Class of 1992
Gatlinburg, Tennessee native Stanley Ford enjoyed a twenty-two year tennis doubles partnership with Knoxville native Dr. Reese Patterson. The duo won the National 55 and over Grass Court and Clay Court Championships in 1985 and the National 60 and over Clay Court Championship in 1986. Ford and his doubles partner made national headlines as both battled life-threatening illnesses during their height of their tennis game. In 1988, Patterson survived advanced stomach cancer and then Ford prevailed against Wegener’s Syndrome, a rare but often fatal autoimmune disorder. Both miraculously returned to the court in 1989. Despite being near death just two years earlier, the highlight of their senior doubles career came from a win at the USTA National Men’s Senior Grass Court Championships in New York in 1991. The USTA Southern Section awarded Ford and Patterson the Jacobs Bowl Award that year. Their amazing championship run ended in with the Southern Indoor Open in 1996. Shortly thereafter, Ford was diagnosed ALCS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Stanley Ford is remembered for his inspirational courage and love of the game. He died in 1998.