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David Snyder

  • Two-time state tennis champion at Winfield High School
  • Coached collegiate tennis for forty-one years posting a record of 697-226 in dual-matches
  • Coached thirty-three All-Americans during his career
Snyder, David
Inducted 2012

Born: December 14, 1934 – Wichita, KS

Graduated: Winfield High School, 1952; University of Texas, 1956; University of Arizona (M.A.); Ohio State University (PhD), 1969

Overview

Few athletes or coaches in any sport can match Snyder’s accomplishments throughout his stellar career.  Not only did his career span parts of five decades, but he was also one of collegiate tennis’s most successful coaches during that period.

Playing Career

A two-time state singles champion in high school, Snyder continued that success in college for the University of Texas where he helped guide the Longhorns to three consecutive Southwest Conference championships (1954-1956) and a second place finish in the 1955 NCAA tournament.  He was named the captain of the 1956 Texas squad and reached number twenty-two in the United States Tennis Association’s men’s singles rankings that year.

Coaching Career

For all his accomplishments as a player, it was as a teacher and coach where Snyder’s impact on the history of the sport can truly be felt.

He began his remarkable collegiate coaching career in 1959 at the University of Arizona and guided the Wildcats to a record of 161-48 in dual-matches during his fourteen seasons at the helm.  Based on those results, it seemed like an obvious fit for Snyder to take over the University of Texas tennis program after the position came open in 1972.

The reunion of Snyder and his alma mater was a match made in tennis heaven.  Over the next twenty-eight years as the leader of the Longhorn tennis program, Snyder won over seventy-five percent of the dual-matches including nine conference championships.  His Longhorn squads also reached the NCAA tournament in twenty-two of those twenty-eight years.

In total, Snyder coached an astounding thirty-three All-Americans at Arizona and Texas and his combined win-loss record of 697-226 in dual-matches placed him among the game’s greatest of all-time.

In 1962, just four seasons after he began coaching, Snyder was named the coach of the U.S. Junior Davis Cup team, a team that was led by Arthur Ashe.  Snyder was also named the ITCA Coach of the Year in 1985.

Return to the Court

He retired as the head coach of the University of Texas following the 2000 season, yet even retirement could not slow him down.  Since his retirement, Snyder has also won two national age-group racquetball singles championships.