Peachy Kellmeyer: Hall of Famer

5:43 PM, Jul 16, 2011   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Fla. -- It was back to work this week for Peachy Kellmeyer at the WTA office in downtown St. Petersburg.  It's the same employer she's had since 1973.

But it was a little different than any other week.  She returned as a Hall of Famer.

"It was the greatest day of my life," Kellmeyer said.

She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame Saturday along with eight-time Grand slam winner Andre Agassi.

"My one wish was that I would get through the speech and not shed a tear," Kellmeyer said. "so I did that and I feel that was an accomplishment in itself."

It is Peachy's lifetime of accomplishments that made her induction necessary.

She was the first employee at the Women's Tennis Association when it was founded in 1973.  Peachy was an accomplished tennis player, who actually played one match with the men's team while attending the University of Miami.

But it was her move as head coach at Marymount College in Boca Raton, Florida, that speaks of her character and impact on women's athletics.  She awarded scholarships before they were allowed.

The team was required to forfeit matches at the time.  Peachy then led a lawsuit to get the ruling overturned.

"In about six months, it was ruled positively," Kellmeyer said. "So from that time until now, we can give women athletic scholarships. It was not just about tennis, it was about every single sport."

That lawsuit set a foundation for the Title IX legislation that was a ground-breaking case for women's athletics, eventually leading to equal opportunities in college sports.

Peachy's other favorite moment came in 2007 when prize money became even at all four Grand Slam events for men and women.

"We keep fighting and we keep trying," Kellmeyer said.

Travis Bell, 10 News

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