BYU men's tennis coach Brad Pearce will be inducted into the Utah Tennis Hall of Fame March 11 (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- BYU men’s tennis coach Brad Pearce and former women’s player Debbie Robb have been selected for inclusion in the Utah Tennis Hall of Fame. They will be inducted in a ceremony at the Cottonwood Country Club March 11.
Pearce was born and raised in Provo, Utah, where he graduated from Timpview High School in 1984. He grew up on the BYU tennis courts where his father, Wayne Pearce, was the men's tennis coach for nearly 20 years. Pearce finished his junior career as the No. 1 computer-ranked junior player in the United States and was also ranked No. 5 in the world ITF.
Pearce joined the professional tour after playing two seasons of collegiate tennis at UCLA, where he was a two-time All-American in both singles and doubles and the PAC-10 singles and doubles champion in 1986. Pearce was a semifinalist in the NCAA tournament that same year, finishing his sophomore year ranked No. 4 in the nation. He was a gold and bronze medalist at the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow, Russia.
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. He also had quarterfinal doubles appearances at both the Australian and US Open Championships. Pearce's highest career ranking was No. 71 in singles and No. 23 in doubles. He recorded singles and/or doubles wins over John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Goran Ivanesivic and Ivan Lendl.
Pearce was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in November 2006 and currently serves on the nominating committee and the collegiate varsity committee of the United States Tennis Association. To this day, he is one of only sixteen Americans in the last twenty-one years to reach the final eight in singles at Wimbledon. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced that Pearce will also be inducted into the Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in May of this year.
Also being inducted is Debbie Robb. Robb was born in Salt Lake City and played for BYU from 1980-1982. She and fellow freshman Sue Pendo were named the No. 1 doubles team in the conference. Robb was named a Coaches All-America player in singles and doubles in 1981, as well as a Nike and NCAA All-American. In her freshman season, Robb was undefeated in conference play in both singles and doubles. She owned a 23-9 overall singles record and 27-7 overall doubles record.
Robb returned her sophomore year with a 13-9 singles record and a 22-6 doubles record. She and Lani Wilcox advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA Championship in doubles. Robb partnered with BYU men’s coach Jim Osborne in 1982 to win the KODEL national mixed doubles championship and qualified for an automatic berth in the US Open. At the conclusion of the season, she left BYU to enter the pro circuit.
Hall of Fame inductees are nominated by a third party and elected by the committee members. The honor is based on tennis accomplishments as well as contributions of service to organized tennis and maturity and residence.