CLASS OF 2002
Clarence Dyer was born April 20, 1908, on Bois d’arc Creek north of Durant. After graduation from Durant High School, he attended Southeastern State Teachers College where he graduated in 1932. He played tennis all four years at Southeastern and capped his college career by winning the state championship in both singles and doubles in his senior year.
He taught in the Oklahoma Public Schools and coached tennis several years before joining the Southeastern faculty in 1946 as an industrial arts instructor and tennis coach.
His first team won the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference Championship. That was the first of 19 conference titles. When he retired in 1973, he had a string of 13 straight Oklahoma Collegiate Conference Championships.
Coach Dyer’s tennis program grew stronger with the years. His schedules were extremely tough, including many of the biggest and best universities in the southwest. The Southwest Conference, Big Eight teams, Missouri Valley teams, and major independents found the Savages to be tough competition.
Southeastern played in the first NAIA National Tennis Tournament in Abilene, Texas. Coach Dyer’s teams went to the national tournament 13 times and never finished lower than fourth.
He became the first president of the NAIA Tennis Coaches’ Association. He was the first person named to the Helms Foundation NAIA Tennis Hall of Fame. He coached several NAIA All-American tennis players.
Clarence Dyer’s career as a tennis coach is a legend. He was inducted as a charter member of the Southeastern State University Athletic Hall of Fame on January 29, 1977.