Bud Schroeder won’t forget the day in 1969 when he and some buddies were sidetracked by a guy playing what they soon learned was tennis.
It was a life-changing encounter for the then 12-year-old living in Baltimore.
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The man, the tennis coach preparing for a summer youth program, invited the boys to pick up racquets and give tennis a try.
“We had a blast,” Schroeder said, recalling the boys returned the next day and joined the summer lessons that cost $1 for the season.
“I loved the game. At that point, I had been playing all the games boys played. I loved it so much, I played tennis every day,” he said.
Within five years, Schroeder at age 17 was teaching others the sport that became his career.
That work was recognized and celebrated this summer with the owner of Tipp City’s Schroeder’s Tennis Center’s induction Aug. 17 into the United States Professional Tennis Association Midwest Division Hall of Fame in Mason. He’s been a member of the USPTA since 1989.
“It was an honor,” Schroeder said.
He has worked to promote tennis for youth, starting a middle school tennis team in Tipp City, and enjoys working with people of all ages.
“I want to get a racquet in people’s hands so they can see how much fun it is,” he said.
He played tennis at Towson State University in Baltimore and Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., where he also taught before moving to the Dayton area in 1988 to teach including at the Meadowbrook Country Club in Clayton
Schroeder has taught countless players from across the region including Centerville, Greenville, Springfield, Sidney, Troy and Washington Twp. He has coached six Ohio high school state champions and more than 75 players who have gone on to play college tennis and received tennis scholarships.
Seeing an opportunity to build a tennis center in Miami County, Schroeder opened the Tipp City business in 1996.
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He lives in Tipp City with his wife, Lee, and daughters, Dakota, a high school freshman, and Jillian, who is eight. They also play tennis.
“Tennis is kind of a family thing. The club has evolved into a family oriented place,” he said. He expanded and renovated the club located on Harmony Drive west of Interstate 75 in 2014.
The tennis center also has been recognized as the Tipp City Business of the Year.
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