In Memory

Sig Garnett

When it comes to the elite-level tennis achievements in Nebraska, Sig Garnett’s resume was pretty complete.

The No. 1 singles player for the Husker men’s team in the early to mid-1970s, head coach of the 1977 NU women’s Big Eight championship team, numerous men’s open singles and doubles state championships as an adult player and the distinction of being John Roddick’s first coach, Andy Roddick’s older brother who also had a pro career before becoming one of the top men’s college coaches in the nation at Central Florida.

But what set the Genesis Racquet Club pro apart were all the little things — some behind the scenes — to grow the sport in Lincoln, like coaching reserve boys and girls tennis at his alma mater Lincoln Southeast the past eight years and his efforts to raise funds for constructing backboards at park courts around the city.

“Anyone who’s swung a tennis racquet in Lincoln the past 50 years knows Sig. He’s a pillar of the Lincoln tennis community,” Southeast head tennis coach Chris Salem said of the 66-year-old Garnett, who died unexpectedly at his home Saturday night (Feb 23, 2019). Salem learned how to play the game from Garnett at the Lincoln Racquet Club back in the 1990s.