Mercer County Tennis Council

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2008 Inductee Carl Abbott

December 10, 2007 05:25 PM

Trenton native Carl Abbott became a tennis enthusiast relatively late in life. After a 43-year career in education and 30 years coaching soccer and basketball, he began playing tennis in 1980 and became an avid ambassador for his adopted sport.

Even though Carl does not like to tell his age, it is “written” that he graduated from Trenton High School in 1932 and from Trenton State College with a B.S. in Business in 1937. Carl taught and coached varsity basketball for one year at Penns Grove Regional High School and continued his career in education at Kuser Annex until 1942, when he was drafted and joined the Army Air Corps. He left the Air Force as Lieutenant Colonel in 1946. He was a guidance counselor, as well as the soccer and basketball coach, at Hamilton West High School until 1984. Even though his responsibilities at school kept him very busy, he continued his education at Rutgers University, where he received a Master’s degree in educational administration in 1949 and a Doctor’s Equivalency diploma in 1951.

Carl, a fun-loving guy with a great sense of humor, always had a plan in hand. He was determined to learn everything he could about the game of tennis. Initially he took lessons from Bill Stoner and Phyllis Devlin and later from Moe Keating. Carl calls himself a “journeyman” in tennis and believes that many people who start tennis do not give the sport a fair shot. “In one lesson, they want to hit a forehand, a backhand and a serve. They get disappointed, but it does not work that way. Men are the worst – they want instant results.” Carl compares learning the game of tennis to learning a musical instrument, which he experienced early in life when he took trumpet lessons. “Practice, practice, practice is the only way to becoming a better player.”

By combining his belief that once you know how to teach, you can teach almost anything and once you know how to coach, you can coach any sport, Carl has been introducing and teaching tennis for free to a multitude of people on Hamilton Township public tennis courts.

Carl was a charter member of the Kuser Tennis League and was honored in 1998 for his commitment and devotion to tennis, when Hamilton Township dedicated the Veterans’ Park Tennis Complex to him, proclaiming that “Mr. Abbott, a lifelong resident of Hamilton has inspired many young adults as a teacher in the school system and as a coach of his beloved sport of tennis and that Mr. Abbott is held in very high public esteem as a gentleman, an athlete and a role model.”

Education and Career Highlights
1937                           Graduated from Trenton State College with a BS in business
1942 – 1946              Served in the Army Air Corps
1949                           Graduated from Rutgers with a Masters degree in educational  administration
1946 – 1984              Taught and coached at Hamilton West

Authorized by the Hamilton Township Recreation Department, Carl set up and led Saturday morning tennis clinics
for adults at Veterans’ Park for many years

1995                           Inducted into the Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame
1998                           Veterans’ Park Tennis Complex dedicated to Carl Abbott by  Hamilton Township