Glenn Bassett

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Glenn Noble Bassett was an American tennis player in the mid-20th century who later would be one of the most successful college tennis coaches of all time. He was born 22 May 1927 in Salt Lake City. His family moved to California in 1929 and to Santa Monica, California when he was twelve. He attended Lincoln Junior High School where he took up tennis practicing by hitting the ball against the garage door. He became a star quickly in tournaments by the time he attended Santa Monica High School. He would later return there as a teacher and a winning coach that led Samohi to five straight CIF team titles (1962 - 1966)[1] which in turn led to his offer to coach at his beloved alma mater, UCLA. His proud mother kept every ribbon, trophy and news article about him until she died.

Bassett was the co-captain (with Herb Flam) of the University of California at Los Angeles tennis team that won the NCAA championship 1950. Also that year, he won the singles title at the Cincinnati Masters, defeating Ham Richardson, 6–2, 4–6, 6–1, 6–1 in the final.

Bassett graduated from UCLA in 1951, and would go on to coach the UCLA tennis team for 27 seasons (from 1967 to 1993). At UCLA, he compiled a record of 592-92-2, winning 13 conference championships, seven NCAA team championships (1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1982 and 1984) and producing three NCAA singles champions, four NCAA doubles team champions and 49 All-Americans.

Bassett is the only person in NCAA history to win an NCAA tennis title as a player, assistant coach and head coach. While at UCLA, he has worked with some of tennis’ most recognized players, including national champions Arthur Ashe, Ian Crookenden, Billy Martin and Jimmy Connors, and 1992 Olympian Mark Knowles.

After leaving the Bruins, he became a volunteer coach at Pepperdine in 1994 and 1995 and assumed the head coaching position in 1996, leading Pepperdine to a 22–7 season.

He was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998,[2] the ITA Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993,[3] the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 2005,[4] and the Santa Monica College Sports Hall Of Fame in 2008.[5]

He also wrote books on tennis, penning “Tennis Today”[6] and “Tennis: The Bassett System.”[7]


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  2. ^ "UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame" Archived December 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., accessed 23 November 2008
  3. ^ "ITA Men's Hall of Fame, Members (by year of induction)", accessed 23 November 2008
  4. ^ "Austin, Bassett, Baker Fleitz, Gonzalez and Segura Entering SCTA Hall Of Fame" SCTA News (June 16, 2005) Southern California Tennis Association, p.16[permanent dead link], accessed 23 November 2008
  5. ^ "SMC Inducts Tennis Champ Into the Hall Of Fame" Santa Monica Mirror 9(42): (27 March 2008) Archived 18 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine., accessed 23 November 2008
  6. ^ Bassett, Glenn and Otta, William (1989) Tennis today West Pub. Co., St. Paul, ISBN 0-314-68952-4
  7. ^ Bassett, Glenn and Galanoy, Terry (1977) Tennis: The Bassett System Regnery, Chicago, ISBN 0-8092-7916-9