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Max Grubbs


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MAX GRUBBS OF BELTON AND ANDERSON WAS A MAJOR FORCE IN THE RISE OF TENNIS IN THE UPSTATE AREA OF SOUTH CAROLINA. GRUBBS LIVED IN SOUTH CAROLINA NEARLY HIS WHOLE LIFE AND DEDICATED HIMSELF TO SHAPING THE GROWING TENNIS POPULATION IN HIS HOME TOWN OF BELTON. AFTER A RETURN FROM A SHORT RESIDENCE IN CALIFORNIA IN THE 1940'S, GRUBBS FOUND THE COURTS AT THE BELTON TENNIS CENTER IN NEED OF REPAIR, AND EAGERLY JOINED THE EFFORT TO BUILD A THIRD COURT, START A LOCAL TENNIS CLUB AND ESTABLISH A TENNIS TOURNAMENT AT THE TOWN COURT FACILITY.

GRUBBS WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN ESTABLISHING THE BELTON TENNIS CLUB AND WRITING THE CLUB'S CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS. OVER THE NEXT DECADE HE HELPED REESTABLISH TENNIS AS A WAY OF LIFE IN BELTON. HE HELPED START THE PIEDMONT CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR ADULT AND JUNIOR PLAYERS IN 1955. TWO YEARS LATER THE TOURNAMENT WAS CHANGED TO JUNIORS ONLY AND WAS RENAMED THE PALMETTO CHAMPIONSHIPS. THE PALMETTO HAS CONTINUED EVERY YEAR SINCE AND IS NOW SOUTH CAROLINA'S JUNIOR QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT. IT HAS BEEN NAMED THE SOUTH CAROLINA JUNIOR TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR THREE TIMES AND SOUTHERN JUNIOR TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR TWICE.

MAX WAS NAMED A TEACHER, THE TENNIS COACH AND THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR AT ANDERSON COLLEGE IN NEARBY ANDERSON IN 1958. DURING HIS TIME AT ANDERSON COLLEGE HE HAD AN INCREDIBLE IMPACT AS A COACH, MENTOR AND TEACHER. HIS 1968 TEAM WON THE WESTERN CAROLINA JUNIOR COLLEGE TENNIS CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT AND GRUBBS WAS NAMED THE CONFERENCE COACH OF THE YEAR, THE FIRST TIME A TENNIS COACH WAS GIVEN THIS HONOR. HIS TEAMS CONSISTENTLY HAD WINNING RECORDS. THE 1975 TEAM WON ALL NINE TITLES (SIX SINGLES AND THREE DOUBLES) AT THE NATIONAL JUNIOR COLLEGE TOURNAMENT AND GRUBBS WAS NAMED BOTH THE CONFERENCE AND THE NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR.

THE 1977 TEAM HAD A GREAT YEAR AND WAS IN THE RUNNING FOR ANOTHER NATIONAL TITLE WHEN TRAGEDY STRUCK. THE COLLEGE VAN WAS HIT BY A RUN-A-WAY TRUCK WHILE TRAVELING TO THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT. COACH GRUBBS AND FOUR OF HIS PLAYERS WERE KILLED.

GRUBBS HAS CONTINUED TO BE HONORED POSTHUMOUSLY. ANDERSON COLLEGE NAMED THEIR TENNIS COURTS IN HIS MEMORY AND HE WAS SELECTED AS THE 1977 COACH OF THE YEAR BY THE REGIONAL AND NATIONAL JUNIOR COLLEGE ASSOCIATIONS. THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO NAME THEIR COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD THE MAX GRUBBS COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD. MAX WAS INDUCTED INTO THE SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME IN 1981.

 

 
 
 
 
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