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Patricia and Jack Adams of Charleston were leaders in grass roots tennis in their community. They gave tirelessly and unselfishly to promoting the game, especially to young people. Jack was a native of Laurens and attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he was an All-American end on the football team. Pat was a native of Saskatchewan, Canada and was a Canadian tennis champion in the 1940’s. She later played on the Presbyterian College tennis team. After graduating from PC, Jack served in the Army during World War II, and later earned his masters degree from Columbia University. After the couple married, they moved to Laurens in 1947 where Jack coached football and Pat organized and directed tennis activities at Lakeside Country Club. They moved to Charleston in 1954 where Jack coached the Charleston High School football team for seven years. He became Director for the Recreation Department and Director of Tennis for the city of Charleston in 1960. His duties included the operation of the stadium courts next to Johnson-Hagood Stadium. He served in that position until his retirement in 1976.

Jack organized a Charleston men’s tennis league in the early 1960’s, a program used as a prototype by other communities. He organized free tennis clinics for all ages and coached playground tennis teams in state tournaments. He established two annual tournaments in Charleston, including the city’s first USLTA sanctioned event. He was a USTA official and umpired professional matches. The number of public tennis courts increased from 7 to 37, and tennis participation increased 500% during his tenure as Recreation Director. The Charleston Tennis Center, a 15-court complex, was built in 1975 as a result of Jack’s leadership and influence. The City of Charleston named the six stadium courts the “Jack Adams Tennis Center” upon his retirement in 1976 in honor of his contributions to tennis in the city. He was honored by the Charleston Lawn Tennis Association for his leadership and service in 1977, and served as a member of the CLTA for many years.

Pat served as the volunteer tennis coach for Charleston High School from 1954-1956. During this time she developed Sally Seebeck who became one of the top ranked women’s players in the south. Sally says: “Pat was a tireless worker. Her patience, understanding of the game, and wisdom could take a novice player to another level. She taught the fundamentals and made tennis fun rather than work.” Over the next 20 years, she spent many unpaid hours working on court with numerous young players and supervised and coached many players at the Palmetto Championships in Belton. Pat raised money to cover expenses for juniors to attend tournaments, clinics and camps, and often personally drove players to these events. She also found time to teach school, raise five daughters, and earn a masters degree from the Citadel.

Sam Applegate, a Charleston attorney and player says: “Jack and Pat channeled a tremendous amount of energy and effort into tennis and were clearly Mr. and Mrs. Tennis in Charleston. They always represented the best and true values of the game and would accept nothing but the highest ideals of sportsmanship. I cannot think of a single time they wavered in their commitment to excellence or the opportunity to encourage people.” Arthur Anastopoulo, another former player and All-American at the University of South Carolina, says: “Pat and Jack did many special things. Sometimes after I had played in a tournament and did not do as well as I had hoped, Pat wrote me notes of encouragement and always emphasized sportsmanship above everything else. The thing they did best was provide me with the tools to believe in myself.”

Pat and Jack retired to Newberry where they lived until their death in an automobile accident in 2000. They are survived by their five daughters…Penny, Tish, Jacquie, Gwenda and Teresa. Three of the girls played tennis in college. Today, the Jack Adams Tennis Center is the home of the award winning intercity youth tennis program “Courting Kids,” so their legacy lives on.