Oct. 19, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - In the sixth of an ongoing series honoring the 2011 Long Beach State Hall of Fame nominees, we take a look at a name synonymous with 49er men's tennis, Peter Smith.
Smith spent eight years with the Long Beach State men's tennis program, helping the program win two PCAA titles as a player before taking over as the final head coach of the program.
Reaching the singles conference tournament finals in all four seasons with the 49ers as a player, Smith won two tournament championships, including a singles championship at No. 4 as a senior, helping the 49ers claim their second PCAA championship while he played for Long Beach State.
After spending two seasons on the ATP tour, competing in Wimbledon and the US Open among other tournaments, Smith returned to his alma mater in 1988 to take over as the Long Beach State head coach.
In four seasons with the 49ers, Smith coached a pair of All-Americans in Greg Failla and Par Crow, and helped Long Beach State reach the Top 25 in the rankings before the program was cut in 1991.
Continuing his coaching career, Smith has led three other programs to the Top 25, becoming the only head coach in the country to accomplish that feat, and has won the last three NCAA National Championships (2009-11) while working as the head coach at USC.
The 2011 Long Beach State Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Long Beach Hotel & Executive Meeting Center. Tickets are available online here.
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