Gerald "Jerry" Hirst

Inducted: 1994

Best Known For: Tennis (Player & Coach)

High School Coach: Harlingen High School


His Harlingen tennis teams won 29 district titles, dominating the Valley like no other program, and he taught from experience as a former high school and college star.

Jerry Hirst first made his name in Oklahoma, winning a state doubles title with his brother in 1958, and eventually becoming the top singles player in the state in 1960. Later, his career at East Texas State earned him a place in that school’s hall of fame and then he came south to begin coaching.

In 34 years, Hirst coached basketball, football, and track, but his best he saved for tennis, leading the Harlingen Cardinals to legendary status. The high point came in 1991 when the Cards reached the state finals and he was named state Coach of the Year.

Hirst has been instrumental with the South Texas Tennis Coaches Association and is still an active player on the court.