Meg Peavy poses with one of her Rising Star students at the WLKY Bell Awards in 2018.
Meg Peavy poses with one of her Rising Star students at the WLKY Bell Awards in 2018.

Students, faculty, and staff on campus know Meg Peavy as the tennis professional at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.

The former UofL women’s tennis player and head coach has a rich history of success on the court. She holds the school’s top two positions for singles wins in a season, is second with most career doubles victories, and ranks third in career singles wins. She secured all-conference honors twice, the first in school history to earn the distinction. In 1987, she was voted the Kentucky College Coach of the Year.

Peavy was inducted into the UofL Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame five years later. Though highly prestigious honors, Peavy has strived – and succeeded – to be synonymous with more than her on-court success.

For more than 30 years, including her time as leader of the Cardinals’ tennis program, Peavy dedicated herself to the city of Louisville.

Meg Peavy poses with another one of her Rising Star students at the WLKY Bell Awards in 2018.
Meg Peavy poses with one of her Rising Star students at the WLKY Bell Awards in 2018.

Under her watch, teams were highly involved in the community, volunteering in soup kitchens from 1983 to 2002. Still, Peavy wanted to affect more lives throughout the community.

“I remember sitting in a committee meeting of the KTA (Kentucky Tennis Association) on a rainy day, discussing how to make our small parks tennis organizations gain a bigger piece of the pie from grant funds available from the USTA,” Peavy said. “It occurred to me as the KTA Minority Participation director, we would be more powerful as a fist than individual fingers.”

That meeting paved the way for Rising Stars of Kentucky Tennis, an inner-city program that provides year-round tennis instruction to kids. Beyond teaching a sport that has helped her impact lives, she has donated racquets, shoes and clothing since 1994.

“Rising Stars is in its 25th year of putting smiles on faces, including mine,” Peavy said. 

Also, since 2000, Peavy has been an instructor for the Kentucky Special Olympics and the KTA Wheelchair summer tennis camp.

In September 2018, the United States Tennis Association identified Peavy as a WLKY Bell Award recipient, recognizing her for demonstrating the true “spirit of Louisville” through selfless volunteer efforts and as someone who seeks to inspire all residents to engage in community service.

“The Bell Award was literally over the top,” Peavy said. “I received a certified letter, no less. I’m proud, thrilled, humbled, delighted, and as you can imagine, shocked.”

Peavy remains active on the court, but she hopes to continue to make more of a lasting impact off of it.

“Being involved with those who need help doesn’t cost anything and only asks for a bit of your time and whatever skill you have to offer,” Peavy said. “It could be helping someone to speak a new language or learn basic skills. No matter what, just have your heart in it and you will be rewarded thousand-fold.”

Ira Green
Ira Green is a social media and digital marketing specialist for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing. Before joining the team in 2018, Green previously spent eight years as an assistant sports information director in the Cardinals’ athletics department. The Florida native graduated with a B.A. from UCF before earning an M.S. from West Virginia. An avid college basketball and Major League Baseball fan, Green advocates for the Oxford comma and the New York Yankees.