Roseburg has long been known for its excellence in football, but the Indians first taste of success actually took place on the tennis court. Douglas County Sports Online honors former RHS athletic director and boys tennis coach Al Hoffman as its latest DC Great.
Hoffman held the title of head tennis coach at Roseburg High School from 1949 to 1973. In his 25 years at the helm, he accumulated an overall record of 363 wins and 42 losses and led the program to 21 district championships in the Midwestern and Southern Oregon Conferences.
Between 1949 and 1955, his teams won 71 consecutive dual meets against high school competition; and in a six-year stretch from 1965 to 1971, the Indians won 95 consecutive dual meets.
If that wasn't enough, Hoffman guided the Tribe to 10 state titles in 13 seasons ('60-'73). In that same span, Roseburg had 10 state doubles champions; and five singles champions including two-time winner Mike Brundage ('60-'61); Don Lowe ('62); Tom Gardiner ('67); and Roger McKee ('69).
Hoffman was also the school's athletic director from 1960 to 1978 and was responsible for hiring current head football coach Thurman Bell.
"Al was a great person and was known by others in our profession as the 'coach of the coaches'," Bell said. "He was a competitor and a true gentleman and you couldn't find a person that had anything negative to say about him."
Al's success did not go unnoticed by his peers outside the state of Oregon. In 1977, he flew back to Virginia and was named the national tennis 'coach of the year' by the National Coaches Association. One year later, the Umpqua Valley Tennis Center in Roseburg officially named the pro shop in his honor.
Hoffman stepped down from the AD's post in 1979; and retired from teaching in 1983.
The legendary tennis coach passed away in 2005.