Jason Morton of Sun Lakes, AZ passed away this month. He was a tennis champion.
The following is culled from his 2003 induction into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame. Since then he won the ITF World singles championship in 2008 in the men’s 80 division and was a member of the 2008 Gardnar Mulloy Cup team. Those were his last tennis competitions.
Jason Morton seemed to come from nowhere when he first made his mark on tennis as a virtual unknown at the state championship in 1946. Since that time he has earned over 100 national titles, authored a book and won 10 International senior titles (six in doubles and four in singles).
Morton moved to Texas in 1946. He attended the University of Houston (1947-1951), winning the conference title in singles and doubles each year (Lone Star, Gulf Coast, Missouri Valley). Morton was the first pro in Corpus Christi. He opened the University Club in Houston as the pro, the first indoor facility in Houston. After spending two years in the Hill Country, Morton went to Hollytree Country Club in Tyler. He started a team at the University of Texas at Tyler, coming in 5th in the NAIA their first year. Morton then moved to Sun Lakes, Arizona as Tennis Director. He helped design the Oakwood Tennis Club, which hosted the National 70-75 Hard Court Championships for many years.
Morton served on the Executive Committee of the Texas Tennis Association and as President of the USPTA Texas Division. He may be most famous for having chaired the match at the Billie Jean King -Bobby Riggs Battle of the Sexes Match at the Houston Astrodome. He co-authored the book "Winning Tennis after 40" with Russell Seymour (Class of 1999).
Jason Morton was the tennis pro in Tuscaloosa, Alabama from the mid-fifties to mid sixties. He developed one of the nation’s top Junior programs where he coached and mentored players such as John Pickens, Charlie Owens and Jean Mills. Tuscaloosa flourishes in this football town much because of his early influence.
Jason was also tennis coach @Univ of
AL in mid 60s when he made history by
having Roberta Alison as the 1st woman
player on a male NCAA team. She played
# 4 her 1st yr.
Jason made that happen among his many
other achievements. I am proud to have
known him & play for him @ Al.
Jason taught me how to play tennis, and influenced my young years. He also introduced us to Roberta Alison, who stayed at my family’s house when she played in Tuscaloosa before entering the U of A. Jason was a great coach, with a good eye for talent. He and Edith were wonderful people and his death is a loss to his family and to the world of tennis.
Jason was my cousin. He came to live with us in St. Louis one year in the 1940s. He had been Boys Tennis Champion of Florida the year before. When he was sixteen, he won Men’s Singles Championship of St. Louis. He also played starting guard on our Maplewood/Richmond Heights basketball team.