The Oklahoma Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame is going to get another Henryettan added to the list this year.
Veteran tennis player and longtime coach Mark Milligan will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Feb. 10. milligan crop
Milligan played for HHS and won the state No. 1 Singles champion title in 1967. He teamed up with another Henryetta tennis star, Phil Carter to win the 1971 Conference doubles championship.
Following graduation, he went to Southeastern State University and was a two-time All American. In 1972, the year before he graduated from SOSU, he was a conference double champion and reached the National Doubles Finals.
Once he had his degree in education, he went on to coach tennis at Ardmore, Muskogee, Henryetta, Altus and McAlester.
As a coach, he produced both state champions and runners up in Ardmore and was named coach of the year by the Oklahoma Coaches Association in 2001.
He was the All State tennis coach for the west team in 1992 then east All State coach in 1995.
Milligan owes his love for the sport to Dr. Carlton Smith who initiated the summer tennis program. “I don’t know what would have happened to me if Dr. Smith hadn’t had that summer program. In 1958 I was nine years old,” Milligan recalled.
He and his wife, Joan, are the parents to two sons, Aaron and Daniel, and daughters, Rachel Brewer and Sarah Daniels.
Even though he is retired from coaching, he can still be seen nearly daily at the Main Street courts in Henryetta. He has been one of the driving forces in the renovation of the courts and is an active member in the Henryetta Tennis Association. He can also be found working with young tennis players throughout the year, giving them tips and being a mentor like the ones he had as a youth.
While helping develop future tennis stars, he also cares about his fellow man. He can also be found behind the pulpit pastoring several churches throughout the state.
“Mark has been an excellent example of how the youth tennis program can develop players and future leaders,” said his former coach Mike Kennedy. “He is well-respected across the state by both players and fellow coaches alike.”
milligan kennedy johnsonThe Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at Quail Creek country club in Oklahoma City Feb. 10.
Milligan joins Dr. Smith, Mark Johnson and Mike Kennedy representing Henryetta in that honor.