Stanley Roger “Stan” Smith, born December 14, 1946, is a former, world No. 1 professional tennis player.
And he loves Hilton Head Island! In 1971 Smith arrived on the island with an invitation from Charles Fraser – developer of the Sea Pines Resort. He became Sea Pines’ touring professional. Stan’s role promoted tennis on the Island, as the sport was growing in popularity at the time. When he arrived, Sea Pines only had eight tennis courts. They quickly built 30 more.
Shortly after, Sea Pines started hosting the Family Circle Cup and did so for 28 years. Family Circle was the most-televised tennis tournament held at a resort in the country.
Smith grew up in Pasadena, California. As a kid, he went to get a job as a ball boy for the Davis Cup. Its organizers turned him down, due to his “clumsiness.” In his early years, he improved his tennis game through lessons from Pancho Segura, the Pasadena Tennis Patrons, and the sponsorship of the Southern California Tennis Association.
He played collegiate tennis at the University of Southern California. At USC he was a three-time All-American. He won the 1968 NCAA Singles Championship, as well as the 1967 and 1968 doubles titles.
He’s a two-time major singles champion at the 1971 US Open and 1972 Wimbledon Championships. Smith also paired with Bob Lutz to create one of the most successful doubles teams of all time. In 1970, Smith won the inaugural year-end championships title. He was the year-end world No. 1 singles player in 1972. In 1973, he won his second and last year-end championship title at the Dallas WCT Finals. In addition, he won four Grand Prix Championship Series titles. Since 2011, Smith has served as President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Smith is best known to non-tennis players as the namesake of a popular brand of tennis shoes.
The shoes, which Adidas renamed after him in 1978, continues to be a widely-popular fashion brand. The Stan Smith shoe has been a true phenomenon, becoming one of the best selling shoes worldwide.
By 1988, about 22 million pairs of adidas Stan Smith shoes had been sold, and the shoe was listed in Guinness World Records. By 1994, the number of pairs sold had increased to 23.7 million.
In the early 1980s, Adidas Stan Smith with Smith’s portrait and his signature created and introduced the tongue logo.
Today and for over 20 years, Stan has led the Smith Stearns Hilton Head Tennis Academy in the Sea Pines Resort.
The Academy promotes individual junior player development. He is most proud of being able to play a role in their overall development and the academy’s ultimate goal of college placement, while watching these young student-athletes succeed in their careers in college and beyond.
In November, Smith invites kids visiting for the holiday to Sea Pines, as he hosts a special Thanksgiving morning Academy.
Stan has lived on Hilton Head for over 50 years. Stan, along with his wife Margie, have raised their four children on the island, and now are the proud grandparents to 16 grandchildren.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Smith, https://www.seapines.com/tennis/smith-stearns-tennis-academy/, https://discoversouthcarolina.com/articles/meet-tennis-great-stan-smith, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adidas_Stan_Smith and https://www.smithstearns.com/the-smith-stearns-family/?utm_source=Sea-Pines-Resort&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=SeaPinesWebsite.