McGuire Tennis Legacy Continues Today


The Milwaukee Tennis Classic (MTC) continues the Al McGuire tennis legacy with this 47th edition! In 1975, Al McGuire, as Marquette Athletic Director, was a primary force in co-founding the MTC. McGuire embraced the concept of creating another annual Marquette sports event to be visible and prominent in the national sports spotlight.

McGuire’s Marquette Warriors had reached the NCAA men’s basketball championship in 1974. Chas Mulcahy contacted McGuire in 1975 and suggested bringing another Marquette sport, tennis, to national prominence. They discussed creating a national intercollegiate men’s and women’s tennis tournament to be headquartered in Helfaer Tennis Stadium which was under construction at that time on the Marquette campus. Although McGuire was not a tennis person, he was intrigued with the idea and encouraged Mulcahy to develop the concept, create the structure and fund what is now the MTC. From the start McGuire was positive, enthusiastic and consistently supportive.

Two years later, in 1977, McGuire led Marquette to its only Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship at the Omni in Atlanta, GA.

McGuire had multiple interests beyond coaching basketball. In addition to tennis, McGuire also recognized past Marquette student athlete recipients of the McCahill Award. The McCahill Award honors the memory of former Marquette football and track athlete, Robert McCahill who joined the Marine Corps upon graduation in 1942. Captain McCahill fought during the War in the Pacific against the Japanese and was killed in action in February, 1945 during the battle for Iwo Jima. The McCahill family and Marquette created the Robert L. McCahill Award in 1946 to recognize a Marquette student athlete based on athletic performance, academics, leadership and service.

During his years at Marquette from 1964 to 1977, McGuire supported the presentation of the McCahill Award during the halftime of Marquette men’s basketball games.

Tennis was clearly McGuire’s favorite sport after men’s basketball. McGuire supported MTC throughout his time at Marquette and for the remainder of his active life.

In 1982, McGuire served as the Honorary Chair of the 7th Annual MTC and included an inspiring and supportive message in the official program. In 1983, he was actively involved in a tennis exhibition promoting the MTC featuring top ten tennis pros in the world, Jimmy Arias and Johan Kriek. McGuire was on the court with them. That same year, McGuire was the keynote speaker at a special event promoting the MTC at The Town Club. In 1985, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the MTC, McGuire surprising MTC officials by offering to do a nine minute MTC promotional video for the tournament. The video is a priceless part of the tennis legacy of McGuire.

Although the MTC continues today as one of the top five men’s and women’s intercollegiate tennis tournaments in the U.S., tennis at Marquette has fallen on tough times. Marquette this year reduced the number of indoor courts from 6 to 4 and dropped all tennis scholarships. Men’s coach Steve Rodecap and women’s coach Dusan Medan resigned their positions in 2023. MTC continues its commitment to Al McGuire as it continues to support his tennis legacy.