Lisa Spain Short

University of Georgia

2022 Inductee

Raised in the rural farming community of Moultrie, Georgia, Lisa Spain’s introduction to tennis came in the form of an ad in the local paper. “There was an ad for tennis lessons at the Moultrie Recreation Center,” Lisa says. “And luckily, I was about a half a mile away.”
So Lisa did what any kid in the early 1970s would do: She rode her Shetland pony over to the tennis courts. She and her pony hoofed it over there early each day so Lisa could claim the Doris Hart blue wooden tennis racket. “We had to check-out a racket from the rec center,” Lisa says with a smile. “It was the only one that wasn’t warped!”
Practice — and persistence — paid off. By the time she finished high school, she’d won the state singles championship four times, accumulating 56 wins and only one loss.
Colleges caught sight of the rising star. When the University of Georgia offered her a full scholarship and a seat at number one, she accepted. During her illustrious career at Georgia, Lisa accumulated an extensive list of accolades. She earned All-SEC honors every year, three All-American awards, the 1984 NCAA Women’s singles title, and the Broderick Award (now known as the Honda Sports Award). Looking back on her career, it all feels surreal for Lisa.
“I’m 60 years old now and a grandmother and it seems like so long ago that I accomplished all those things. But the Broderick Award means so much more than just being a good tennis player, it brought in the sportsmanship and other aspects, which I’m especially proud of.”
For young players out there, Lisa offers sage advice: “Dream big. With a lot of hard work, anything can happen.”

Career Highlights
    • 1984 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Tennis Singles Champion
    • 1984 Winner of the Broderick Award (now the Honda Sports Award)
    • Earned all-SEC honors all four years at Georgia
    • Named to All-American teams three times
    • Played on the pro circuit from 1984 to 1987, appearing in each of the four grand slam tournaments
    • 1995 Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame
    • 2000 Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame
    • 2008 Southern Tennis Hall of Fame
    • 2011 Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
    • ITA Collegiate Hall of Fame Inductee, 2022
    • Career-high WTA singles ranking of #63
    • 1st female tennis player to receive a full scholarship at the University of Georgia
    • 123–21 career record as a collegian
Other 2022 Inductees