MSU's Bobby Brien To Be Inducted Into Mississippi Tennis Hall Of Fame
Brien's stellar career included spending three seasons at MSU's No. 1 spot, where he captured SEC titles in singles and doubles three times during his career, playing for legendary MSU head coach Tom Sawyer.
The Sydney, Australia, native was twice selected to the NCAA's six-man All-America tennis team, which included the likes of Stan Smith, Bob Lutz and Arthur Ashe. He was also selected All-SEC three times.
Brien was a part of some of State's most successful squads, most notably the 1966 and '67 seasons, where he led his squad to consecutive third-place finishes in the NCAA Championships. In 1965 and 1967, Brien and the Bulldogs won the Southeastern Conference title.
In '66 and '67, Brien was an NCAA quarterfinalist in singles (round of 16 in 1965), while reaching the NCAA doubles quarterfinals in '65 and '67 (round of 16 in '66).
Prior to arriving at State, Brien had already made a name for himself in the junior ranks in Australia. In 1962, he was ranked the No. 2 junior in Australia and won the National Junior Team competition with future Grand Slam winner John Newcombe and Dick Crealy. The following year, he won the Australian Men's Hard Court Doubles.
Even though Brien's professional aspirations were ended his senior year at MSU by injury, it did not stop his love for the game overall.
Brien returned home to Australia for a short time, but came back to the United States to take a teaching position at the Greenville [SC] Country Club. In 1980, the former Bulldog returned to Mississippi, where he has had an impressive career as a player, teacher and coach.
In 1981, Brien was inducted into the MSU Sports Hall of Fame and, in 1985, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Brien and his wife, Gail, currently reside in Clarksdale, Miss., where he is a teaching pro at Clarksdale Country Club.
Brien will join former MSU Coach Tom Sawyer, and former MSU players Mack Cameron, Debbie Dotson Swindoll, Tito Echiburu and Mark Thompson, as fellow Mississippi Tennis Hall of Famers.