Lee News

Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame Inducts McDaniel

Kay McDaniel, former tennis coach at Lee University, was inducted into the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame on Dec. 6 at a special ceremony in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

McDaniel is a retired international professional tennis player who also excelled in the amateur ranks as a Southern junior champion and a collegiate All-American at Louisiana State University (LSU).
McDaniel Inducted to Hall of Fame
Kay McDaniel

In 1984, at the height of her professional career, McDaniel reached a ranking of #38 in the world. Two highlights of her esteemed years on the tour include playing on national TV at the US Open and splitting sets with Yvonne Goolagong and reaching the singles round of 32 at Wimbledon.

McDaniel was a three-time All-American at LSU, from 1976-78, reaching the semifinals two consecutive years and being named to the USTA Jr. Federation Cup team, which at the time was made up of the top eight amateur women in the nation. Playing the national 21 and under circuit, she was listed #1 nationally in the 1978 USTA 21 and under rankings.

Starting her tennis career in the Louisiana Tennis Association, McDaniel was ranked #1 in the state in Girls' 14s, 16s, and 18s for six consecutive years. In addition, she won the prestigious Southern Junior Closed Championship in Girls' 14s, 16s and 18s and was ranked #1 in the South in each of those age divisions. She also won the Louisiana State High School AAAAA Girls' Singles title three times while playing for Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, never losing a set in the process.

Several highlights of her esteemed tennis career include being on the USA team with Pam Shriver and Kathy Jordan in the Maureen Connolly Brinker Championships which defeated Great Britain in 1982. McDaniel turned pro in 1979 and shortly afterward, played in Wimbledon for the first time where she reached round of 32 in singles, falling to Betty Stove, who reached the finals that year. In 1983, McDaniel played in the USTA National Mother-Daughter Doubles Championship with her mother, Frances McDaniel, and they reached the finals. As a result, they each received a coveted USTA silver ball, emblematic of reaching the finals of a USTA national championship tournament.

McDaniel has two USTA gold balls for winning national championship events and two USTA silver balls.

After a successful pro tennis career, McDaniel retired in 1987 and moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, where she served as a women’s tennis coach for several years and an assistant professor in the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Secondary Education for 27 years at Lee University. She currently works with students in the university’s Learn Engage Achieve Program.

In 2009, McDaniel was inducted into the Southern Tennis Association Hall of Fame for her many achievements in amateur and professional competition.
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