John Ellis - USA Racquetball Hall of Fame Member

by Todd Boss, Pro Racquetball Stats

John Ellis was elected to the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame and was part of its Class of 2022. He was just the 17th Male professional ever elected to the Hall, joining the best professional players from the sport’s 50 year history in receiving the sport’s highest honor. 

In addition to his Pro career, Ellis spent a lifetime working in and around the sport, building up one of the most prolific programs in the country in his hometown of Stockton and serving as a US National team coach. He likely qualified for the hall as a Contributor in addition to all his Professional accolades.

Here’s a summary of his On-the-court accomplishments:

Professional Career:

- Career Pro Win Loss Record: 299-146, good for a .672 career Won/Loss Percentage.  He sits 18th in career Won/Loss Percentage amongst all IRT pros

Career IRT Pro titles: Eight, along with 18 finals appearances.  Ellis sits in 14th place amongst all players who have won an IRT Tier 1 event.  There have only been 45 men to ever win a Pro tournament

- Career top 10s: Ten Seasons finishing in the top 10. Ellis full-time touring career only lasted 10 seasons, and he finished in the top 10 in each of those 10.  His career was cut short by injury, essentially retiring after the 2003 season. Ellis finished #3 on tour behind Cliff & Sudsy for five straight seasons between 1998 and 2003. 

- Career Wins: 299, which ranks him 14th all time.  Despite only playing full time for 10 years he ranks among player who played for far longer than he did.

Amateur and International Accomplishments:

Six Junior National Singles titles: John won each of 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U in his career for a clean sweep of available junior categories in his career.  He won 16U two years in a row.  (World Juniors didn’t start until 1989, so Ellis has little in the way of Junior Worlds competition)

- One Junior National Doubles title: 18U in 1991 with Eric Muller; they went on to also take the Junior Worlds 18U Doubles title later that year.

- 1993 USA National Open singles champion

6-time US National Team member: 1992,1993,1994,1995 then after retiring 2006 and 2008

- 1995 Pan Am Games gold medalist, Men’s Singles.  Was also a 3-time singles finalist at IRF events between 1992 and 1994

- 3-time USA National Doubles champion: 1991 with Muller (same year they were also Junior National 18U champs), 1993 with Muller, and then 2003 with Karp

1994 World Doubles Champion with Muller

Other fun facts about John:

Biggest career wins: he holds two IRT Pro Nationals wins, in 2000 and 2002, back when Pro Nationals was nearly as big as the US Open.

- Holds a career 2-1 record over Kane Waselenchuk, the only pro Kane has ever played who can make the claim of having a winning record against him.

- Forms one of the best Father son combos with his son Julius, who competed at the sport’s highest junior levels.  Forms one of the ONLY 3-generation player combos with his father Dave.

- One of the hardest hitters of all time.  Quoting John, “I saw a speed gun clock on my serve in Houston in about 1993 or 1994 that read 183mph.  they showed me the speed gun right after I hit the serve." 

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