Alice Luthy Tym (b. 1942) blazed a trail as founder of the women’s tennis team while a student at the University of Florida in 1960, and continued her myriad contributions to the game as a champion player, collegiate coach and teaching professional. A standout junior player in her native Peoria, Illinois, Tym captained her college team all four years while earning Phi Beta Kappa academic honors. She went on to earn an M.A. from UF in 1966 as a Ford Foundation Fellow. From 1964 to 1970, she played on the international circuit, winning titles on five continents and securing a world ranking as high as No. 13 in 1969.

As head coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 1974 to 1978, Tym started the varsity women’s program and guided her teams to two AIAW Small College National Championships. Appointed director of tennis at Yale in 1978, she coached the nationally ranked women’s team for four years and won the Ivy Championships in 1981. Tym returned to UT to take up a distinguished teaching career in the Geography Department, maintaining her involvement in athletics as an active horsewoman and gold medalist in the National Senior Olympics.
Career Highlights

  • B.A., University of Florida (Phi Beta Kappa) 1964; M.A. 1966; Ford Foundation Fellow
  • Founder, women’s tennis team, University of Florida 1960; team captain and No. 1 player 1960-64
  • Played in all four Grand Slams and other major international championships 1964-1970
  • Canadian Doubles and Mixed Doubles Champion 1964
  • Won national titles in Kenya, Morocco, Israel, Egypt, Finland, Ireland, Greece, Wales,
  • New Zealand, India
  • U.S. Public Parks Singles Champion 1969
  • Ranked No. 13 in the world 1969
  • Monthly contributor to World Tennis, Tennis, Smash and ADDvantage magazines 1962-74
  • USPTA Singles and Doubles Champion 1972
  • Head Women’s Tennis Coach, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 1974-78
  • AIAW Small College National Champions 1977, 1978; State Champions 1974-78
  • Director of Tennis and Head Women’s Tennis Coach, Yale University 1978-82; team ranked in top 20 nationally
  • Ivy League Champions 1980-81 (tie), 1981-82; HYP Champions 1981-82
  • National Coach of the Dominican Republic 1972; trained teams for Pan American Games
  • National Coach of El Salvador 1979
  • Coach, USTA Junior Team, French Open 1980
  • Coach, World University Games, Edmonton, Canada 1983
  • USPTA Coach of the Year 1978; USPTA Master Professional (highest ranking)
  • Outstanding Professor Award, UTC 1989
  • Travel grants to China 1992; Japan 2006
  • Gold Medalist in table tennis singles and doubles, Silver Medalist in badminton mixed doubles, Bronze Medalist in table tennis mixed doubles, National Senior Olympics 2005
  • Gold Medalist in badminton singles, National State Games 2005
  • Inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame 1981
  • Inducted into the Peoria Sports Hall of Fame 1988
  • Inducted into the Peoria High School
  • Athletic Hall of Fame 2002
  • Coach Honoree, Yale Team honored in 2006 for having the best tennis record in Yale’s history