Former legendary Coach Dick Leach of USC and UCLA’s Glenn Bassett will return to The Ojai on Thursday night as special guests during the Opening Night BBQ.
Bassett first played at The Ojai in 1942 – 74 years ago – as a scrappy, 12-year-old Lincoln Junior High student who found himself in the final of The Ojai Boys’ 14-and-Under singles division against Beverly Vista’s Herb Flam.
Coach Leach made the Men’s Open doubles final four straight years in the late 1960s with his partner Robert Potthast. Two years after Stan Smith and Bob Lutz won it in 1965, Smith and Potthast took home the title in 1668 and 1969, making the final again in 1977 with Tom Leonard. In the 1978 Leach won Ojai with Jan-Erik Palm.
Bassett went on to coach the UCLA team for 27 seasons (from 1967 to 1993). At UCLA, he compiled a record of 592-92-2, winning 13 conference championships, seven NCAA team championships (1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1982 and 1984) and producing three NCAA singles champions, four NCAA doubles team champions and 49 All-Americans.
Both of these coaching icons will be honored this year at The Ojai and will be special guests at the annual Thursday Night Player Party BBQ where they will be introduced by current USC Coach Peter Smith and UCLA’s Billy Martin and interviewed by Mark Weil.