Buddy Robinson – Tennis

Buddy graduated from Westfield High School in New Jersey in 1974.  At WHS, he was a three-sport varsity player in Soccer, Basketball, and Tennis. He was captain of both the Basketball and Tennis teams and earned All-County Honors in both sports.  He one of the nominees for athlete of the decade at WHS during the 70’s.

Buddy’s parents never went to college and based on his love of the water, suggested he visit the United States Naval Academy.  He was being recruited for tennis by an Ivy League School and an ACC school but fell in love with Navy and Coach Bob Bayliss.  Bob and Pat Bayliss and their family made Buddy feel like he was at home while away from home and that was a huge selling point to him.  Coach Bayliss seemed to always get the best out of him when times were tough.

At Navy, Buddy made the tennis singles and doubles line-up freshman year. He still remembers how thrilling the first win over Army was freshman year, though he had to miss the Herndon Monument Climb as the match was away; a bittersweet victory.  His first Navy star was won. Youngster year brought another victory over Army as he moved up from 6th singles to 4th singles and from third doubles to second doubles.  His second Navy star was won.

Second class year Buddy bounced around the singles line-up at various spots but was moved up to first doubles with Mark Jee, a firstie from San Francisco. The pair really clicked and together they won many matches, beat Army, and earned ALL-EAST honors in doubles.  The third Navy star was won.

It was during the fall of senior year where Coach Bayliss could sense that Buddy needed a change and was burning out a bit on tennis. Coach Bayliss had just been promoted to coach both the Squash and Tennis team as the Squash Coach Art Potter had retired.  Coach Potter had always encouraged tennis players to give squash a try during the winter and Buddy had banged the ball around a bit in the past.  Coach Bayliss encouraged Buddy to go full force into squash to refresh both the body and the mind.  Early into the season Buddy made it into the starting line-up and finished the year with a record of (Scott can we get his Squash Record?).

Totally refreshed after a season of squash, Buddy came out for his final tennis season and played first singles and first doubles. He was now in the best shape of his life, and mentally refreshed as Coach Bayliss had hoped.  He was made co-captain along with Brad Baylor.  He was the only player to win in the first match against Maryland that spring.  The team beat Army for the fourth straight year and was part of a 19-year winning streak over Army in tennis.  Buddy earned All-East honors for singles in 1978.

Following graduation Buddy stayed on at the Academy and helped coach the new plebes with Coach Bayliss for the incoming class of 82 that summer.  He then went on to Flight School in Pensacola and ultimately became a Mission Commander on a P-3 Orion stationed out of Barbers Pt., HI. He served in the Navy for 6 years.

After his Navy years Buddy became a trader on Wall Street for 20 years before retiring. He has 5 beautiful children now and 2 grandchildren.  He’s currently enjoying watching his youngest son compete at the Division 1 level in lacrosse for Villanova.  Golf has now taken the place of tennis, but his competitive nature lives on.  He’s won the senior golf championship at his golf club a couple of times.   Life is good.