Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

February 2, 2014

Pruett, Kellmeyer to join sports shrine

WHEELING — The winningest football coach in Marshall University history and the only Mountain State native inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame are the 2014 additions to the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

 Bob Pruett and Fern Lee (Peachy) Kellmeyer will be inducted by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association at the 68th annual Victory Awards Dinner on May 4 at the Charleston Civic Center.

From 1996-2004, Pruett guided his alma mater to a school record 94-23 record, a 15-0 record and national Division 1-AA championship in 1996, five straight bowl wins, six conference titles, and three Top 25 national rankings including No. 10 in a 13-0 record 1999 season.

"It doesn't get any better than to be honored by your home state," Pruett said. "This means very much to me and I'm very thankful and humbled."

Kellmeyer, meanwhile, is the first inductee for the sport of tennis.

"What a surprise and honor," Kellmeyer said when notified. "If I haven't learned anything in this lifetime, it is that no one gets anywhere alone and I have been one lucky lady to have others there to help me along the way. It's extra special, also, to be honored in my hometown."

Kellmeyer is not only a pioneer in the sport of tennis but women's athletics overall.

A U.S. Wightman Cup Team member in 1963, she went on to be the No. 1 player from 1964-66 at the University of Miami where she also became the first woman to compete on a Division 1 men's team. As an adult, she was ranked nationally in both singles and doubles and competed at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

In 1966, while serving as Athletic Director at Marymount College in Boca Raton, Fla., she spearheaded a lawsuit that eventually paved the way for Title IX and contributed to the increase of female athletes in intercollegiate athletics.

 From 1973-76, she was the Tour Director for the Virginia Slims Circuit and, in 1973, she became the first employee, and director, of the World Tennis Association and has played a critical role for four decades in the devopment of women's tennis around the world.

Currently, she serves as Executive Consultant of Tour Operations.

 The WTA Player Service Award is named the "Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award" and she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011.

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