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Don Grebin



The "godfather of tennis in South Dakota," Grebin has spent more hours coaching, promoting, supporting, volunteering and contributing to the growth of the sport in the state than any other individual. At 76 (as of 2008), he still is coaching, running leagues and organizing tennis tourneys at Sioux Empire Fitness.

And he was a pretty good player, too. For most of the 1950s and '60s, he was ranked among the top 10 players in the state. At Washington High, Grebin was a state high school singles and doubles champ in 1950. At Augustana, he was North Central Conference doubles champ as a freshman and singles champ as a junior. He won 25 sanctioned amateur men's doubles titles, including nine state doubles titles. He and John Simko were ranked No. 1 in men's doubles in the USTA Northern Section in 1962, and he and Jim Holwerda were ranked No. 1 in 35-and-over doubles in 1972.

He coached boys tennis at Washington High from 1964-74, compiling a 47-34 record. His 1965 team won the Eastern South Dakota Conference title. In 1970, he became the first girls tennis coach at Washington, and he coached that team for five seasons.

Grebin was the city tennis director for Sioux Falls for 17 years. He was co-director (with Ross Fenn) of the South Dakota Open for 15 years. He was the pro at Westward Ho Country Club in the 1970s. He helped many young Sioux Falls players who went on to become state champions, including Simko, Billy and Tom Clayton, Pam Gefke, Jeff Clark, Chris Dummermuth, Joan Griffin, Craig Sandvig, Carol Sandvig and Mignonne Volin.

Grebin was named to the South Dakota Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992, the USTA Northern Section Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Washington High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. He received Augustana's Lefty Olson Award in 1997 for lifetime service and achievements in athletics and athletic administration. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the South Dakota High School Activities Association for serving as director of the state boys tourney for more than 20 years.

He taught at Axtell Park Junior High in Sioux Falls for 36 years. For most of those years he coached football, basketball and track.












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