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Prepared by Lisa S. Hicks April 15, 1991; Revised and prepared for the Web by Nancy Birk, July 8, 1996
1 record storage box, 1 cubic foot, 11th floor
Old Archives Number: 14.11.55
The papers of Karl Chesnutt were originally given to Phebe Zimmerman (Hiram, Ohio), a friend of the Chesnutts when Karl became ill in 1989. She suggested to Mrs. Rosalie Chesnutt that they should go to the KSU Archives and returned them to her. They were transferred to the KSU Archives on 27 October 1989 and accessioned as U89/55.
Biographical data about Karl Chesnutt makes up the first series. A letter from Mrs. Chesnutt to the processor is included in the first folder. The letter gives information about Karl Chesnutt (February 26, 1913- ) and his career at KSU. Much of the information in the letter is not documented in the rest of this collection. It provides insights into his achievements at KSU which go beyond his tennis coaching experience. During Chesnutt's tenure at Kent State he was a football coach (originally what he was hired for in 1947) and then a basketball, track, soccer and finally a tennis coach. He also taught swimming, golf, badminton, archery, and fishing.
Series II, Varsity Tennis, makes up the bulk of the collection (folders 2-53). This series contains materials that relate to Mr. Chesnutt's career as a tennis coach at KSU from 1950-1969. There are a few gaps in the records of 1963 and 1965, but otherwise they are fairly complete. Schedules, team lists and correspondence are part of the general files. Scoresheets or scorebooks are included with every season's records as well. In addition, information about the OAC (Ohio Athletic Conference) Spring Tournament in 1950 and the MAC (Mid-American Conference) Spring Tournament from 1951-1969 are also included. The tournament folders also contain programs which have information about other spring sports at Kent State such as track and golf. Chesnutt found his tennis players to be high-caliber men and loved the years he spent coaching them. This may have been why he chose to invite some of them back for an alumni-varsity match in 1966.
Series III, Tennis Alumni, documents this event in folder 54. It consists mostly of correspondence between Chesnutt and his former players. Folder 55 in this series contains the correspondence of Frank Hicks, a former tennis player of Chesnutt's and a coach himself. The next series is Teaching Experience. There is one restricted file in this collection. It is found under the title of Grades (folder 57). This file contains the grades of students in Karl Chesnutt's gym classes. For this reason access must be restricted. The other file (folder 56) in this series is not restricted however and contains limited information about Chesnutt's teaching career. Chesnutt retired from coaching and teaching in 1974. Because he had been active all his life, he chose not to sit at home.
His retirement activities are contained in series V. He was a volunteer for several groups such as the Red Cross. He also taught physical education at the Geauga Regional Campus of KSU for a couple of years. These events are documented in folders 58 through 60. Chesnutt was involved with the Blue and Gold Club and Varsity K at Kent State even after his retirement. Correspondence as well as programs from the Varsity K Hall of Fame banquets are in folders 61 through 62. In the mid-1980s he was elected into the Varsity K Hall of Fame for his many years of service to KSU (although this is not documented in the collection).
A complete listing of the series in this collection are as follows:
FOLDER -- CONTENTS