Bud Collins, the journalist and analyst who pioneered tennis coverage, died on Friday. He was 86.
Collins, know for his encyclopedic knowledge of the game as well as his uber-colorful wardrobe, died in his Brookline, Mass., home, the Boston Globe reported. Collins was a writer for the Globe and then became an analyst of the game for CBS and NBC in 1968. His work helped to raise the popularity of the sport.
“Through his writing, his television work, his constant promotion of the game, no one did more to grow the sport of tennis than Bud Collins,” said Vince Doria, who worked with Collins both at the Boston Globe and ESPN. “The world will always view him in that light. But those who knew him best will remember that no one had a better friend than Bud Collins. And no one had more friends than Bud Collins.”
The newsman was known for adding a bit of color to his coverage, often scoring matches with grunts and groans as well as offering up nicknames for many of the game’s greats.
“Few people have contributed as much to the sport of tennis as Bud has,” said Katrina Adams, U.S. Tennis Association chairman and president. “He is a special person, a friend and mentor to many in the industry, and one who has spread his passion for the sport in so many ways. The span of his career is breathtaking.”
During his career, Collins was awarded the most prestigious sports writing honor, the Red Smith Award, and was inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 2002.
Collins is survived by his wife, Anita Ruthling Klaussen.