“Life is a lot like tennis, he who serves the most often wins.” John Nixon, 2018
John Beebe Nixon
Class of 2005
John Beebe Nixon credits Bill Clark with inspiring him to love and play tennis. Nixon played no. 1 at Montgomery Bell Academy and captained the 1952 team. At Vanderbilt University, he played at no. 3 for four years and captained the 1956 team his senior year. During those early years, Jim Rule and Dr. M T. Bush, his high school and college coaches taught him to appreciate the way the game is meant to be played. Nixon won his first men’s title in the Murfreesboro Men’s Open in 1951 and has won a title every year through 2017. At last count, Nixon recorded over 460 trophies and medals earned during his tennis career. Some of Nixon’s cherished wins include the consolation singles in the National Clay Court tournament in 1955 and the Southern Singles Indoor Championship in 1999. In 2017, Nixon and Joe Sykes took the silver medal in the National Senior Olympics in the 80s division and both are planning a return to the 85 age bracket. Nixon cherishes the many doubles games shared with his good friend Tom Stevens noting that tennis has given him “good health, good friends, and good memories.” John Nixon earned his law degree from Nashville School of Law in 1963. He worked for Bell South for 38 years retiring in 1994. He served as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves for 30 years. Nixon has been promoting tennis to area youth since the 1950s when he worked with Roy Bradley, Tom Stevens, and Cary MCNeilly to operate a Saturday night free instruction and tennis youth program in Nashville. Russell Butchee's father lent his indoor tennis facility for the program. The team gave beginner lessons and league play for all young players free of any charge. Over the years, Nixon also directed several local tournaments and at least one state championship. After Nixon retired from Bell South, he began a tennis instruction career at the Green Hills YMCA where he taught students of all ages until the program closed in 2009. Nixon has also served the community through the Optimist Club, the Rotary Club, and the Pioneers of America. Nixon resides in Nashville, Tennessee.