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Arlo Elkins, Longtime USC Women's Tennis Coach, Dies at 62

11:30 PM, Apr 1, 2012   |    comments
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Arlo Elkins

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- University of South Carolina officials have confirmed that longtime women's tennis coach Arlo Elkins has died.

Elkins was 62.

In 29 seasons at USC, he had a 431 to 290 record. Last year, he guided his players to its 17th straight NCAA appearance, 19 overalls.

Elkins took a leave of absence from his position at the end of February, citing a battle with cancer.

"It was a very sad day for South Carolina Athletics with the passing of Arlo Elkins," said USC Athletics Director Eric Hyman in a statement. "We lost a member of our family. Coach Elkins was an icon in our department for 29 years. The focus in his life was on our student-athletes in the women's tennis program. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Elkins family. He will be dearly missed."

Prior to his coaching career, Elkins played tennis professionally, competing in the main draws at Wimbledon and the French Open.

Kent Demars is the former USC men's tennis coach, and spoke to News19 about his friend and colleague.

"Arlo was very upbeat," said Demars, "he was very talented. I spent more time with Arlo than probably my family."

During his 26-years as a coach, Demars worked along side Elkins.

"There are a lot of teams trying to get the the NCAA once or twice in ten years. He's got 17 in a row going, so it's really remarkable!"

"I think his legacy is more the people that he met and the friends that he met," Demars reflected. "He was really a loyal person who I just really had a great time with and I'm going to miss him terribly."

He leaves behind his wife, Tara, three children, and five grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been set.

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