Harry James, 69, a prominent figure in Utah tennis for more than five decades, died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack.
Services will be Saturday at the Parleys 1st Ward, 2350 S. 2100 East, at noon.Mr. James was probably best known for his tennis work at the collegiate level. He was, for 26 years, head coach of the University of Utah tennis team. In 1986, Mr. James retired from the U. and took a more personal approach to the game - coaching his grandchildren.
While at Utah, Mr. James had under his direction seven all-America players, including current Ute coach F.D. Robbins, BYU head coach Jim Osborne and 1983 NCAA singles champion Greg Holmes, and instructed more than 25 nationally ranked players.
He took the Utes to 12 Western Athletic Conference titles, five runners-up titles, and in 1981 was named WAC and District 7 Coach of the Year.
In 1963, he was given the Marlboro Award, presented by World Tennis Magazine, for outstanding contributions to the sport, and in 1970 received the United States Tennis Association's Tennis Educational Merit Award.
He was former president of the Utah Tennis Association, Intermountain Tennis Association and Intercollegiate Tennis Association. He managed more than 40 national tennis events, was past director of the Salt Lake County Recreation's tennis program and managed at different times the Canyon Racquet Club, Salt Lake Swimming and Tennis Club and Hamilton Racquet Club.
He was also chairman of the Salt Lake chapter of the March of Dimes; was on the board of directors for the Utah Easter Seal Society and Salt Lake Humane Society; and was on the governor's committee for Employment of the Handicapped and Architectural Barriers.
He accomplished these things from the seat of a wheelchair. While serving in the Army during World War II, after receiving ranked-player status as a junior tennis player, Mr. James was stricken with polio.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret, four daughters and 17 grandchildren.
Friends may call at Sunset Lawn, 2350 E. 1300 South, on Friday between 6 and 8 p.m. and one hour prior to the services on Saturday. The family is asking that those wishing to make a donation do so through the Harry R. James Memorial Fund being handled through the U. Crimson Club.