Alice Tym

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“Tennis showed me early in life that there are good people of all colors, religions, nationalities, tribes, etc. and tennis gave me the opportunity to enjoy that lesson each & every day.” ~~Alice Luthy Tym, 2018

Alice Luthy Tym

Class of 2013


University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame, 1981

Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame, 1988

Peoria High School Athletic Hall of Fame, 2002

Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame, 2008

University of Tennessee Chattanooga Hall of Fame, 2013




  Born in Peoria, Illinois, Alice Luthy Tym graduated at the top of her class from Peoria High School in 1960. She attended the University of Florida where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1964 and an MA in 1966 as a Ford Foundation Fellow. While at Florida, she organized the women’s tennis team, served as the team captain, and played no.1 singles between 1960 and 1964. From 1964 to 1970, Tym toured on the international tennis circuit where she played in all four Grand Slam events as well besting players in tournaments in Egypt, Australia, India, England, Kenya, Morocco, and New Zealand. Tym’s world ranking peaked at no. 13 in 1969 and she was ranked no. 1 in the Western Association of the USTA. In 1971, Tym began teaching geology and in 1982, accepted a professorship at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, a role she continued until 2015. In 1974, she organized UTC’s varsity tennis program coaching the Lady Mocs to three national championships and four state championships. After four seasons she joined Yale University as head womens coach until 1982. Under her leadership, the Yale Bulldogs ranked in top 20 and won two Ivy League championships. In 1983, the International Tennis Hall of Fame named Tym as its Tennis Educational Merit Award winner. The USPTA named Tym a Coach of the Year. In 2006, Yale honored Tym as the winningest coach in Yale’s history. In 2008, Tym was honored by the Southern Conference as a woman of distinction for her promotion and elevation of women in athletics. Her coaching skills produced several top players and coaches including Candy Reynolds (Class of 2016), Elizabeth Sharp Henderson (Class of 2010), Sue Bartlett (Class of 2008), Billie Abney, Kathy Kolavhiewicz, and Eve Ellis. Tym is a USPTA Master Professional Tennis Coach and a USTA clinician. She has been an active member and office holder in the USPTA, Southern Section. She is also a member of the Chattanooga Table Tennis Club. An avid pickleball player since 2010, she is a USAPA Ambassador, a founder and board member of the Super Senior International Pickleball Association and serves on the board of the International Federation of Pickleball. She is a member of the Sierra Club and the Chattanooga Geology Club. Tym credits tennis with giving her the opportunity to see the world and meet wonderful people everywhere. She said she still has friends she met in Australia in the 1960s and still stays with the same family in Nairobi that first housed her in 1965. Her geology research focused on the East African region and she continues to return regularly. Tym currently operates a horse farm in McDonald, Tennessee.