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dick_mckeeClark Richard McKee, who went by Dick, grew up in Miami Beach, Florida, and started playing tennis after he received a racquet for his 12th birthday, his son Richard McKee said. Before Dick McKee knew it, he was playing college tennis on scholarship at the University of Miami, where he teamed in doubles with Pancho Segura, who later coached all-time great American tennis player Jimmy Connors.

In 1941, McKee, the No. 7-ranked player in the country, helped Miami capture the national intercollegiate men’s tennis championship.

“Dad was around some good people, some very intelligent people as far as tennis goes,” Richard McKee said.

From there, Dick McKee served in the U.S. Army in England during World War II. His military service led him to his finest tennis memory. In August 1945, months after Victory in Europe Day, McKee played at Wimbledon for the U.S. team during the Allied Forces European Theater Championships. The crowd featured members of the royal family, General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Sir Winston Churchill. “That was the pinnacle,” Richard McKee said.

Richard McKee could remember only one other time in which his dad played competitively after the war – a father-son tournament they won in the early 1970s. Instead, Dick McKee spent most of his adult life helping others with tennis.
He coached teams at Davidson College and at Furman University for more than 10 years. He also served as the director of tennis for the Greenville Country Club and the Country Club of Spartanburg.

McKee lived in Spartanburg for 28 years before he died in 2001 at the age of 80.
He passed along his passion for tennis.

Richard McKee previously coached the men’s team at Florida State University and is still a teaching pro in Tallahassee. Bobby McKee, Dick and Audrey’s other son, coached the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, and at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, before he died on January 1.

Richard McKee will accept the honor on behalf of the family at the Hall of Fame banquet.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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