BELTON TENNIS
INFORMATION

SC TENNIS
HALL OF FAME

 
 

Kent Demars
Columbia, SC
Inducted December 7, 1996

KENT DEMARS WAS BORN IN ST. LOUIS, ILLINIOS WHERE HE WAS A TOP JUNIOR PLAYER. HE PLAYED COLLEGE TENNIS AT ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. FOLLOWING GRADUATION, HE RETURNED TO HIS HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER WHERE HE BEGAN HIS TENNIS COACHING CAREER IN 1966. ONE OF THE PLAYERS DEMARS COACHED WAS JIMMY CONNORS.

HE RECEIVED HIS FIRST COLLEGIATE COACHING ASSIGNMENT AT SOUTHERN ILLINIOS-EDWARDSVILLE IN 1973. HE TRANSFORMED THE UNIVERSITY’S TENNIS PROGRAM FROM A CLUB LEVEL SPORT TO A NCAA DIVISION II POWERHOUSE. IN 1978 HIS SQUAD BEGAN A RUN OF 7 STRAIGHT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND HE WAS THE 1979 NCAA DIVISION II COACH OF THE YEAR. KEN FLACH AND ROBERT SEGUSO RANK AS THE MOST FAMOUS PRODUCTS OF DEMARS’ DYNASTY AT SOUTHERN ILLINIOS, WHERE HIS 11 YEARS RECORD WAS 217-71 (.751).

IN JUNE 1984, CITING THE “DESIRE TO RAISE HIS GOALS TO A HIGHER LEVEL,” DEMARS WAS NAMED MEN’S TENNIS COACH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA. SINCE THAT TIME, CAROLINA HAS BEEN A FIXTURE AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL. DURING HIS FIRST SEASON, THE GAMECOCKS FINISHED 24-5 AND WENT FROM BEING UNRANKED TO NUMBER 12 IN THE COUNTRY. HIS ’89 TEAM WON 21 MATCHES, INCLUDING A 5-3 VICTORY OVER TOP RANKED UCLA, AND MADE THE SEMIFINALS OF THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS. DEMARS WAS NAMED 1989 ITA WILSON NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR.

HIS GAMECOCK TEAMS WON THE REGION II TITLE THREE STRAIGHT YEARS FROM 1989-1991 AND HE HAS BEEN NAMED REGION II COACH OF THE YEAR 5 TIMES. HE HAS OVER 400 COLLEGIATE VICTORIES, WITH A WINNING PERCENTAGE OF .668. HE HAS COAGHED 52 ALL-AMERICAN PLAYERS.

DEMARS RELIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF ACADEMICS, AND MOTIVATES HIS PLAYERS BOTH ON THE COURT AND IN THE CLASSROOM. HIS PLAYERS HAVE CONSISTENLY HAD A CUMULATIVE TEAM GPA ABOVE 3.0. BETWEEN 1992 & 1994, HIS GAMECOCKS HAD 14 SCHOLAR ATHLETES, MORE THAN ANY OTHER SEC SCHOOL.

KEN DEMARS HAS PROVIDED TENNIS LEADERSHIP OUTSIDE COACHING. IN 1986 HE RECEIVED THE ITA MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD FOR HIS INVOLVEMENT IN VIRTUALLY EVERY ASPECT OF THE COLLEGE GAME. HE HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN BRINGING HIGH LEVELS OF COMPETITIVE TENNIS TO COLUMBIA. CAROLINA ANNUALLY HOSTS THE USTA BOYS’ 18 INTERSECTIONS, WITH DEMARS SERVING AS THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR. HE HAS ALSO SERVED AS TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR OF THE USTA WOMEN’S PRO CIRCUIT OF COLUMBIA AND THE 1994 NCAA REGION II CHAMPIONSHIPS.

HE SERVED ON THE USTA PLAYER DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE AND USTA COLLEGE COMMITTEE. HE IS KNOWS AS ONE OF THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE TENNIS MINDS AND BEST TEACHERS IN THE COUNTRY. THREE OF HIS FORMER ASSISTANTS ARE NOW NCAA HEAD COACHES.

 
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