Xavier University tennis legend Jim Brockhoff dies

Long-time coach left mark on amateur, pro scene

CINCINNATI - Jim Brockhoff, long-time Xavier University tennis coach and a devoted contributor to local amateur and professional tennis, died Thursday at the age of 78.

Brockhoff coached the Xavier men’s tennis team for 45 years and the women’s team for 34 before he retired in 2007. Since then, he had served as Xavier’s Director of Tennis Development.

“Jim Brockhoff's death is a huge loss to Xavier, to our community and to the tennis world, which he so loved,” said Michael J. Graham, president of Xavier University. “He took a genuine interest in everything he did and everyone he met. Jim was truly a man for others. He will be greatly missed, but will live on through the contributions he made to the world and the many, many people whose lives he touched.”

Brockhoff is survived by his wife, Mary, and children Beth, Brad, Brian, Anne and Maure, along with nine grandchildren.

Visitation for Brockhoff will be held 5-8 p.m Monday, June 3, in the James and Caroline Duff Banquet Center at Cintas Center. His funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, at Bellarmine Chapel at Xavier, followed by interment at Calvary Cemetery on Duck Creek Road. A reception to celebrate his life will follow at 1 p.m. at Cintas Center.

Brockhoff refereed for 50 years in local amateur and pro tournaments, organized events and promoted the sport whenever he had the chance.

As Xavier’s Director of Tennis Development, Brockhoff's duties included serving as the chairperson for the annual Xavier University Pro-Am Tournament, which has raised about $500,000 to benefit the men's and women's tennis programs over the last 15 years.

Brockhoff was just the second Division I head coach to win 1,000 matches (men's and women's combined). Brockhoff has been inducted into the Xavier Athletic Hall of Fame, the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Association Hall of Fame, the Hamilton County Sports Hall of Fame and the Purcell Marian High School Hall of Fame. In 2004, Brockhoff and his wife, Mary, were honored by a group of former players with the establishment of the Jim and Mary Brockhoff Tennis Scholarship at Xavier.

A three-year letterman in both tennis and football, Brockhoff had a record of 46-4 at Xavier and set the all-time record for highest winning percentage (92 percent) over 50 matches.

Brockhoff won city championships in junior, open and senior division levels in singles and doubles. He served as deputy referee since the early 1960s for amateur and pro tennis tournaments leading up to the present Western Southern Financial Group Championships. He also umpired at the U.S. Open and the National Clay Court Championships.

A native of Cincinnati and a standout athlete at Purcell High School, Brockhoff was originally recruited to play quarterback for the Xavier football team. Brockhoff received both a bachelor’s degree (1957) and master’s degree from Xavier University (1964). He received the Paul L. O'Connor Leadership Award from Xavier in 2008. He began his career in education in 1957 and served as headmaster at Summit Country Day School from 1965-1971.

Print this article Back to Top