SCOTTSDALE - The USTA Southwest Hall of Fame Selection Committee recently chose two new members to receive the Section’s highest honor.
Former University of New Mexico coach and tennis great Paul Butt will join longtime Northern Arizona volunteer and teaching pro Larry Lineberry as inductees for the 2017 Class.
The two were recently tabbed for induction by the Southwest Hall of Fame committee for their past success as well as their continued dedication, service and commitment to the sport.
They’ll join 51 previous inductees into the USTA Southwest Hall of Fame, which begin in 1991.
The pair will be enshrined Saturday, January 28 at the USTA Southwest Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will take place at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. The Hall of Fame and Awards Ceremony will be one of the main events for the USTA Southwest/USPTA Southwest Annual Meeting weekend.
Paul Butt (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Widely recognized as one of the Albuquerque area’s first-ever tennis stars, Butt had a huge rule in shaping tennis and the many great players that would follow in his footsteps.
Butt was a dogged competitor and a former No. 1 player in the Southwest men’s Open category, dominating regional events in New Mexico and Arizona over a decade-plus long span. He was a seven-time winner of the New Mexico Open, when that tournament typically attracted many of the best players from the Western part of the country. He won the men’s singles title at the New Mexico Closed a whopping 10 times.
Butt was also a former No. 1 player and mutil-year letterman at University of New Mexico (1952-55), and a Skyline Conference finalist three consecutive years in singles (1953-55). He then served a short stint as an officer in the United States Air Force (1955-57) before returning to coach his alma mater University of New Mexico from 1958-60.
Butt became a successful businessman after retiring from coaching, and though he played little after the 1970s, he was a member of UNM Alumni Association Board of Directors, President of the UNM Lettermen’s Club, on the Board of Directors at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Albuquerque, on the Tennis Club of Albuquerque Board of Directors and, after moving to Scottsdale, was a member of the Camelback Racquet Club Board of Directors.
Butt’s lasting legacy is his influence on the next generation of players that followed in his footsteps in Albuquerque, players like Southwest Hall of Famers and UNM greats Jack Kennedy, Tony Bull and current USTA Southwest president, Tim Garcia. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona today.
Larry Lineberry (Village of Oak Creek)
Larry Lineberry has donated much of his life in the last four decades to helping develop tennis through USTA and USPTA channels. A teaching pro for the last 43 years (the last 25 of which have been in Sedona and the Verde Valley) his influence on tennis, in particular, the Northern Arizona area has been immense.
Lineberry, who came to Sedona in 1991 after a 12-year stretch at Hunting Hills Country Club in Roanoke, Virginia), has served in virtually every capacity for tennis in Sedona and the Verde Valley. He’s been a high school coach (Sedona Red Rock High School 2006-2009, and Mingus Union, 2016), a parks and recreation tennis director (Cottonwood Tennis Center - 1999-2001), professional club owner (Sedona Racquet Club 2001-2004), an independent contractor (2005-present), event promoter/director (USTA Pro Circuit, 1998, multiple Sedona Open adult events, and two Bruce Hornsby charity concerts to benefit tennis).
He’s also served in just about every board position possible for the USTA Northern Arizona District, including president, has also been on the Board of Directors for USTA Southwest.
Lineberry is also a Master Professional of the USPTA (less than 1 percent of the organization has this distinction), and he’s been a good steward for tennis in his volunteer roles with the USPTA as well, serving on the USPTA Southwest board virtually every year since 1999.
Lineberry’s junior players have netted more than half a million dollars in college scholarships since 1979, including his son Alex, a recent graduate of the Air Force Academy.
No role has been too big or too small in Lineberry’s lengthy tennis career. His outgoing personality, energy, knowledge and dedication for the sport of tennis has made him a true difference maker in growing the sport in Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.
Lineberry will be the first ever inductee from the Northern Arizona area to make it into the USTA Southwest Hall of Fame.