Shawnee high school dominated what is now class 6A tennis from 1974-88 and the tennis mentor of that super dynasty, Ron Sharp, was inducted into the Oklahoma Tennis Coaches' Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Ron Sharp coached the Shawnee boys from 1974-1988 and the girls from 1983-88. He was surrounded by his former players during the induction ceremony at the OKC Quail Creek Country Club, which turned emotional on several occasions. Several of these players Coach Sharp had not seen since their high school graduation.
Playing in the top classification, Sharp's teams accumulated a total of six state championships and eight runners-up titles during his 15 years as tennis coach. The boys' teams won 15 consecutive conference championships while his girls teams won five consecutive conference championships.
Sharp's 15-year coaching record for the boys stands at 303-7, and his girls achieved a 91-8 record during the five years he was their coach.
During Sharp's coaching tenure, he had 13 All-American first-team selections and 22 All-American second team selections. He had 51 Oklahoma All-State first team selections and 11 All-State second-team selections.
Sharp was selected National High School Tennis Coach of the Year in 1979; All-American Coach in 1987; and in 1988 was selected as one of the top 50 coaches in the world by the United States Professional Tennis Registry and Vaurnet-France International.
Sharp received the Oklahoma Tennis Coach of the Year award 13 out of 15 years that he coached. He received the Conference Coach of the Year for 15 consecutive years.
In 1979, Sharp formed the Oklahoma Tennis Coaches Association along with Bob R. Williams, executive director of the Oklahoma Coaches Association; Sharp served as the organization's first president and later as its treasurer. He served from 1979-83 as chairman of the All-American player selection committee in the National High School Athletic Coaches' Association.
Sharp said, "It was my honor to have coached these great athletes. Any coaching recognition that I receive is totally the result of their dedication to the game and will to win.
"The last couple of years that I coached, only three of the eight tennis courts at the high school were playable. The court service was crumbling to the point players could not stay on their feet. We could not attempt to play a home tennis match for safety reasons," Sharp added. "While this situation caused tremendous hardship, we did the very best we could to continue to keep the Shawnee tradition going."
Sharp received tennis certification as a professional instructor from The United States Professional Tennis Association, The United States Professional Tennis Registry and the United States Professional Tennis Coaches Academy.
While at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Sharp was a four-year varsity tennis letterman and was selected as Freshman of the Year in 1971.
Sharp was inducted in 1972 into the SOSU Blue Key National Honor Fraternity.
Before his retirement in 2012, Sharp was selected for 23 consecutive years into Who's Who Among America's Teachers.
From 1974-2006, Sharp was consistently ranked in the top 2 in mens singles and doubles competition in the United States Tennis Association/Oklahoma District Tennis Association.
Sharp and local retired dentist Dr. Brandon Bowers were ranked No. 1 in men's doubles competion for two consecutive years (1982 and.1983).
In 2012, Sharp was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate; however, he still stays active in tennis, serving on the Wilson TEAM Professional Tennis Advisory Staff.
When asked about a comparison between coaching and being a state senator, Sharp responded, "There is more politics in coaching."