CLASS OF 2020
In a chance family tennis outing at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center, when Krunch Kloberdanz picked up a tennis racquet at only 3 years old, his parents immediately noticed that he had an unusual knack for the game, and signed him up for weekly tennis lessons with esteemed coach Bill Rompf. Bill was reluctant to take on the youngster, but by age 4, he was rallying from the baseline, and he was off to the races in his legendary tennis career that followed in the footsteps of the other top elite players Bill coached throughout his different tennis academies, including Mary Norwood, Brian Devening, and Meredith Geiger. Through an intense hard work ethic, will, persistence, and determination, Bill taught Krunch how to use his small size to his advantage, and turned him into a tough fierce competitor starting at a very early age.
By age 5, Bill had convinced Krunch’s dad to enter him into a 10 and under state tournament, and from there he was hooked and the success started quickly. His dad painted a tennis net on their garage inside wall, which Krunch would practice many hours a night hitting the ball against the wall, which would be plastered with holes all over. At 6 years old, he won his first 10 and under state tournament, and immediately headed to NY to play in his first 10 and Under national tournament. From that point on, he never looked back, and cemented himself as the top player in Oklahoma from ages 6-18.
At age 8, Krunch first qualified for the Missouri Valley Tennis Association for the 12s and became the youngest player to ever reach 12s Nationals by competing in the 12s Indoors at Indianapolis. At age 9, he won the Oklahoma Endorser to the MVTA, which he ended up winning each year in his age group from 1983-1992, and ended with a #2 ranking in the 12s in the Missouri Valley. Starting that year at age 9 and going through the 18s, Krunch held the #1 ranking in singles and doubles in the Missouri Valley in every age group, and never held a ranking lower than #2. He represented the Missouri Valley section in the Sport Goofy World Invitational in 1984 and 1985, and then all four years eligible from 1988-1991 for the Intersectionals Championships.
In 1985, at age 10, he won the top 10s US National tournament at that time—the Nick Bolletieri Easter Bowl Invitational. After winning this tournament, Bolletieri offered him a scholarship to train at his academy alongside some of the world’s greatest players - Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, etc...but Krunch declined the invitation since he competed in many other sports back home, and they would only allow him to focus on tennis at the academy. Even at such a young age, Krunch prioritized the need for balance in his life beyond just tennis, and kept his love for competition of all sports by continuing to compete on football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball teams throughout his junior years. For many years during the school year, the only time he could fit in time on the tennis courts would be to wake up at 5am and practice before school.
In 1986, during Krunch’s first official year in the 12s age group, World Tennis Magazine did a feature on the Boys 12s Nationals circuit, and titled the article Krunch and the Gang. The article featured Krunch and his family and included several top tennis families in the 12s division. When they asked Krunch if he was upset about losing in the quarterfinals that year, he said he wasn’t worried because he would be in the finals the next year. And that next year, 1987, ended up becoming the pinnacle of his legendary career. Krunch did end up winning the Boys 12s Nationals in San Diego that next year, in which World Tennis Magazine covered in its Krunch and the Gang II update. He also was a finalist at the Indoors in singles and doubles in Indianapolis, and a singles finalist at the Hard Courts in Corpus Christie. He also was the recipient of two US National Sportsmanship awards that year. In addition, in 1987 he was also awarded the ODTA and the MVTA Player of the Year awards, as well as ending the year being ranked #2 in the USTA and ITF World Junior Rankings.
Unfortunately right after moving into the 14s age group and 10 successful years working with his coach Bill Rompf, Bill moved to Florida to run the Bollietieri Tennis Academy, but Krunch still continued his prominence on the national circuit by working with other local coaches the rest of his junior career with the likes of Lee Wright, Randy Witzel, and David Bryant. He consistently maintained Top 10 national rankings in Singles and Doubles and finished his national junior career with 2 Gold Balls, 5 Silver Balls, 5 National Sportsmanship Awards, and inclusion on multiple US National teams. Even in his first year of different age groups, he hardly ever finished outside the Round of 16s, and had many quarterfinals or Top 6 finishes at different national tournaments. Krunch also represented the US in 1989 in Sao Paolo, Brazil in a USA vs Brazil Cup match which included the top 2 boys and girls players in the US in the 14s, 16s and 18s. This was one of his career highlights as it also included two other Oklahoma Tennis Hall of Fame inductees and legends - a reunion with his coach Bill Rompf as the coach for the US Team, and fellow teammate Meredith Geiger.
