Mark Johnson of Henryetta, is one of three inductees in this year’s USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame Class. The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have served the game of tennis through their play, dedication to volunteerism and their passion for improving the game.
Johnson is being joined by Bob Bates of Prairie Village, Kan., and Wilbur Jones of Shawnee, Kan. The three new members of the USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame were inducted during a USTA Missouri Valley Annual Conference and Awards luncheon on Saturday, December 3 at the Sheraton Hotel in Overland Park.
Johnson served as the head women’s tennis coach at Oklahoma University from 1988-2008 compiling a 306-176 career record. He coached 23 conference champions and had 4 NCAA singles qualifiers and 5 NCAA doubles qualifiers.
As a junior player, Johnson was the USTA Missouri Valley junior singles champion in 1972 (12s division), 1974 (14s Division) 1976 (16s Division), 1979 and 1980 (Men’s Open). He was also the USTA Missouri Valley junior doubles champion 1971 (12s), 1972 (14s), 1974 (16s) and 1976 (18s). From there he went on to have a successful career as a player at Oklahoma State. He was the Big 8 Conference Singles and Doubles champion in 1981 and 1982, and was named an NCAA All-American in 1981.
Johnson hasn’t forgotten his roots, either. For three years, Johnson lead an effort in Henryetta to repair and rebuild the community’s broken tennis courts. In 2016, Henrietta dedicated the courts, which required over $250,000 in fundraising.
“It’s been a really rewarding experience, knowing the place where we grew up and played, we were able to go back and rebuild it and now for decades to come there will be kids who will be able to come and use that facility.”
The USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame was created in 1986 with the purpose of recognizing and honoring individuals who went above and beyond for the game of tennis, ensuring their continued involvement in the game and the section.