boys and girls) allowed in District.


Double Representation (1st and 2nd Place) advance to Regional and from Regional to State Tournaments. 


Establishment of the TTCA sponsored Texas High School Team Tennis playoffs to a State Championship for AAA and AAAA (later AAAA, AAAAA, and AAAAAA) in the fall and AA and below (now AAA and below) in the spring.


Established a tennis coach’s convention to be held the first weekend in December run by the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch outside of New Braunfels, TX for continuing education of school coaches in Texas


Establishment of the TTCA Hall of Fame.  The first class of Inductees were Dalton Hill (El Paso Irvin HS), Helen Tallent (Mason HS), Sherman Rimes (Junction HS), and Crane Wright (Pyote HS).


UIL recognizes the success of the Team Tennis tournament and takes took over the event in 1982 for 5A and 1983 for 4A (now 6A and 5A). The TTCA continued to run the AAA (now AAAA) and under until 2015 when the UIL adopted AAAA Team Tennis as one of its sponsored sports leaving AAA and under as a TTCA event.


UIL added Mixed Doubles to Team Tennis matches Tennis making Texas one of the few states to recognize the co-educational nature of its high school tennis programs.


UIL added Mixed Doubles to Individual District, Regional, and State Tournaments.  The 2006 State Champions in all 5 Classifications were crowned at the UIL Inidivdual State Tournament.


TTCA Board created the position of and hired the first Executive Director Steve Buck to aid the President in the continuity of progress of the Association.


TTCA took financial control and responsibility running the annual Convention within the organization, where over 500 coaches attend annually each December.


Annual Convention was moved from Newcombe Tennis Ranch to Horseshoe Bay Resort outside of Marble Falls where over 500 coaches come annually from across the state to celebrate and educate about school tennis.


The UIL adopted AAAA Team Tennis leaving the AAA and Under as a TTCA event.

2019 Team Tennis follows the UIL Team format like all other team sports through the entire Playoffs up to the State Tournament for 4A, 5A, and 6A schools.
2020 The December convention was forced to move to a "Virtual" format due to the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020.
2022 TTCA added a 1A State Team Tennis Championship but later merged with 2A to become the 2A & Under State Team Tennis Championship in 2023.
Present  The modern TTCA represents the model for school tennis associations in the US and has consistently held onto its three main goals of 1) working with the UIL for positive rule changes, 2) hosting and disseminating education for its members, and 3) running and improving Texas High School Tennis for the tennis kids in Texas. The TTCA has 800+ members.