Jim Brockhoff died May 30, less than a month shy of his 79th birthday. Brockhoff, a Xavier Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, retired in 2007 as Xavier's head tennis coach after 45 years of service to the men's program and 34 years as the head coach of the women's program. He had served as Xavier’s Director of Tennis Development since his retirement after the 2007 season.
“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.”
A visitation for Brockhoff will be held Monday, June 3 in the James and Caroline Duff Banquet Center at Cintas Center from 5-8 p.m. His funeral Mass will be Tuesday, June 4 at 10 a.m. at Bellarmine Chapel at Xavier, followed by interment at Calvary Cemetery on Duck Creek Road. A reception to celebrate his life will unfold after the internment at 1 p.m. back at Cintas Center.
As the 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’s coaching career was capped off on March 30, 2007 when he became just the second Division I head coach to win 1,000 matches, both men's and women's combined, when the women's team defeated George Washington, 4-3. Brockhoff, whose final record stands at 1,006-576 (.636), 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, the Purcell Marian High School Hall of Fame and Summit Country Day. 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.
The winning began for Brockhoff during his playing days at Xavier. A three-year letterman in both tennis and football, he set the XU all-time record for highest winning percentage, a mark of 92 percent (46-4) over 50 matches. His success has continued through this decade as he led the women's team to a program best 21 wins in 2004 and the men's team to its first appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship Match in 2007.
Brockhoff took two men's players to the 1971 NCAA Championships in singles and doubles and led the women's team to four appearances in conference championship matches, twice in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (1992, 1994) and twice as a member of the Atlantic 10 (2002, 2004). Brockhoff was honored as the MCC Coach of the Year in both 1991 and 1994.
In addition to the berth in the 2007 A-10 Championship Match, Brockhoff also led the men's team into the conference championship match as a member of the MCC in 1989.
As a player, Brockhoff won city championships in junior, open and senior division levels in singles and doubles. He served as deputy referee since the early 60s for amateur and pro tennis tournaments leading up to the present Western Southern Financial Group Championships. He has also worked at the U.S. Open and the National Clay Court Championships as an umpire while also serving as a referee for the national Father-Son Championships and as a pro at Eastern Hills Indoor Tennis Club and Coldstream Country Club.
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 University in 2008. He began his career in education in 1957 and from 1965-1971, served as headmaster for Summit Country Day School.
Brockhoff, who was born June 28, 1934, is survived by his wife, Mary, and children Beth, Brad, Brian, Anne and Maure and nine grandchildren.