“Tennis has given me a lifetime of friends, an opportunity to travel, a profession to share the game that I love, and a way to volunteer and give back to the game as well as my community.”
Elizabeth Sharp Henderson
Class of 2010
University of Tennessee Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame, 1992
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, 2011
Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, 2011
Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame, 2015
Elizabeth Sharp Henderson was a top junior player ranking no. 1 in Southern in girls 14s, no. 9 nationally in singles in 14s, no. 5 in doubles nationally for 1973; no. 1 in Southern in girls 16s, no. 25 nationally in girls 16s for 1974; no. 1 in Southern in girls 16s, no. 19 nationally in girls 16s for 1975; and no. 2 in Southern in girls 18s for 1976. Henderson won a TSSAA doubles title in 1973 and the TSSAA singles title in 1975. As a college player at UT-Chattanooga, Henderson made three-time All American, earned a team national champion, a singles championship, a doubles championship in AIAW Small College Nationals from 1977-1979 and placed third in AIAW Large College National doubles in 1980. In 1980, before leaving college, Henderson landed her first coaching role as Assistant Women's Coach at UNC. In 1982, she accepted her first head coach position at UNC and also completed her Master of Science degree. Taking her coaching game to William and Mary College, she left after three seasons to become the head womens tennis coach at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, a position she held until 1987. Since leaving collegiate coaching, Henderson taught professionally and managed the Peninsula Club in Knoxville, Tennessee. Henderson’s passion is to teach beginners. Still in love with the game, Henderson has played on the Tennessee Senior Cup Team since 2010. Since 2003, Henderson has served on the Junior Team Tennis committee in Knoxville and from 2011 to 2013 she served as member of Tennessee Junior 10 & Under Competition Committee. From 2013 to 2017, Henderson was a member of Tennessee Junior Team Tennis Committee, and from 2014-2018 she was the Chair of the Tennessee Tennis Patrons Foundation. In 2018, Henderson became chair of the Tennessee Outreach Committee for USTATN. In the Knoxville community at large, Henderson has long been active in the Junior League and the Volunteer Ministry Center (homeless shelter) and mentored students at Dogwood Elementary from 2009-2015. A highlight for Henderson’s tennis career was playing mixed doubles with Ilie Nastase who was one of the top male players from Romania in the 70s.