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Faculty Spotlight

Caroline Purtell

A football scholarship brought Jim Brockhoff to Xavier in 1958, but it’s tennis that kept him here. “I got out of college and Xavier called and said they needed somebody,” says the men’s and women’s tennis coach. “I said I would do it for a year and here we are, 44 years later.”

Now, at age 71, Brockhoff has built a successful tennis program that earns regular accolades for its athletic—and academic—performance. And with 976 wins, Brockhoff has the most wins of any active college coach who manages both a men’s and women’s team, the latter of which he started in 1972. His leadership has not only led to a spot in Xavier’s athletic hall of fame, but the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Association Hall of Fame as well.

“You don’t get these things by yourself,” says Brockhoff. “You get these things because you’ve had help all along the line.”

He’s also traveled the country umpiring major tennis matches of standout players such as Arthur Ashe, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe.

Two years ago, former players created the Jim and Mary Brockhoff Tennis Scholarship to honor their coach and his wife. They surprised him with it during the Total Asset Planning/Xavier University Pro-Am Tournament dinner, a fundraiser Brockoff created to raise money for the tennis programs. “It was a super honor and a thrill,” he says. “It’s so wonderful that the kids would think that much of the program to do it.”

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