Lindale native Melissa Wells, a longtime Van High School head tennis coach, has named to the Texas Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Bobby Kleineck, TTCA executive director, announced on Thursday.
Randall King, of Fredericksburg, will join Wells in the 2021 Class.
The induction ceremony will be held Friday, Dec. 3, at the TTCA Convention Banquet at Horseshoe Bay Resort.
The featured speaker will be Brad Gilbert, who reached a singles ranking as high as No. 4 in the world from 1982-1995. Registration for the convention, scheduled for Dec. 3-5, will be available at texastenniscoaches.com beginning Aug. 1. Tickets to the Friday Convention Banquet can be purchased for $35 by contacting the TTCA.
Wells had a distinguished coaching career from 1989-2019. She coached at Queen City (1989-1991), Splendora (1991-1996), Gladewater (1996-2007), Mount Pleasant (2007), and Van (2007-2019).
Her girls doubles tandem won the UIL Class 3A state title for Gladewater in 2001 (Kayla Bowden-Lucy Flores), and a Van mixed doubles duo took Class 3A top honors in 2009 (Natalie Hand-Josh Wilgus).
Wells received the Van Education Foundation Ring of Honor in 2018.
“Being able to teach and coach young people for 30 years has meant I have had the joy of watching them grow and accomplish many goals,” said Wells, who serves as the TTCA Convention coordinator. “Our goal is to always do what is best for the young people of Texas.”
Wells also coached three state finalists, eight semifinalists, 38 qualifiers, and 16 team tournament qualifiers.
Wells’ girls doubles team of Abby Jones and Faith Kirk of Van placed second in Class 4A in 2019. After the match Wells made her retirement official.
King, a native of Brady, has been the head coach at Fredericksburg High School for 27 years. During his tenure, the Battlin’ Billies captured three Class 4A State Team Championships in 2015, 2018, and 2019. Four of his squads finished as runners-up. Fredericksburg also can claim five girls’ singles championships (three runners-up), two mixed doubles champs, and a boy’s titlist duo (one runner-up).
“The TTCA has been vital to the growth of tennis in Texas,” King said. “The organization has done so much for high school tennis, from advocating changes, such as adding mixed doubles to University Interscholastic League (UIL) tennis, to pushing team tennis, and adding playoff teams.”
The 2020 TTCA Convention was virtual because of the pandemic. Therefore the 2020 TTCA Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at this year’s event: Clinton Bowman (Denver City High School), Randy Stewart (Bryan High School), John Furlow (Clements High School), and Holly Ford (Spring Hill High School). The 2020 Hall of Honor inductee was Earl Van Zandt (Fort Worth/The Tennis Shop).
A Hall of Fame committee selected the honorees from a statewide list of nominations.