DOBSON — The Surry Sports Hall of Fame inducted the class of 2017 on Nov. 4 in Dobson. This year’s class included Rebel Good, a former Editor/Publisher of the Elkin Tribune from 1970-2007, and a man whose accomplishments of being a tennis official are astounding.
“I’m certainly honored by my selection,” said Good. “It’s always great to get recognized by the people who live around you.”
Good has served as a professional tennis referee since 1985, when he got his start as a volunteer for a national tennis tournament that took place in Elkin.
“The community was asked to put on a national tennis tournament and in order to do so they needed officials,” said Good. “They asked people to volunteer and we had then, just as we do now, a great community tennis program. A bunch of us volunteered to become officials for the tournament.”
Since 1985, Good has officiated at the highest level of tennis in the United States and across the world. In 1992 Good officiated at the Olympics in Barcelona, four years later he was back at the Olympics where he officiated in Atlanta in 1996. Along with officiating for the Olympics, Good has also officiated in three Davis Cup Championships, and two Federation Cup Championships. When asked about one accomplishment that he was proud of, Good couldn’t pick out just one.
“That’s difficult because I’ve worked so many top events through the years,” said Good. “I’ve worked US Opens, Olympics, and in the finals of the Davis and Federation Cups, so it’s really impossible to pick out one.”
Good has also officiated several championships for the Atlantic Coast Conference. Not only has Good officiated college championships, he has also officiated numerous men’s and women’s finals at the US Open. Good also knows the ins and outs of tenis rules and regulations as he has served as a trainer and evaluator of officiating for the USTA for more than 25 years. Good teaches rules, regulations, officiating procedures, and techniques to thousands of tennis umpires in the United States and abroad.
“This has given me a whole new circle of friends, completely outside of my journalistic career,” said Good. “It’s allowed me to travel nationally and internationally. It’s allowed me to get involved in the real nuts and bolts of tennis rules, to the extent that I’ve edited the USTA tennis rules book and the collegiate tennis rules book. It’s also given me the opportunity to write for a column on rules for Tennis Magazine.”
Good has served as a chairman for several associations over the years. He was a Chairman of Officials for the 9-state Southern section of the Unites States Tennis Association for three years, Chairman Official for the NCAA Div. 1 singles final in 1995, the Chairman of the Tennis Officials of North Carolina for 12 years, and a member of USTA National Officials Committee for 11 years.
Good’s tennis officiating career spans several decades, and is impressive to anyone. He has been able to travel the world doing what he loves, and it all started in the town of Elkin. Since his start, Good has officiated in every major tournament on the ATP tour in North America over a 35-year span. While Good’s list of accomplishments are impressive, he is thankful for the journey he has been able to go on since becoming an official.
“I could not have had this career without an incredibly strong supporting cast at the Tribune when I worked there,” said Good. “I had such confidence in them, that I felt comfortable leaving to officiate the tournaments across the country and the world.”
Good currently serves as the Executive Director for the NC Professional Tennis Umpire’s Association, and is responsible for assigning officiating to more than 30 North Carolina collegiate teams.
About the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame:
The Surry County Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the history of sports for Surry County. Its purpose is to recognize and perpetuate the noteworthy athletic tradition of Surry County by honoring and memorializing individuals, teams, corporations, companies and/or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to this tradition.
The Surry County Sports Hall of Fame operates under the authority of the Surry County Parks and Recreation Department under the consent of the Surry County Board of Commissioners.