COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- It took Esra Bayburt Roan the blink of an eye to establish herself as the best player in Tennessee Tech women’s tennis history. In her first month on the roster under coach Randy Smith in 1994, Bayburt built a 14-1 record and earned a ranking of No. 58 in the nation – the first Tech women’s tennis player to break into the Top 100.
In recognition of her success as a Golden Eagle, shet is one of five people who will be enshrined into the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 4, as the school honors its athletic legacy with the 37th annual induction ceremony.
The 2011 Hall of Fame Class will be honored during Homecoming
weekend, Nov. 4-5. The induction will take place at the Hall of
Fame Dinner Friday evening, and the group will also be recognized
at the Homecoming football game Saturday against Murray State.
It’s safe to say that Bayburt, along with teammates Marieta Valkova and Diana Pous, took the Tech women’s team from the bottom to the top of the Ohio Valley Conference during their four years in the lineup. While Valkova and Pous also established individual records of success, it was Bayburt who was the target at the top of the Tech lineup playing at No. 1 singles, and the native of Istanbul, Turkey responded with a glowing numbers.
Three times named to the all-OVC team, Bayburt helped the Tech women’s team put up numbers unheard of in school history. With Bayburt setting the tone, Tech posted a four-year overall record of 53-32. It was more wins in four seasons than Tech had produced in more than 14 previous seasons combined.
Bayburt and her teammates went 26-7 in OVC matches, finishing second or third in the league every year. In comparison, previous Golden Eagle teams had won a combined 14 OVC matches in all 18 years of conference play before their arrival from points around the glove.
As a freshman Bayburt posted 45 victories and a year later she finished with 46 wins, both numbers still ranking in the school’s all-time Top 10 individual season records. For her career, she posted an 88-42 record in singles play and went 80-39 in doubles matches for a combined 168-81 overall record.
An mechanical engineering major, Bayburt received her
bachelor’s degree in 1998 and her master’s degree in
2000. She was named three times to the OVC Commissioner’s
Academic Honor Roll, and was on the TTU Athletic Director’s
Honor Roll in every semester. She was married to Stephen Roan in
1998 and later earned her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati
in mechanical engineering.
The couple has two children -- Ben (7) and Emre (4). Esra has worked at the University of Memphis since 2007 where she has a dual apointment as an assistant professor in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering.
Joining Bayburt Roan in the Class of 2011 are football players James "Red" McMillan, Ralph Broyles and Chad Evitts, and volleyball standout Angie Duncan. With their induction, the Hall of Fame will grow to 159 since it was established in 1975.
Tickets to the Hall of Fame Dinner and the Homecoming football game are available by calling (931) 372-3940, or through the Athletics ticket office in Eblen Center. Reservations must be made for the dinner, and tickets are $25 each. Reservations may also be made online at TTUsports.com.