CLASS OF 2001
Dick Spears was born in Longview, Texas, and raised in Kermit, Texas. He won his first tennis tournament in the fourth grade with a borrowed tennis racket. He won three high school District Titles and then advanced to the semi-finals of the State High School Tournament in Austin, Texas, each of those three years. He received a scholarship to play tennis at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. While at Tech, his team won the Border Conference title and placed second in the Southwest Conference, falling only to Rice. He completed his college career with 71 singles wins. After graduating from Texas Tech with a Retail Degree, he served six months in the U.S. Army. He then went to work for J.C. Penny's in Odessa, Texas, in 1969, putting his tennis on hold.
14 years later in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he started playing tennis again. He had many wins in tournaments around the state. During the next 14 years, he was ranked as high as fourth in the Missouri Valley. He was ranked second in Men's 35 Singles and second in Men's 45 Singles in Oklahoma. In 1983, his last year to play tournaments, he won both the Singles and Doubles titiles at the Oklahoma State Closed at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
In February of 1984, Dick had a heart attack on the court at the Missouri Valley Indoors at Shangri-La. He got out of the hospital 25 weeks later with only one foot and was paralyzed from the waist down. He felt that if he could no longer play tennis, he would work to improve Ardmore tennis. He has organized tournaments in the Ardmore area for the last 17 years.
In 1995, the Rotary Club was looking for a community project. Dick suggested raising money to build four new tennis courts at Ardmore High School. The courts were completed 18 months later. Much to his surprise, the school named the courts in his honor, "The Dick Spiers Complex, Ardmore City Schools."
For four years, he organized collegiate tournaments in Ardmore for six colleges. The endeavor benefited Sunshine Industries (a sheltered workshop) in Ardmore for 100 developmentally disabled. They raised $25,000 for Sunshine Industries.
Dick and Marlene have been married since 1975. They have two grown children and five grandchildren.