Tennis / Steve Springer : Pierce’s Xanthos Stepping Down but Not Aside

Today, after 43 years in public education, after 14 league tennis titles in 18 years at North Hollywood High, after 19 conference tennis titles in 25 years at Pierce College, Paul Xanthos, 68, finally begins retirement.

Well, sort of.

If you know Xanthos, there will be no rocking chair nor Leisure World condo for this man.

His idea of retirement is to give up his teaching position at Pierce but to continue coaching the tennis team.


And immediately plunge into a new tennis venture in Burbank.

Xanthos is one of four investors in a proposed family sports center and tennis complex. The center, which still must be approved by the city, would take two to 2 1/2 years to construct at an estimated cost of $6 million to $8 million. Open to the public, the Burbank facility would include 15-20 tennis courts, six racquetball courts, two squash courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, volleyball courts, saunas, a gym complete with a running track, and areas for weight training, physical therapy and massage.

Xanthos hopes to take an active role as sports director of the facility.

That could require a lot of time. Good thing he’s retired.

Minor hurdle: Thirteen-year-old Christopher Minor of Northridge reached the third round of the Southern California sectionals in the 14-and-under singles division before being eliminated by Derek Pope, 6-3, 6-0, Tuesday at Los Caballeros Sports Village in Fountain Valley.

Minor is not unfamiliar with the third round. Just to qualify for the sectionals, a United States Tennis Assn.-sanctioned event under the auspices of the Southern California Tennis Assn., a player had to have reached at least the third round in six other USTA-sanctioned tournaments in the Los Angeles area.

It has been a month of major events for the Minor family.

While Christopher was competing in Fountain Valley, his parents were victorious in Spalding Cup competition at Porter Valley Country Club in Northridge in a national doubles tournament for 4.0-rated players.

Paul Minor teamed with Michael Jameson to defeat Hal Adelman and John Gaffney, 6-4, 6-3, and advance to the area Spalding Cup tournament next month at San Clemente Country Club.

Joining him there will be his wife Rita, who teamed with Karen Gaffney to beat Pat Luongo and Diane Altman 6-4, 6-4, in the ladies’ competition.

Junior event: The Cal State Pacific Coast Junior Championship, a major tournament for young men and women, will be held in three Northern California locations July 3-9.

The competition for 17- and 18-year-olds will be staged at the Harbor Bay Club in Alameda. The Tiburon Peninsula Club will play host to the 15- and 16-year-olds, and the 13- and 14-year-olds will play at the Ross Valley Swim and Tennis Club in Kentfield.

Entries are based on performance.

Information: 415-461-4383.

All in the family: North Ranch Country Club in Thousand Oaks staged its area event last week for the Equitable Family Tennis Challenge. The main registration requirement in the doubles affair is that the partners be related.

Winners in the father-son competition were George and Mike Bannister, and Gary and Todd Stephens finished second.

Other winners, followed by the runners-up, were as follows: Father and daughter--Gunter and Natasha Backes; Gary and Carrie Johnson.

Mother and son--Adam and Donna Goodley; Amy and Derek Schinden. Mother and daughter--Rita Robinson and Maureen Patton; Joan and Nicole House. Husband and wife--Ken and Trudy Miya; Dick and Nancy May.