Dick Gould

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Dick Gould
BornOctober 1, 1937
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materStanford University
OccupationMen's tennis coach
Years active1961–2004
EmployerStanford University
Known forCoached Stanford men's tennis team to 17 NCAA team championships

Dick Gould is an American tennis coach. He was the Men's Tennis Coach at Stanford University for 38 years from 1966–2004, his Stanford men's tennis teams won 17 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships, and 50 of his players won All-American honors. He was named the ITA-Wilson "Coach of the Decade" both for the 1980s and the 1990s.


Early years[edit]

Gould was born in Ventura, California in 1937,[1] he attended Ventura High School with longtime tennis friend, Tom Chivington. He was the Student Body President and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Tennis Team,[1] he also won the Ventura County Singles and Doubles Championships in 1955.[1].

After graduating from Ventura High School in 1955, Gould enrolled at Stanford University. In the summer of 1958, he contacted the Southern California Tennis Association to provide two players to run a kid's clinic in Ventura and was sent Mike Franks and Noel Brown. Dick won three varsity letters in tennis and won the tennis team's Leadership Award,[1] he graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor's Degree in 1959, and earned a Master's Degree from Stanford in 1960.[2]

Gould began his coaching career at Mountain View High School in Mountain View, California, where he was Tennis Coach and Assistant Football Coach from 1960–1964.[2] From 1963–1966, he was the Tennis Coach at Foothill Junior College in Los Altos, California, where his first champion player was Horst Ritter, who won the State Junior College Singles Championship, as well as the doubles with Rodney Kopp in 1963, his teams won consecutive State Junior College Championships in 1964 and 1965.[2][3] He was succeeded by friend and another legendary coach in Tom Chivington, he was also the tennis professional at the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills from 1960–1966.[3]

Stanford's men's tennis coach[edit]

In 1966, Gould was hired as the Head Tennis Coach at Stanford, he continued to serve as Stanford's Head Tennis Coach for 38 years from 1966–2004. At Stanford, Gould's tennis teams won 17 NCAA Team Championships in a span of 28 years, winning in 1973 and 1974, 1977 and 1978, 1980 and 1981, 1983, 1986, 1988 through 1990, 1992, 1995 through 1998, and 2000, his teams were NCAA Championship runners-up in 1972, 1976, 1984, and 1994. His players also won 10 singles titles and 7 doubles titles,[4] he is the winningest coach in Stanford men's tennis history with an overall record of 776–148 and a .840 winning percentage.[3]

During Gould's tenure as Head Coach at Stanford, 50 of his players were selected as All-Americans. Nine of his Stanford players, including John McEnroe, Gene Mayer, Alex "Sandy" Mayer, Roscoe Tanner and Tim Mayotte, have gone on to be ranked among the top 15 in ATP World Singles Rankings,[3][5] he has also coached 14 players who have reached top 10 in ATP World Doubles Rankings, including No. 1 Ranked Doubles Players, McEnroe, Jim Grabb, Jonathan Stark, Alex O'Brien, Jared Palmer, and Bob and Mike Bryan.[3][5]

The Stanford men's tennis program began its rise to national prominence when Gould successfully recruited Roscoe Tanner in 1969 and Alex "Sandy" Mayer in 1970. In 1972, Tanner and Mayer won the NCAA doubles championship, and the Stanford team finished second in the NCAA tournament. In 1973, Stanford won everything in the NCAA tournament: Mayer won singles, Mayer and Jim Delaney won doubles, and the team won the national championship ahead of USC; this was Stanford's first NCAA team championship in tennis, and its first NCAA team championship in any sport since 1953.

Gould coached both John McEnroe and his younger brother Patrick, they each lead Stanford to NCAA championships, and John won the NCAA single's title.

In June, 1977, a few months before John McEnroe entered Stanford, he reached the Wimbledon semifinals, and there were rumors that he would turn pro immediately; this gave Gould an opportunity to play a trick on McEnroe. In Gould’s words:

When school was getting ready to start, he called me. “Coach, I'm at the airport. Can you pick me up as soon as possible?” I teased, “I gave your scholarship away. I thought you were turning pro.” Silence. Then we both cracked up over the phone.[6]

When the tennis season began early in 1978, the Stanford team was so deep that the defending NCAA singles champion, Matt Mitchell, played for Stanford in the no. 4 position behind McEnroe, Bill Maze, and Perry Wright. The team compiled a perfect 24-0 record, the first of three Stanford men's tennis teams to enjoy an undefeated season.[6]

The 1998 team finished its season with a perfect 28–0 record, lost only two singles matches and one doubles point during the entire season, and won all four of its NCAA matches without losing a dual-match point.[5]

Gould's tennis philosophy focused on the serve-and-volley game. However, Gould continued to have success in the 1990s even as the game evolved with powerful, oversized, composite rackets and blasting topspin ground strokes.[5]

Gould is also the author of the tennis instructional book, "Tennis Anyone?", one of the most popular tennis guides ever published.[1]

Gould is also credited with developing the first personal seat license plan while coaching at Stanford.[3][7] Seeking financing for a new tennis stadium, Gould in 1986 came up with the idea of selling the rights to seats, a licensing plan under which purchaser's name is engraved in the seat, and the purchaser owns the right to have first choice for tickets for any event held in the stadium.[7]

Family and later years[edit]

Gould's wife, Anne, was the Women's Tennis Coach at Stanford from 1976 through 1979, she led the women's team to an AIAW championship in 1978 -- the first team championship in any women's sport for Stanford. The team finished in second place the other three years she coached.[8] (The NCAA did not begin sponsoring women's tennis championships until 1982.)

Gould and his wife have five children.[5]

After the 2004 season, Gould stepped down as the head tennis coach, but he remained active at Stanford for many more years as the John L. Hinds Director of Tennis,[3] he retired in January, 2018, completing a Stanford tennis career as player, coach, and director of tennis that spanned 57 years.[6]

Awards, honors and halls of fame[edit]

Gould was twice named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association-Wilson "Coach of the Decade," first for the 1980s and subsequently for the 1990s,[2] he has also been named to multiple halls of fame, including the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006, the Stanford University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994, the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, the San Jose Sports Authority Hall of Fame in 2008, the Ventura County Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, and the Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992.[2][3] The International Tennis Hall of Fame awarded its Tennis Educational Merit Award to Gould in 1982.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Hall of Fame Members: Dick Gould". Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on January 11, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Dick Gould Legendary Tennis Coach". San Jose Sports Authority. Archived from the original on March 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Dick Gould profile". Stanford University. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  4. ^ "Stanford Men's Tennis Archives". Stanford University. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e Jake Curtis (May 19, 2004). "DICK GOULD: 38 years coaching Stanford; Over a golden career, he saw tennis change". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Gould, Dick. "Dick Gould: My 57-year Stanford Story". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Glenn Dickey (April 7, 2000). "Gould Serves Up New Ideas". San Francisco Chronicle.
  8. ^ "AIAW/NCAA Champions". Stanford University. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "TENNIS EDUCATIONAL MERIT AWARDS FOR MEN AND WOMEN 2009 FACT SHEET" (PDF). International Tennis Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 17, 2009.[dead link]