“Tennis taught me to maintain strict daily physical workouts and to never display anger while playing tennis or at any other time.” ~~W.T. Mathes, 2018
William T. Mathes
Class of 2013
In 2012, W.T. Mathes’ first gold ball came in the USTA national championship for the men’s doubles 90 division. At last count he has earned 2 gold balls, 10 silver balls, and 18 bronze balls in doubles play and expects to earn more. A native of Greeneville, Tennessee born on May 19, 1920, Mathes learned to play tennis as a young boy on a home-constructed court. The local high school had no tennis team and only a walk-on team awaited him at Milligan College in Elizabethton, Tennessee. After he graduated in 1942, he pursed a medical degree specializing in otolaryngology and his medical pursuits left little time for tennis. Beginning his medical practice in 1950, Mathes served patients from Johnson City, Tennessee for 56 years before retiring at the age of 86 in 2006. In his 80s, Mathes returned to the game of tennis playing in USTA events around the country. Locally, he picked up weekly matches with both of his daughters, their friends, and a Friday men’s groups. He has competed in the national father-daughter tournaments with both of his daughters, Marcia Sentell and Myra O’Dell. Mathes has been nationally ranked in singles and doubles play almost every year since 2005. Among his many awards, Mathes received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Milligan College in 1989 and in 2005, Milligan College named their new tennis complex the Mathes Tennis Center. In 2009, he received Keith Vern's Sports Award at the National Father Daughter Grass Court Championship. In 2016, the Mathes family received the Tennessee Tennis Family of the Year award as well as the Mickey McNully Southern Family of the Year. Mathes served as Chairman of the Johnson City Memorial Hospital Board, Chairman of the Johnson City Eye & Ear Hospital Board, and as an Elder at First Christian Church from 1972-2003. Mathes resides in Johnson City, Tennessee with his wife Alyne who has been an enthusiastic spectator and supporter at many of his tennis matches. Mathes said that one of his favorite memories playing has been getting to introduce four of his family members to the sport.