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The athletic greats in the Luzerne County (Pa.) Hall of Fame include tennis champion Dave Hubinger ’53.

Taught by his father, Hubinger began playing tennis when he was six or seven. He continued through high school and college, going undefeated as a freshman at Lafayette and losing only twice in his four-year collegiate career.

He says his early start played a part in his sustained participation in the sport.

“Momentum helped,” he says. “I played in the Pennsylvania state tournament as a junior and kept playing when I went into the service. Athletics was a big part of the service.”

After leaving the military, Hubinger joined the Charleston tennis club and played in state tournaments. He won seven state tennis championships in West Virginia and six in Delaware. Later, he and his longtime doubles partner started an organization to teach tennis in the public school system.

Retired from his position at Dupont, Hubinger has been competing in the Delaware Senior Olympics for 15 years. He has won 32 medals, including 23 gold. He jokes that the size of his state has helped his success.

“If you pick a small enough state you can do better,” he says.

When Hubinger first came to Lafayette, he was unsure of what he wanted to study.

“I hadn’t the faintest idea of what I wanted to major in, so they asked what I was good at and I said ‘math and science,’” he says. “They told me ‘perfect, be a chemical engineer.’”

Hubinger was told that if he changed his mind later, it would be easier to move from engineering to something else without losing a lot of time. But he opted to stay with chemical engineering and took a position with Dupont after graduating.

“I got an excellent education at Lafayette for which I am forever grateful and made some very good friends, many of which I still keep up with,” Hubinger says.

Many of his fond memories of Lafayette involve Sigma Chi fraternity. He especially remembers when he educated some freshman about manners.

“I took it upon myself to have a manners class. I thought their poor manners would be detrimental to them if they were ever interviewed for a job,” he says.

One of his fraternity brothers became the hit of the class when Hubinger agreed to allow him to be an example of poor table manners.

Hubinger believes strongly in the benefits of fraternity life.

“It was a fantastic growing experience, a chance for leadership — something that you don’t normally get when you go to class,” he says.

Hubinger is still active in various committees at the Dupont country club. He teaches tennis in the spring to fifth- and sixth-graders in the school system. He is involved in two bowling leagues and a tennis doubles group. And even though he has won so many championships, he can still be found taking tennis lessons.

“Games can be fun by themselves but they teach many things. I’m still learning,” he says.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles