LOIS BLACKBURN BRYAN

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Dedicated to her players and to her sport, Lois Blackburn Bryan (b.1923 – d.1996) led Mary Bladwin College to 20 consecutive winning seasons, five of them undefeated. She also was instrumental in developing women’s intercollegiate competition, serving as court director of two national championships and directing the Mid-Atlantic regional championships throughout her coaching career. In 1989 the ITA honored Blackburn as the Division III Coach of the Year.

Blackburn taught values as well as tennis skills and her team members were recognized with such honors as the ITA’s Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award. In 1990, upon her retirement as Associate Professor of Physical Education, Blackburn’s former students paid a tribute to the role she had played in their lives. As one student wrote, “Under your instructions I not only became a better tennis player, but a better person, too.”

Career Highlights

  • B.S.’44 Westhampton College, University of Richmond; M.S.’68 University of Virginia
  • Coached Mary Hotchkiss Leavell, Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association (MATA) singles champion 1973; Crissy Gonzales, MATA singles andn doubles champion 1976; Martha Coates, 3-year competitor, NCAA Division III 1985-1987; Karwin Whitt, winner of the ITA Division III Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award 1988
  • Team Winner, MATA Collegiate Championship 1970; Virginia Collegiate Champtionship 1971-1973; Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship 1988
  • Director, USTA Women’s Collegiate Champtionship 1975; MATA Collegiate Championship 1970-1989; South Regional Championship 1989
  • Court Director, NCAA Division III Collegiate Championships 1986-1987
  • Panelist, National Tennis Teachers Conference 1971-1979
  • Secretary, USTA Women’s Collegiate Committee 1971-1979
  • Member, USTA National Education and Research Committee, 1973-1980
  • Commissioner of Championships (14 sports), Region II AIAW 1982, 1983
  • Member, ITA National Committee for Rookie and Player of the Year 1984; Southern Region Ranking Committee 1987-1989; ITA Women’s Hall of Fame Committee 1988-1996
  • Winner of the USTA Educational Merit Award 1980
  • Winner of the ITA Wilson Division III Coach of the Year Award 1989
  • Virginia Tennis Association President’s Outstanding Service Award 1991
  • Author, Handbook for Planning and Conducting Tennis Tournaments