Welcome to our John Powless site. On this site you can read excerpts from the book JOHN POWLESS: A Life Well Played, keep up with John on his tennis exploits and learn what's new in the world of senior tennis. Click here to buy the book.

In Madison, Wisconsin you can also find the book at Mystery to Me on Monroe Stree and the University Bookstore in Hilldale.

John Powless has won more world titles than the New York Yankees. The International Federation of Tennis (ITF) named John The Senior Player of the Millennium. He also coached the likes of Arthur Ashe and Stan Smith when they were sweaty teenagers barnstorming the country with Powless at the wheel of his big Buick. He won two NCAA basketball championships as an assistant at the University of Cincinnati. He served as head coach of the University of Wisconsin basketball team for eight years.


John Powless

Here's what one reader wrote about John Powless: A Life Well Played.

I started to read your new book last night and could NOT put it down! I read it completely, from cover to cover, and want to congratulate you -- it is a success on so many levels! It is beautifully told, heartwarming, and genuine. The family stories and photographs weave an adventurous tale of your youth in Flora, and the strength and devotion of your loving, guiding family makes me proud of the solid Midwestern values that so many of us were blessed to grow up with. 

Your years of coaching are endlessly impressive, and Dan Smith has done an outstanding job of chronicling the history, the stats, and the shining stars you mentored along the way. In addition, the book delivers important social and history lessons throughout each chapter. A Life Well Played is a wonderful tribute to all that you have achieved and continue to achieve. It is an inspiring story that proves how beautiful a life can be when it aims to mentor others with the kind of compassion and character that you bring to everything you do.
The book is a treasure, and will stand for generations as an important part of the legacy of a man who cared deeply about helping others become the best they could be, through respect, honor, integrity, hard work, camaraderie, sportsmanship, family, and values.
Congrats, and may you continue sharing your love of tennis with people around the globe for many years to come!
Dubuque, Iowa


John Powless in 1932.

John Powless' tennis and basketball career became a gateway to the world. Here he visits with First Lady Nancy Reagan (that's the Pres in the background). Powless and his good friend actor Fess Parker were invited to a tennis event at the White House. Parker, known to the world as Davy Crocket, knew the Reagans from his long career in Hollywood. Parker and Powless were frequent tennis partners. 


John Powless in 1932.

John believes his work on the family farm outside of Flora, Illinois lengthened his arms. Maybe not. But it did instill a work ethic that he carries today. Among his chores was taking the plow horse into town for supplies. He'd often take in a Saturday matinee and would pretend to be one of his cowboy heroes on his trip back to the farm.


John Powless on a horse.