BELTON TENNIS
INFORMATION

SC TENNIS
HALL OF FAME

 
 

Wilton McKinney
Greenville, SC
Inducted November 5, 1983

WILTON MCKINNEY FIRST BEGAN PLAYING TENNIS WHEN HE WAS 10. HE AND A GROUP OF FRIENDS BUILT THEIR OWN CLAY COURT ON A VACANT LOT NEXT TO HIS HOME. AS A JUNIOR HE PLAYED LOCAL TOURNAMENTS, AND WAS THE CAPTAIN OF THE GREENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM IN 1938. HE WAS ONE OF THE ONLY FOUR ATHELETES NAMED TO THE GREENVILLE HIGH HALL OF FAME CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF THE SCHOOL’S EXISTANCE.

HE ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA WHERE HE PLAYED NUMBER TWO AND CAPTAINED THE GAMECOCK TENNIS TEAM IN 1946. AFTER GRADUATING FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, HE RETURNED TO GREENVILLE WHERE HE BECAME THE VOLUNTEER COACH OF GREENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL BOY’S TENNIS TEAM. DURING HIS 25 YEARS OF COACHING, HIS TEAMS WON 16 STATE HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS AND THREE SOUTHERN HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS. HE COACHED THE GIRLS ONE-YEAR, AND THEY WON THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. HE PLAYED TOURNAMENTS AND WAS KNOWN FOR HIS DOUBLES PLAY, AND WON SEVERAL SOUTH CAROLINA AND VIRGINIA CAROLINAS SENIOR DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS.

HE WAS ONE OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA TENNIS ASSOCIATION FOUNDERS AND A PAST PRESIDENT, SEVRETARY AND TREASURER. HE HAS ATTENDED EVERY SCTA ANNUAL MEETING AND EVERY SOUTHERN TENNIS ASSOIATION ANNUAL MEETING SINE ITS REORGANIZATION AFTER THE SEOND WORK WAR. HE SERVED ON THE STA BOARD 15 YEARS, AND WAS SEOND VICE PRESIDENT IN 1964-1965.

HE BECAME THE DIRECTOR OF TENNIS AT GREENVILLE COUNTRY CLUB IN 1974. DURING HIS 23 YEARS THERE HE TAUGHT MANY TOP PLAYERS, INCLUDING RAX REID AND NANCY YEARGIN, WHO BOTH PLAYED ON THE PROFESSIONAL CIRCUIT. HIS FORMER PLAYERS INCLUDE A PULITZER PROZE WINNING AUTHOR, A UNIVERSITY PERSIDENT, DOCTORS, LAWYERS, TEACHERS, POLITICIANS, JUDGES, BUSINESSMEN, AND EVEN A FEW TENNIS PROS. ALTHOUGH HE OFFICIALLY RETIRED IN 1986, HE CONTINUES COACHING JUNIORS, AND HAS WORKED WITH A NUMBER OF SECOND GENERATION PLAYERS. HE IS AN HONORARY MEMBER OF THE CLUB AND CENTER COURT AT THE TENNIS FACILITY IS NAMED IN HIS HONOR.

HE SERVED FOR YEARS AS THE STATE AND SOUTHERN JUNIOR RANKING CHAIRMAN. HE IS A CERTIFIED USTA OFFICIAL AND SERVED AS CHAIRMAN OF THE SOUTHERN UMPIRES COMMITTEE. HE WAS A CHAIR UMPIRE AT 11 FAMILY CIRCLE MAGAZINE CUPS, AND SERVED AS TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR FOR THE SOUTHERN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS. HE ALSO SERVED AS COACH OF THE SOUTHERN JUNIOR DAVIS CUP TEAM

HE HAS RECEIVED NUMEROUS HONORS, INCLUDING THE MARLBORO AWARD FROM WORLD TENNIS MAGAZINE AND THE JACOBS BOWL, THE SOUTHERN TENNIS ASSOCIATION’S HIGHTEST VOLUNTEER AWARD. THE SOUTH CAROLINA TENNIS ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHED THE WILTON MCKINNEY BOWL, GIVEN TO THE STATE’S MOST OUTSTANDING JUNIOR PLAYER IN 1986.

HE HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF BOTH THE SOUTH CAROLINA AND THE SOUTHERN TENNIS PATRONS FOUNDATION BOARDS. HE WAS NAMED THE U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE IN 1991. HE HAS WORKED WITH THE SOUTHERN TENNIS ASSOCIATION IN THE AUTHORING A BOOK ON THE HISTORY OF SOUTHERN TENNIS.

 
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