COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M head men’s tennis coach Steve Denton was selected as one of nine members of the 2008 College Tennis Hall of Fame class, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced on Wednesday.
Denton’s selection makes Texas A&M the only college tennis program in the nation with a pair of ITA Hall of Famers on its coaching staff. Aggie assistant coach Bob McKinley was inducted in 2003 after winning an NCAA title as a player and leading Trinity to two NCAA team finals as a coach. Former Texas A&M head coach David Kent, the winningest tennis coach in school history, was also inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame in 1998.
"This is a tremendous and well-deserved honor for Steve," Texas A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. "He is probably the most accomplished tennis player ever from the state of Texas, and we think he’s a great coach, as well. Having two Hall of Fame coaches on the men’s tennis staff is a huge benefit for tennis program.”
Already a member of the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, the Blue-Gray Tennis Class Hall of Fame and the Longhorn Hall of Honor, Denton was an All-American at the University of Texas in 1978 and helped the Longhorns to a 78-27 record and one Southwest Conference team championship in his four collegiate seasons.
“It’s definitely an honor to be inducted into the College Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Denton, who is in his second season as the Aggies’ head coach. “Just to have your name considered is an accomplishment. I think it’s a team effort and a lot of the credit goes to my collegiate teammates, my coaches and family. They gave me the opportunity to be successful. My name was chosen, but many people played a major role in the success I’ve had as a player and coach.”
After his standout collegiate career, Denton spent nine successful season on the professional tennis tour. The 1982 U.S. Open doubles champion (with former Texas teammate Kevin Curren), Denton ranked as high as No. 2 in doubles and No. 11 in singles in the world tennis rankings. He won 20 professional doubles titles, and reached the singles final of the Australian Open in 1981 and 1982.
Denton entered the college coaching ranks in 2001 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and he coached the Islanders to three Southland Conference Championships and a first-ever NCAA Championship team appearance. Denton was 64-48 in five seasons at Corpus Christi and was named SLC Coach of the Year twice.