One of the key figures in Washington and Lee's rise to prominence in the Division III tennis circle was Ben Johns, '78.
Johns teamed with fellow inductee Stewart Jackson to win the NCAA Division III doubles championship in 1977, leading W&L to a second place finish in the team standings.
For their efforts the duo became W&L's first tennis All-Americans. Johns and Jackson also became the first W&L players to compete in the Division I championships in 1977.
A native of Alexandria, Va., Johns again helped lead W&L to a second place finish in 1978. Johns and Jackson finished as runners-up in the doubles competition and Johns advanced to the semifinals of the singles championship to become W&L's first singles All-American.
Johns also helped lay the foundation for W&L's success within the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. In the inaugural ODAC tennis championship in 1977, johns won the No. 1 singles title and teamed with Jackson to win the No. 1 doubles title while leading W&L to the team title. Johns was honored as the ODAC Player of the Year. The following year Johns swept the same honors and championships in helping lead W&L to another ODAC title. Johns also won two singles and two doubles championships in the Virginia College Athletic Association and was the VCAA Player of the Year in 1976 when he led W&L to the VCAA championship.