GERALD "JERRY" HIRST
CLASS OF 2008
Jerry Hirst first made his name in Oklahoma
tennis winning the State High School Singles title in 1957 and the State
High School Doubles title with his brother Wayne in 1958 while
attending Harding High School in Oklahoma City. In 1959, Jerry
doubled with Steve Prosser to win the Missouri Valley Doubles Championship
in the junior division, and was crowned the Oklahoma State Singles
Champion in 1960.
In 34 years, Hirst coached basketball, football, and track, but his best he saved for tennis, leading the Harlingen Cardinals to legendary status. They won 30 District Team Championships and numerous individual titles. The high point came in 1991 when the Cards reached the state finals and he was named State Coach of the Year.
In July 2000 Jerry was invited to represent
the U.S. as a member of the Gordon Cup International Team.
He has been inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the Texas State Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He formed the Rio Grand Valley Tennis Coaches Association as a venue to raise scholarship money for graduating senior tennis players, raising over $100,000. He was instrumental in working with the South Texas Tennis Coaches Association and was an active player on the court for many years. Jerry passed away on March 16, 2021.