Seven Grand Slam Titles, four U.S Open Titles, three Wimbledon titles, nine men's Grand Slam doubles titles, and an appearance at the French Open finals; John McEnroe is one of the most decorated tennis players of all time. Finishing his career with 78 doubles titles and 77 singles titles, McEnroe is arguably considered the best in his sport in today's era (Scott, “John McEnroe,” International Tennis Hall of Fame, April 15, 2018.) John McEnroe was born in Germany on February 16, 1959, where his father was based in the United States Air Force. McEnroe’s family moved back to the states where he grew up in Douglaston, Queens, New York. McEnroe discovered a natural interest in tennis when he started playing at age eight. By age nine, his parents enrolled him in the Eastern Lawn Tennis Association where he began playing junior tournaments (Scott, April 15, 2018.)
When McEnroe was an eighteen year old amateur in 1977, he made it to the semifinals round at Wimbledon where he lost to Jimmy Connors in four sets (Scott, John McEnroe). This marked the best performance by a qualifier at a Grand Slam Tournament in the history of tennis (Lyall, “At 58, John McEnroe Ponders a Life Off the Tennis Court,” The New York TImes, April 21, 2018.) He then proceeded to win the mixed doubles French Open with Mary Carillo. McEnroe was subsequently recruited by Dick Gould where he played for No. 1 ranked Stanford University and won the NCAA Men's Singles title in 1978 before leaving for the pro tour after his freshman year. This marked the beginning of a legacy that would eventually lead to McEnroe’s net worth of 50 million dollars. Around the same time McEnroe was coming into his own on the national tennis scene, tennis in the United States was becoming more and more popular. This growing popularity lead to Trinity University's Athletic Department making its cornerstone sport tennis. And one man that helped lead the program to its ultimate heights was Larry Gottfried.