On June 3, 2017, two of the finest tennis players in Seattle University history - Thomas Gorman, ’68 and Janet Hopps-Adkisson, ’56 will be honored at Seattle University Athletics’ Fifth Annual Red Tie Celebration.
The duo join an elite group of honorees, which includes Jim Whittaker, ’60 (2013); Elgin Baylor, ’58 (2014); Eddie O’Brien, ’53 (2015); Johnny O’Brien, ’53 (2015); Pat Lesser Harbottle, ’56 (2016) and Orrin Vincent, ’67 (2016).
The Red Tie Celebration, an annual dinner, and auction, benefits Seattle University’s 300+ student-athletes and programs of Seattle U athletics. A special presentation will take place to honor Gorman and Hopps-Adkisson, two legends of Seattle University.
The roots of Gorman’s successful tennis career were planted at Seattle U, where he led the team to
regional and national success from 1965-68. In 1967, he teamed with Steve Hopps, ‘56 to form the top doubles duo in the Northwest. The following season, he led Cliff Hedger’s crew to the NCAA Tournament, finishing eighth in the country. He finished his collegiate career as a two-time All-American.
Following graduation, Gorman went on to play professional tennis, winning seven singles titles and nine doubles titles. He reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 1971 and the U.S. Open in 1973 and was also part of the U.S. team that won the 1972 Davis Cup. As the coach, he led the U.S. Davis Cup team to victory in 1990 and 1992.
In addition to the U.S. Davis Cup, Gorman also coached the Men’s U.S. Olympic tennis teams in Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992). Gorman is a member of the NCAA Tennis Hall of Fame, the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame and the Seattle University Athletics Hall of Fame.
There was no women’s tennis team in the 1950s, but that did not stop Hopps-Adkisson from landing not only a berth on the men’s tennis team, but becoming the No. 1 player on the team throughout her career. For postseason play, she competed in the Women’s All-Collegiate Tennis Tournament, the precursor to the NCAA Tournament. She won the singles title three times and the doubles title twice.
Upon graduation, Hopps-Adkisson achieved a national ranking of No. 5 in singles in 1958 and a No. 1 doubles ranking in 1960. She held five national titles clay court doubles in 1956, indoor singles, doubles and mixed doubles in 1961 and national hardcourt doubles in 1962. She returned to Seattle U to coach both the men’s and women’s teams for 10 years, and was named NAIA Coach of the Year five times.
Hopps-Adkisson is a member of the Seattle University Athletics Hall of Fame, the Northwest Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame and the Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame.
For those interested in attending this year’s Red Tie Celebration, limited seating is still available. Please contact Judy Yu at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A new addition to the event this year is a pre-event online auction that will run from May 10-20. As the auction nears, more information will be available at goseattleu.com.