“Treat others the way you would want to be treated, all players have different abilities, but they all have one thing common; their love of the ‘game of tennis.’ Tennis can be played at all ages and all economic backgrounds. It truly is a sport for a lifetime, and can be played at all levels, from novice to pro.” ~~Billy Pike, 2018
William A. “Billy” Pike
Class of 2007
Northeast TN Hall of Fame, 2000
Northeast Athletic Hall of Fame, 2002
ETSU Athletic Hall of Fame, 2005
Carter County Tennessee Hall of Fame, 2010
Billy Pike’s love of tennis began in the early 1960s. He became a winning player in junior tournaments representing Elizabethton, Tennessee and later University High. Pike joined the East Tennessee State University tennis team playing for three years and achieving a no. 1 rank before graduating in 1968. In adult play, Pike won the Tennessee Men's Open Singles in 1967 and 1968. Also, in 1968, he won the All Navy Men’s singles and doubles. Since 1974, Pike ranked no.1 in Tennessee five times in different age divisions for both singles and doubles. In Southern rankings, he achieved the top five on four occasions in Men’s 35s and 45s, and ranked no.1 men’s 35, 45, 55 in doubles with long time doubles partner Bob Helton. Pike earned four singles and doubles titles in Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee and a men’s championship in 35 singles and doubles Southern Hard Courts in Hilton Head, South Carolina. In 1965, Pike worked as the Head Tennis Pro at the Bristol Country Club. From 1966-1968, he coached and developed the Junior Boys Tennis program in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Off the court, Pike served as the Chairman of the Tennis Committee for the Johnson City Country Club from 1986-1991 and served as an ETSU official and line judge at ETSU matches from 1988-1993. He served as the President of the Johnson City Lions Club form 1981-1982, has been a Remote Access Medical (RAM) volunteer, from 2010-2017, and has been a member of the Central Baptist Church since 1980. In 2017, the Lion’s Club honored Pike with the Melvin Jones Award. Since 1973, Pike has been a practicing Optometrist in Johnson City, Tennessee having received his O.D. from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. Between 1972 and 1974, Pike served as a US Navy Optometrist (Medical Service Corps), One of Pike’s favorites tennis memories is playing against Rod Laver in an exhibition match at Ridgefields Country Club, Kingsport, TN in 1985. He describes tennis as a game the allowed him to travel and meet many people and players all over the country and helped him learn the “golden rule.” His high school and college tennis coach and mentor Buddy Hartsell instilled in him the will to win and never give up.