On this Throwback Thursday, we are going way back to the beginning of tennis here at the University of Texas at Austin. In the late 1800’s, change was everywhere. The telephone was an up and coming technology, Texas population in cities was tripled, and of course, in the early 1880’s, the game of tennis finally made its way to Texas.
As far as the University of Texas at Austin was concerned, we have a man named Dr. Daniel A. Penick to thank for the introduction of this beloved and celebrated sport. Penick had talent in a variety of things including baseball, track, teaching English, Latin, and most importantly, tennis. He graduated from UT in 1891, but that wasn’t his farewell to the Longhorn family.
Penick headed back to the University of Texas in 1899 as a professor of classics. By 1908 Penick was the first tennis coach at the university, and he remained a coach held with high esteem for 45 more years. The teams that had him as coach won all ten of the Southwest Conferences. Penick moved on to become president of the Texas Tennis Association for more then 50 years, and he was eventually voted in to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1962. Dr. Daniel A. Penick is warmly regarded as the father of Texas tennis, due to his vital role in its introduction to the UT family and surrounding areas.
Thanks to dedicated and inspiring people such as Dr. Daniel A. Penick, and many others like him, we have many successful, fun, and rewarding sports programs here at UT. On this Throwback Thursday, we look back to days past in awe and admiration, and look forward with new confidence and determination. Hook ‘em horns!
Special thanks to the following sources: