Although many people are familiar with long-time resident Bud Kling, because he’s friendly with everyone and is often seen about town—most people don’t realize he’s one of the most successful high school tennis coaches in the country.
Not only that, the 74-year-old Kling has received word that he will be inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame next June, joining the likes of Sandy Koufax, Mark Spitz and hundreds of other honorees since the award’s inception in 1990.
Back in 2017, King was also inducted into the Los Angeles City Section Hall of Fame. He was recognized for leading all coaches in the City Section with 28 boys team championships since 1979 and 20 girls team titles since 1984.
During his coaching career, Kling’s teams have accumulated almost 1,300 match victories. His 2017 boys squad won the National High School Tennis All-American Championship.
Kling isn’t ready to retire. Last month, his girls team won yet another City Section title by defeating Granada Hills 5-2 in the Open Division final — Pali’s eighth title in nine years.
Team members included captains Jade Finestone and Anaya Ayanbadejo, and Iris Berman, Yulia Klokova, Sydney Gartin, Marlena Dobrowolski, Reese Trepanier, Sophie Szeder, Becca Rosenblatt, Simone McClary, Camryn Rowles and Sashi Goncheva.
Last spring, after an earlier Covid-cancelled season, the Pali girls team won on May 13 and the boys on May 14 — a real nail-biter as they came from behind to edge Granada Hills 15.5-14.
“This is certainly one of the most exciting and most improbable final victories in my 40+ years of coaching!!” Coach Kling wrote in an email to CTN. “The team and parents went wild.”
Kling and his wife, Cheryl, raised Ryan and Alex in the El Medio area. Both kids played for their dad at PaliHi.