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Louderback honored for lifetime of service to tennis at state tournament

Posted Date: 05/16/2023

Louderback honored for lifetime of service to tennis at state tournament

J.C. Louderback, a respected figure in the local tennis community, was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the game of tennis at the 5A State Tennis Tournament hosted by Arkansas City High School.

“Louderback grew the game of tennis with his life,” ACHS Head Boys Tennis Coach Aaron O’Donnell said. “He put racquets in the hands of many kids here in Ark City and saw to it they had opportunities to grow in the game.”

Louderback taught at ACHS and coached Bulldog Tennis for 36 years. During those seasons, he coached his teams to three state team championships. He also coached many seasons before team titles were even recognized at the high school level. Additionally, Louderback coached players to 20 state singles and doubles championships. For 34 straight seasons, he qualified at least one entry for state tennis in Kansas – leaving his mark on the world of tennis as a coach and mentor to countless athletes.

For these efforts and more, he was selected by his peers to receive Kansas High School Coach of the Year honors four times. He was in the first class to be inducted into the Kansas High School Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997. The next year, he was inducted into the USTA Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fame. He was later inducted into the KSHSAA Hall of Fame and in 2002, his family was selected as the USTA National Tennis Family of the Year. 

Louderback’s legacy extends far beyond his on-court accomplishments. He served the Kansas District Tennis Association for 18 years. For decades, he was actively involved in organizing tournaments, hosting summer tennis camps, and coaching aspiring players of all ages – even ensuring players had tightened strings on their racquets. His devotion to the tennis community was very much a family affair. All three of his children and a granddaughter went on to play Division I tennis and have continued to pour into various tennis programs including Ark City’s.

“Many of you come from communities with a J.C.-like tennis figure,” O’Donnell said. “Be sure to thank them. Be sure to thank the people who introduced you to the game of tennis and provided you the opportunity to be here today.”