Santa Monica College (SMC) alumnus Glenn Bassett, the only person in history to win an NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) tennis championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach, was inducted into the SMC Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday, March 18th.
As a member of the SMC Sports Hall of Fame, Bassett joins such sports luminaries as Olympic track and field gold medalist and retired SMC professor Dr. Tommie Smith; four-time Olympic swimming gold medallist and SMC alumnus Lenny Krayzelburg; and Olympic track and field bronze medallist and SMC alumnus Johnny Gray.
“The Sports Hall of Fame brings deserved attention to the outstanding programs and rich sports traditions of Santa Monica College,” said SMC Foundation executive director Dr. JoAnn McLin Ortiz. “It exemplifies the importance of saying ‘well done’ to those who have participated in those traditions and to those who will carry them on.”
Bassett, of Laguna Beach, began his career at SMC in 1946 with first-place honors in men’s singles competition at the Ojai Tennis Championship in 1947. He was co-captain of the UCLA championship team in 1950 and represented the United States twice at Wimbledon, before entering the education field, where he taught and coached high school tennis for 15 years.
In 1967 Bassett moved back to UCLA, where he coached tennis for 27 seasons and compiled an record of 592-92-2, winning 13 conference championships, seven NCAA team championships and three singles championships. Among the tennis stars he coached are Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe.
Bassett, who has also been inducted into the UCLA Athletic, Intercollegiate Tennis Association Collegiate and the Southern California Association Halls of Fame, is the author of Tennis Today and Tennis: The Bassett System.