BYU head men's tennis coach Brad Pearce is on of 176 members of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
SALT LAKE -- Brigham Young University head men's tennis coach Brad Pearce was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday at the Delta Center.
"I am truly humbled," Pearce said at the induction ceremony. "I was simply enjoying being a spectator to all these great men here tonight and now I'm a little choked up to be a part of it all."
Pearce was chosen because of his extensive tennis career and his contributions to the game. He grew up in Provo on the BYU tennis courts as his father was the head coach of the team. He was ranked as the No. 2 junior player in America and No. 5 in the world after reaching the semifinals at the Junior Wimbeldon tournament in 1984.
Pearce went on to be a two-time All-American at UCLA in both singles and doubles before he joined the professional circuit at the age of 20. Pearce had a successful career on the professional tour that included nine titles and a quarterfinal singles appearance on center court at Wimbledon in 1990, losing to the then No. 1 player in the world Ivan Lendl in four sets. He also had quarterfinal double appearances at both the Australian and US Open Championships. In 1990, Pearce was selected as a traveling practice member of the U.S. Davis Cup Team. Pearce's highest career ranking was 71 in singles and 23 in doubles.
In 1997-1998, Pearce was selected to coach with the USA Tennis High Performance program of the USTA. He coached, participated in training camps, and traveled with the many of the best American juniors to major events in the United States (Orange Bowl, U.S. Open), South America, Canada and Europe. Members of the teams he worked with included Andy Roddick, James Blake and Mardy Fish. In addition to his work with the USTA, Pearce worked with Mardy Fish on a private basis before his full-time commitment to BYU in January of 2000.
Pearce took over the head coaching position in 2003 and the team has not left the national rankings since with its highest ranking coming in 2005 at No. 61. He has also lead the team to a current No. 2 ranking in the NCAA Mountain Region. Pearce was recently selected to the United States Tennis Association Nominating Committee, the second most powerful group in the USTA. The position is a two year commitment and Pearce and his colleagues will be responsible for choosing the board of directors for the USTA in 2009.
Other 2006 inductees include University of Utah legends Manny Hendrix, Allen Jacobs and Glen Smith with Wilbur Braithwaite who is known for his contributions through coaching and publishing.
Pearce gave the credit to his family for his success. He became emotional at the pulpit as he quoted Isaac Newton in relation to the support he has received from his parents, siblings and wife.
"I was able to accomplish what I did because I stood on the shoulders of others," he said.