Robert R. "Lefty" Bryan '30

Inducted 1997

As a senior at Baylor, Lefty Bryan was ranked fourth in the nation in junior tennis, and he was captain of the tennis team for three years. He earned varsity letters in tennis, football, basketball, and baseball. According to the 1930 annual, he was named to the All-State team in football because "not only was he one of the best quarterbacks that Baylor has developed, but he was an excellent passer, kicker, ball carrier, and a fine defensive tackle." He was also named to the All-State team in basketball.

Tennis was Lefty's true calling. He was the first player to win three City Closed Tournament titles; he also won the Tennessee State Tournament in 1930 and 1931 and again in 1933 when he didn't lose a set in the entire tournament. Lefty continued his athletic career at Vanderbilt University where he planned to play football, basketball, and tennis, but an ankle injury suffered in spring football practice during his freshman year convinced him to give up that sport. He left Vanderbilt during his sophomore year to pursue professional tennis.

While Lefty won 72 regional and national championships, one of his most noted accomplishments was playing at the U.S. Open Tennis Championship in Forest Hills, New York. At the Open, he lasted until the fourth round in 1931 and nearly upset favored players in 1933 and again in 1934. Mr. Bryan and his partner, John McDiarmid, were ranked sixth nationally as a doubles team in 1933. At the young age of 23, he gave up professional tennis.

After a successful career with the Chattanooga Royal Company, Mr. Bryan retired to Florida. He passed away in November 1971. His widow, Margaret "Maggie" Bryan, returned to Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Three of the Bryan's great-grandchildren, Mary '00, Laura '01 and Catherine '06 Logan, are Baylor alumnae

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