Tennis champion and Santa Monica College alumnus Glenn Bassett – the only person in history to win an NCAA title as player, assistant coach, and head coach – was inducted last week into the SMC Sports Hall of Fame.
Bassett joins such sports luminaries as retired SMC professor Dr. Tommie Smith, Olympic gold medalist in the 1968 200-meter track and field event; four-time Olympic swimming gold medalist and SMC alumnus Lenny Krayzelburg; and Olympic track and field bronze medalist and SMC alumnus Johnny Gray in the Hall of Fame.
“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 impressive career at SMC in 1946 with first place honors in men’s singles competition at the Ojai Tennis Championship in 1947.
Bassett co-captained the UCLA championship team in 1950, and represented the USA twice at Wimbledon, before entering the education arena, teaching and coaching high school tennis for 15 years.
Moving back to UCLA in 1967, he coached tennis for 27 seasons with an impressive 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.
He is in the UCLA Athletic, Intercollegiate Tennis Association Collegiate, and the Southern California Association Halls of Fame, and he is the author of Tennis Today and Tennis: The Bassett System.