John P. "Jack" Murphy
Class of 1993
In the mid-1970s, Jack Murphy retired as an engineer with the Aluminum Company of America in Alcoa, Tennessee. He enrolled in the Dennis Van Der Meer Tennis Academy in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and became a teaching professional. Murphy returned to his home in Blount County, Tennessee dedicated to developing junior players and local recreational adult tennis players. Working in a volunteer role with the Maryville Parks and Recreation Department, Murphy began three junior sanctioned tournaments, served as a Tennis Official for national and state matches conducted in greater Knoxville, implemented the NTRP rating system in Knoxville, recruited new adult players to the sport, and co-founded the “Never-Evers”, a local program aimed at first-time players aged 55 and over. The USTA recognized this program with a national award. Murphy was one of the individuals who organized the Greater Knoxville Tennis Association, one of the most successful community tennis associations in Tennessee. He served on the USTA Tennessee board of directors, attended USTA Southern annual meetings, and generally promoted the sport in greater Knoxville. The Maryville Parks and Recreation Department named public tennis courts located at Sandy Spring Park in honor of Murphy. The Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department named the tennis center at West Hills the Jack Murphy/West Hills Tennis Center. The Greater Knoxville Tennis Association continues to award the Jack Murphy Trophy to the champions of its annual Senior Doubles event. Murphy died in Maryville in 1996.