The Presbyterian College mourns the loss of former Director of Athletics John Allen Morris, Jr., who passed away Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.
Born in Atlanta, Ga., on April 9, 1932, he graduated from Marist High School in 1950. Allen attended Georgia Tech on a football scholarship for one year before transferring to Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC on a tennis scholarship in 1951. He was captain of the nationally ranked tennis team for four years, president of Kappa Alpha order, president of block 'P', and a member of R.O.T.C. Scabbard and Blade military fraternity, and Blue Key Honorary Society. While playing the national tennis circuit during his time at PC, he attained the #1 ranking in the South, #1 in the State of Georgia, and was the South Carolina Intercollegiate Champion for four years. In 1954 he was named to the United States Davis Cup team, and in 1956 he was a Wimbledon quarterfinalist, and ranked #14 in the United States.
After graduating from PC in 1956, he entered the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant, and was stationed in the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia. After active duty, he joined the Travelers Insurance Company and eighteen months later joined Burlington Industries in Burlington, NC. He was later transferred to New York sales with Burlington, and then named Manpower Development Manager in New York City. Even though his hard work for Burlington kept him extremely busy, he pursued his passion in tennis. During his time in New York, he was ranked #1 in the Eastern Section and won state tennis titles in both New York and New Jersey. In 1961 he became the chief college recruiter for Burlington and moved to the Greensboro Corporate Office. In 1967 he joined Texfi Industries as Vice President.
In 1980 Allen was named Director of Tennis and Head Tennis Coach at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His teams were consistently strong in the ACC as well as nationally. He was named ACC Coach of the Year 3 times.
In 1993, he retired from coaching and was asked to join the staff at Presbyterian College as Director of the Scotsman Club, and then as Director of Athletics. He retired from Presbyterian College in June 2000 and moved back to Greensboro in June 2001.
In 1995 the Morris Tennis Scholarship Fund was established in appreciation of the PC Men's Tennis program.
Allen's inductions include the NC Tennis Hall of Fame (1976) NC Sports Hall of Fame (1978), Southern Tennis Hall of Fame (1985), Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame (1992), South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame (2002), South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame (2004), and Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame (2009). He won the State of North Carolina singles title 7 times. In 1977 and 1978 he was the USTA national singles and doubles champion in the Senior 45 and Over Division and attained a #9 ranking in the world.
He was a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and a former member of the Kiwanis Club of Greensboro and Greensboro Country Club where he served as board member and Chairman of the Tennis Committee.