Tennis was always a Kloberdanz family affair, as Krunch’s older brother of one year Paul, also played on the MVTA and National circuits as well throughout his junior career, and later played tennis for SMU. This created quite the logistical challenges for Krunch’s dad, mom, and coaches when Paul and Krunch were in different age groups participating in different national tournaments across the country. But when they were in the same age brackets, they played doubles together every year and were consistently the #1 ranked doubles team in Oklahoma and Missouri Valley and had multiple national Top 10 doubles rankings.
When Krunch joined his high school tennis team at Casady, they no longer participated in State Championships, as they were members in the Southwest Preparatory conference, with other private schools mostly across Texas. However, Krunch was allowed to enter the Oklahoma Junior-High (7th-9th grades) State Championship individually as a 7th grader and won the tournament. He had an esteemed high school tennis career, including winning multiple SPC Championships, and in all four years he captained the team, played #1 Singles and Doubles (with brother Paul), and was awarded the team MVP each year.
The summer before his senior year of high school, in his first year of 18s, he was selected to participate in the US Olympic Festival in San Antonio, and ended up finishing 6th at the US 18s Nationals in Kalamazoo. That year Krunch also partnered in doubles with fellow Oklahoman, Brandon Bethea, to finish #1 in Missouri Valley and #12 nationally.
As the top ranked 1st year of 18s player in the country, he ended up choosing to continue his tennis career at the collegiate level to play for Vanderbilt University. After winning his first collegiate tournament at Notre Dame his freshman year, over the next 3 years as a Sophomore, Junior and Senior from 1995-1997, each year he played #1 Singles and Doubles, served as Captain, was named All-SEC, and was an Academic All-American. In college, he had many top ranked singles and doubles wins including multiple wins over #1 ranked players and NCAA champions. Over the years, he has held multiple Vanderbilt Mens Tennis records, and to this day still holds the best doubles winning percentage for a season (1995-1996), and best career doubles winning percentage. During Krunch’s senior year, while holding a Top 20 NCAA ranking, he suffered a dramatic back injury during the middle of a match, that caused him to barely miss his goal of making All-American, and ultimately became the death nail in his tennis career. Determined to get past his lingering back problems, he persisted long and hard trying to battle back, and after the NCAA Championships his senior year, he began his pursuit of his lifelong dream to play the ATP Pro Tennis tour. But unfortunately his lingering back injuries and problems became too much to overcome, and Krunch’s pro career ended after only one year. In his one year on tour, he held world rankings in the mid hundreds in singles and doubles, and had very strong finishes across the Satellite Circuit in singles and doubles, including a Runner-Up finish.
After concluding his tennis career, Krunch chose to go back to Vanderbilt University to attain his MBA in Finance, where he met his wife, Courtney. He decided to pursue the Wall Street path, with multiple stints in NYC before settling in Atlanta, by going to work for Lehman Brothers, subsequently Credit Suisse and currently at UBS in their Private Wealth Management Division. When he was told he couldn't go by Krunch in the "real world", he proved his naysayers wrong once again by officially making Krunch his legal name. In his financial career, he is the senior partner for Odyssey Wealth Management, holds the distinguished Certified Financial Analyst designation, and has received several distinct honors including being named to Barron’s illustrious Top Financial Advisors in the US list, and was nomiated for Wall Street’s Top 40 Under 40. He resides in Atlanta with his wife and children, Palmer, Bailey, and Whitfield. He loves coaching all three of his kids across various sports, is an avid golfer, and enjoys playing music in two bands - one with his friends and one with his kids.