Tennis: Saluting a legend

February 12, 2000

Richard Dunn

What the late Myron McNamara represented was more than simply

attacking the net, teaching a serve-and-volley game and emphasizing

proper court etiquette to his hundreds of devoted pupils.

McNamara never sought the limelight, but a light always followed him.

A World War II hero as a bomber pilot, notable member of a

barnstorming tennis tour to promote the game in the 1950s and the UCI


men's tennis coach from 1966 to 1979, McNamara has a legacy that holds

serve against anyone.

And, these days, UCI is still benefiting from McNamara's influence

with an endowment in his name instituted by a collection of former

players, friends and colleagues.

Those who were on the ground floor of the endowment will be recognized

today in pregame ceremonies before UCI's nonconference match against


"What better way is there to start (an endowment), then after the man

who basically started the program here?" said UCI Coach Steve Clark, a

Newport Beach resident.

"(McNamara) gave the program the reputation it has. He stood for

loving people, loving tennis and having integrity."

The day of McNamara's memorial service in April 1998, Clark and a few

others, including some UCI alumni who played under the late coach, talked

about starting an endowed scholarship fund in his name.

Shortly thereafter, tennis legend and longtime McNamara friend Jack

Kramer "stepped up in a huge way," Clark said, and the ball started to

roll. Kramer donated his golf club in Chino Hills, the Los Serranos Golf

and Country Club, and the Myron McNamara Endowed Scholarship Fund Golf

Tournament was launched.

"Now," said former UCI All-American Glenn Cripe, a member of the

original endowment group, "there's $40,000 to $50,000 in it."

About a dozen members of the group, including Cripe, a former CIF

Southern Section doubles champion from Newport Harbor High and part of

the Daily Pilot Sports Hall of Fame, will be recognized today before the

Anteaters' match against UCLA, which is scheduled to start at noon.

A free barbecue lunch will be served to all fans in attendance -- or

as long as the food lasts -- beginning at 11:30 a.m., along with a

hit-for-prizes contest.

McNamara, who compiled a 314-74 record at UCI, won six NCAA Division

II titles and coached 27 All-Americans, came back and served as an

assistant under Clark in the 1994-95 campaign.

Clark, whose Anteaters are 5-0, is in his eighth season as UCI head

coach, after replacing Greg Patton. Clark was the head men's tennis coach

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