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Daryl Paluch to be inducted in state tennis hall of fame

Monday, July 20, 2009


Jake Nordbye, Journal correspondent

Daryl Paluch has always been passionate about the sport of tennis, and that passion will pay off when he takes his place in the state tennis hall of fame.

The longtime tennis professional is being inducted into the 2009 South Dakota Tennis Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. MDT on Sunday in Sioux Falls at the McKennan Park tennis complex.

“It is quite an honor because of all the other individuals who have been inducted over the years,” Paluch said. “It’s nice to know you’re in with great players who have put their name on the map, and it’s great to be acknowledged for all the time and effort I’ve put in.”

Paluch, who has been one of the leading tennis professionals in western South Dakota since 1986, will join Watertown’s Phyllis Hunter and Sioux Falls’ Fred Fischer in this year’s class.

Paluch started playing tennis at the age of 14. He then went on to play for Rapid City Central High School and in his senior year he won the No. 2 singles state title. After graduating in 1974, Paluch took his talents to South Dakota School of Mines & Technology where he was the Hardrockers’ top player. In his freshman season, he went undefeated during the regular season, won the conference and district championships and led his team to the NAIA national championships.

Paluch the transferred to play NCAA Division I tennis his sophomore year at the University of New Mexico, where he spent his next three years. After graduating in 1981, and after a brief stint in Pierre, Paluch came back to Rapid City and started giving tennis lessons full-time in 1986. He spent nine years teaching tennis at a local hotel and then went on to Arrowhead Country Club, where he stayed until 2003.

In 2003, Paluch opened the Tennis Center of the Black Hills, a facility with four indoor air-conditioned courts, where he has been owner and an instructor since.

“It’s been a dream that I’ve had for a long time,” he said. “Having kids that are 2 or 3 years old all the way up to adults over 90 years old come out and play tennis has just been so much fun. You get to meet so many great people, and it’s a good feeling to be able to put something like that together.”

Paluch was also one of the top players in the state during the 1980s, winning the Black Hills Open seven times as well as winning every major tournament in South Dakota along the way.

“I was always passionate about doing something really well,” Paluch said. “I read books about tennis, practiced a lot and it just proves if you work really hard at something it can pay off with some great rewards.”

Paluch resides in Rapid City with his wife, Carolyn. His daughter Whitney is on a tennis scholarship at Cal State Northridge, and his son Billy will be attending Creighton University on an academic and tennis scholarship.

 
 

     
     

 

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