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SC Tennis Hall of Fame Names Two New Members

August 20, 2014 04:21 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation and USTA South Carolina are excited to announce that Jeff Kefalos of Columbia and Tom Foster of Woodruff will be the newest inductees into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.

The individuals, who have spent decades growing tennis in South Carolina, will be officially inducted in December at the USTA South Carolina Annual Meeting. They also will have their portraits hung at the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in Belton.

“Tom and Jeff have made tremendous contributions to tennis in South Carolina,” said Graham Cox, executive director of USTA South Carolina. “We’re fortunate and proud to recognize such dedicated and distinguished supporters of tennis.”


Jeff Kefalos has grown tennis throughout South Carolina for the past 40 years.

Kefalos (USC photo)

In 1972, he arrived in Columbia from West Virginia to play tennis for the Gamecocks. Four times he was named the team’s MVP.

In 1977, Kefalos took over the Gamecock women’s tennis program. During his six years as head coach, his teams went 127-34. In 1982, he was one of four finalists for National Coach of the Year honors.

For the 1993-94 Gamecock men’s tennis season, Kefalos joined Kent DeMars’ staff as an assistant.

Kefalos stayed on for 16 years, and he and DeMars mentored three All-Americans and 11 different student-athletes who earned All-SEC honors.

In 1998, Kefalos also earned National Assistant Coach of the Year honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

He has grown tennis outside of USC as well.

Since 1977, Kefalos has served as the director of the Columbia Tennis Center.

In that position, he has helped produce some of the top junior talent in the Midlands and has grown various USTA leagues.

At the center, he also continues to host charitable events and local and regional tournaments.

Kefalos is a charter member and past treasurer of the South Carolina Professional Tennis Association.

He and his wife, Betsi, have two adult children, Lance and Rawlins.

(Click here to read the tennis column that appeared in The State newspaper.)


Tom Foster, a lifelong tennis player, has made most of his tennis contributions on the court.

From 1984 to 1991, Foster played league tennis on a team that three times competed at USTA Nationals at three different competition levels.


More recently, since 2000, Foster has served as captain of the South Carolina Senior Cup team. The Southern Senior Cup is an annual competition between adult players in nine Southern states.

Under Foster’s leadership, South Carolina has won the tournament four times since 2008. They also have donated their $1,000 prize each time to the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation.

As a player, Foster has been ranked No. 1 in South Carolina in five different categories: men’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles, husband-wife doubles and father-son doubles. He also has played in a sixth category, father-daughter doubles.

In 2005, he was named the South Carolina Adult Male Player of the Year.

Foster also has achieved top-10 rankings in the USTA Southern Section and in the country throughout his career.

He is a retired Family Court Judge for South Carolina in the 7th Circuit. He and his wife, Jane, have three adult children: Richie, Lauren and Jason.