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A life in tennis: This OKC coach has never charged for a lesson, ever.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- With so many players, so many balls flying around on the tennis courts at Goodholm Park, people tend to hear 'Coach Pen' before they see him.

Billy Pendarvis doesn't play as much as teach.

He barks out instructions or encouragement to a collection of former students, some friends, and some people like Sam Dyer who just showed up one day to take his place in the hitting line.

"That's when he told me to jump in the line," he recalls. "Let's see what you got."

"I don't own the tennis court," says Pendarvis. "You want to come out and hit, you can. But make sure you can hit because you can see they really smack the ball."

Coach Pen learned to play on these tennis courts.

For years he was the tennis coach at U.S. Grant High School.

But after retirement a decade ago he came back here.

Former students like Jackie Morales and Katherine Allercon followed.

Morales remembers, "He had tryouts one day after school. So I came out and every since I've been hitting."

But there's a lot more to his game than just tennis wisdom.

As a high school coach he introduced the game to kids who didn't grow up playing in country clubs.

He often supplied racquets, travel money, and sage advice to anyone who would take on the work.

Allercon, another former high school tennis player at U.S. Grant says, "He just really made us believe you could be a tennis player. You can get your college paid for."

Good tennis could be a ticket out.

Pendarvis says he can spot a good player in seconds.

He claims he can teach a beginner to hit in thirty minutes.

But one thing he never does is charge money for lessons.

Pendarvis says, "If you're a parent and you really want your kid to learn how to play tennis and you don't have the money, this is the spot to come to."

What tennis game him; friends, his health, and a lot of fun along the way, he gives back every chance he gets.

Every nice day, every solid hit.

The rest is all follow through.

Bill Pendarvis coaches and plays tennis Monday through Saturday evening at Goodholm Park in Oklahoma City unless there's an OU football game on TV.

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