The Ohio Wesleyan men’s tennis team won six consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference championships from 1973-78.
In 1960, Bill Poist ’60 won the National Collegiate Athletic Association regional singles championship, defeating Richard Gordon ’62 in the finals. The duo combined to win the regional doubles title. The Ohio Wesleyan University Tennis Centre was built in 1968 and became the home of the Bishop tennis teams beginning with the 1969 season. Previously, home tennis matches were held at courts located just south of Selby Field, which were converted into a parking lot.
Ken Walker ’78 became Ohio Wesleyan’s first All-America tennis player in 1978. Walker also won his fourth straight OAC singles championship and helped coach Frank Shannon and the Bishops extend their string of consecutive OAC titles to 6. Gene Mehaffey was hired as the new men’s tennis coach in 1979.
Tom Drabczyk Jr. became the head coach of men and women’s tennis teams in 2013. In his first season at Ohio Wesleyan, the Battling Bishop men’s and women’s teams each finished in a seventh-place tie in the North Coast Athletic Conference standings.
The Battling Bishop men’s and women’s tennis teams play their home matches at the Luttinger Family Tennis Center, located on South Henry Street on the southeastern corner of campus. The Luttinger Family Tennis Center hosted its first competition on Sept. 17, 2011, when the men’s team hosted John Carroll. The facility includes seating for nearly 500 spectators.
The Luttinger Family Tennis Center consists of six new courts on the east side of Henry Street, along with six courts on the west side of Henry Street. The new courts were constructed with a DecoTurf surface as used at the U.S. Open and the last two Olympic games, and the existing courts were refurbished with the same DecoTurf surface. The Luttinger Family Tennis Center honors the contributions of the Luttinger family for its commitment to enriching the student-athlete experience at Ohio Wesleyan, Brandon Luttinger ’10 was a 2-time All-North Coast Athletic Conference selection in men’s tennis and Todd Luttinger is a member of Ohio Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees.
From 1969 to 2011, the Bishops played their home matches at the OWU Tennis Centre, a complex of 12 courts that played host to the 1978 NCAA Division III men’s championship tournament as well as North Coast Athletic Conference championship tournaments for both men and women. Six of those courts live on as part of the Luttinger Family Tennis Center. From 1929 through 1968, the Bishops played their home matches at the Selby courts, located directly south of Selby Field. Those courts were converted into a parking lot after the opening of the OWU Tennis Centre.
When inclement weather forces play indoors, matches are held inside spacious Gordon Field House, nestled in the middle of the Ohio Wesleyan academic campus. The field house’s 200-meter track encircles four tennis courts. Gordon Field House was named in recognition of the gift of Richard Gordon ’62, a standout tennis player for the Battling Bishops.