Coach Bob Huckelbury has been with the UA Fort Smith tennis program since its inception. That was six years ago. He admits he is a very competitive person and expects his players to be the same. “Tennis is a very complex demanding sport, both physically and mentally and I try to get my players to be prepared in both aspects to compete at their best,” he added.
“I Started out my career as an architect, not the typical background for a coach. After leaving Before beginning his position at UA Fort Smith, the coach was an architect and then spent a year and a half as the Tennis Director at the Hyatt Regency Fiji in the Fiji Islands.
Community service is also a priority for Coach Huckelbury and the team. Each year they volunteer their time and talent for the tennis portion of the Fort Smith Celebrity Classic, a charity event celebrating its 16th anniversary this year. The Tennis Tournament & Ball Drop portion of the event takes place on October 2 this fall. The team also volunteers frequently at Orr Elementary School in Fort Smith.
Coach Huckelbury recounts an amusing annecdote about himself. He and his wife Lisa were vacationing in Jamaica and while dining at a restaurant were seated at a table located next to Sir Anthony Hopkins’ table. He took his reluctant wife over to meet the actor and have her picture taken with him.
The coach said, "Mr. Perkins, we love your work, could we please take our photo with you"? He never flinched and obliged graciously.” Later Coach Huckelbury’s wife informed him that he had called Hopkins Mr. Perkins.
Personally, the coach plays tennis with the local men’s tennis team, golfs, gardens, coaches his son’s pitching machine baseball team, and spends time with his family.