VIDEO: Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame’s Mike Hoctor Literally Wrote the Book On Coaching Tennis
By Maria Sonnenberg // January 22, 2023
turned Astronaut’s tennis program into powerhouse feared by even the tennis-happy South Florida prep schools
ABOVE VIDEO: Mike Hoctor is such a great coach that he wrote the book, literally, on coaching tennis. He is co-author of the USTA nationally-published book, “Coaching Tennis Successfully.” Even though the book was first published in 1994, it is still in print.
2016 COACHING INDUCTEE: Florida Coaches Hall of Fame, FHSAA Hall of Fame, 14-Time CCC Coach of the Year
AT ASTRONAUT 3 DECADES
If you want to learn tennis, ask Mike Hoctor. He’s been helping tennis players sharpen their skills since 1968.
Under Coach Hoctor’s tutelage, 34 individual players have won state singles or doubles titles. Two of the players under Hoctor’s wing, Eric Dobsha and Murphy Payne, went on to the Prince All-American Team.
Hoctor’s coaching career began at Titusville High School, where he spent four years teaching and coaching both the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams.
The University of Maine graduate then moved to Astronaut High School when the school opened in 1972 and taught, counseled and coached there for three decades until his retirement in 2002.
He turned Astronaut’s tennis program into a powerhouse feared by even the tennis-happy South Florida prep schools.
“The parents would ask who these kids were,” said Hoctor.
“They thought at first that we must be a prep school. They couldn’t believe we were a public school. We just kept winning every year. The program grew way beyond my anticipation. We developed it from nothing.”
Hoctor’s numerous kudos include being named the Cape Coast Conference Coach of the Year not once or twice but 14 different times.
The USTA Florida Section chose him as the 1988 Florida Junior Amateur Player Coach of the Year and Florida named him High School Coach of the Year in 1991, 1992 and 1994. He is the 1990 recipient of the Florida Coaches’ Association Lifetime Membership Award and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1994.
The Florida High School Athletic Association also elected Hoctor to its Hall of Fame.
Coach Hoctor, a USPTA-certified tennis teaching professional, served as the national All-American endorser for Prince for six years.
In addition to his outstanding coaching at Astronaut, Hoctor ran Titusville’s Singleton Ave. Courts for 30 years, from 1972 to 2002, overseeing the complex, running tournaments, teaching lessons and accompanying junior players to tournaments.
WROTE THE BOOK
Hoctor is such a great coach that, in fact, he wrote the book, literally, on coaching tennis. He is co-author of the USTA nationally-published book, “Coaching Tennis Successfully.” Even though the book was first published in 1994, it is still in print.
After retirement from high school tennis coaching, Hoctor headed to the University of Florida as a volunteer athletic coach from 2004 to 2012.
These days, Hoctor no longer coaches Gators, but he keeps the flame alive by connecting with the more than 600 Gator tennis boosters, former Gator men’s tennis lettermen and high school coaches throughout Florida with the weekly Gator tennis email newsletter he edits.
Hoctor has always stressed the critical value of education, and his three sons, all of whom have played tennis for him during their high school years, followed Dad’s advice very well.
Son Jim is a Duke University law graduate and currently a partner with Lowndes and Drosdick Law Firm in Orlando.
Tom Hoctor, a Harvard undergraduate, received his doctorate from the University of Florida and is currently director of landscape conservation planning at the University of Florida.
With a doctorate in physical therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University, Dan Hoctor is currently director of rehabilitation at South Hampton Memorial Hospital in Virginia.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com.
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.