EDINBURG - Sam Houston women’s tennis head coach Rob Hubbard will be one of six 2019 inductees to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony on campus Saturday, Feb. 16.
Hubbard played on nationally-ranked teams at Texas-Pan American in Edinburg from 1974 to 1978. He helped lead the first Broncs’ team to achieve an ITA Top 10 national ranking. He earned berths in the NCAA Division I Championships in both singles and doubles his final two years at UTPA. He returned to UTPA as the men's and women's tennis head coach from 2005-06 through 2007-08.
"I'm absolutely thrilled and humbled by the honor," Hubbard said. "Knowing some of the elite athletes and coaches that are already in the hall, to be considered among them is something that I never saw coming. I was totally caught off guard by the news."
The UTRGV Athletics Hall of Fame Committee announced Hubbard’s selection Wednesday afternoon. Other 2019 inductees include former baseball player Gary Doyle, former men's basketball head coach Lon Kruger, former volleyball player Jaclyn Muszynski, former women's track & field athlete Elizabeth Ortega-Hilpert, and former men's soccer player Fredy Sanguinetti.
“To go into the Hall of Fame that includes a couple of tennis greats like Sherwood Stewart and Don Russell is really something,” Hubbard said. “I am so appreciative of the fact that Chris King, UTRGV Director of Athletics, called personally to let me know about the honor.”
Highlights of Hubbard’s intercollegiate tennis career in Edinburg included leading the team to ITA national top 20 rankings in both 1977 and 1978. Hubbard joined the ATP Tour in 1978 and was ranked as high as 290 in the world. He participated in the 1979 and 1980 U.S. Opens and was a two-time USTA National Champion. Selected to represent the United States at the Italia Cup, which was a 35-and-over Davis Cup competition, Hubbard was named as USPTA Maryland Pro of the Year in 2000 and was the USPTA Mid-Atlantic 35-and-over Player of the Year during his elite playing career.
In his first two seasons as head women’s tennis coach at Sam Houston, Hubbard has directed the Bearkats to a 23-19 overall won-loss record and back-to-back Southland Conference tournament appearances. During the 2017-18 season, the Sam Houston women set a school record with their 14-6 dual match record. The team placed third in the 2018 Southland race and reached the tournament semi-finals for the fifth time in the program’s 31 seasons in the league.