Interview with George A. Frilot III
January 15, 2014 By Billy E. Crawford
George Frilot III was inducted into the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009
BC. George, where were you born?
GF. New Orleans, Louisiana
Q. When did you first start playing tennis?
A. As a young tennis player I grew up on the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club on South Saratoga Street. Emmet Pare’, who was the Tulane tennis coach, was the guy who taught me to play. He thought I was a prodigy and I would work out with Ham Richardson and those guys. I didn’t practice as much as he wanted me to; I had gotten into speech debate and other things. He and I were always extremely close friends.
From about my eighth grade until my second year in high school, I basically ran his pro shop at the club. I would order his supplies for the pro shop and string his racquets. He taught me tennis without charging my family. He was disappointed I would not go the Tulane, especially since my father was a graduate of Tulane. But, my uncle was a Jesuit and I attended Loyola.
Q. Where did you attend high school?
A. Jesuit High School in New Orleans
Q. Did you play tennis in high school?
A. Yes. In fact, Ronnie Fernasci was my doubles partner. We won the State Doubles Championship. Ronnie went on the play college tennis at LSU in Baton Rouge.
Q. Other than tennis, what was the “ highlight of you Jesuit years?”
One of my greatest accomplishments was in 1952. I was a senior at Jesuit High School in New Orleans. I won the National Voice of Radio Speech Contest for high school students. As a result of that, I traveled to Washington D. C. and had a one-on-one meeting with President Harry Truman. I still remember meeting with him. At first impression he was a very ordinary man. In terms of his personality and his command of the English language, and everything. But then, I spent much of the day with him, just watching him, sitting on the side, watching him in action. He may have been the smartest man I have ever met in my life. He had insights and commands that were far ahead of most. He was extraordinary. It was a reminder to me. I have tried cases all over the world, “and what you first see is not what you get.” A person is more than what you first see. He had a mind of his own; far superior intellect, beyond the impression that he gave in public exposure and television. The time with him was certainly one of the fondest memories that I have ever had. It was a wonderful day.
I also had the opportunity to address both Houses of Congress and say what I wanted. I spent a day with the Supreme Court Justices, met with J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, and visited other sites and dignitaries.
President Truman’s February 20, 1952 Daily Calendar
Loyola Tennis Days
When I enrolled in Loyola they had a pretty outstanding tennis team. The best player on the team was Bobby Hanberg. He was a premier basketball player and tennis player. He was a fabulous athlete who grew up in Whittier, California. Unfortunately, while we were in school he was killed in an automobile accident.
When Bobby had finished his eligibility they nominated him as coach. He was the coach while I played for first two years. I played under him as # 2 for two years.
The next two years played as # 1.
My brother Don was a fabulous doubles tennis player. He is three years younger.
Don and I graduated the same year, he with his undergraduate and I from Loyola Law School. Our Dad graduated from the Tulane Law School. He had a real estate firm and really never practiced law.
Loyola Wolf 1953 Yearbook
“TENNIS: A brief run down of the 1955 season saw Coach Arnie Franz replaced the late Bobby Hanberg as the tennis coach in the early spring. And Franz led an inexperienced tennis squad to a successful 7-3 season. The Wolves managed to beat Spring Hill, Miss. Southern and SLI twice and Southeastern once for the seven victories. Losses were to LSU and Lamar twice. Playing for the Wolves were George Frilot, Donald Frilot, Haruffjk, Couth, Jim Ford, Skippy Garcia and Francis
In 1957, “Newly re-organized, the Wolf net men proved to be the winningest team on the campus this year and also proved to have the winningest coach. Led by former varsity star George Frilot, the Pack compiled a 7-4 record—their defeats coming in two matches each with the powerful Pensacola Naval Station and Mississippi Southern.
The Pack will lose veteran George Frilot for next year’s action but have Don Frilot.
1983 edition of the Tennis Magazine I was ranked in the top 10 in the 45s
I have received four Silver Balls.
In 1955 National Clay Court championships runner-up
1970 Cordell cup played doubles
1977 with Ron Holmberg a picture NOLTC Invitational doubles –we beat Ronnie Sawyer and _________?_____
1985 was national clay court singles finalists
In 1993 My partner and I won the Senior Hard court Open Doubles
Champions in the 55s.
1985 runner up 45s clay court championships
men’s 45 s 1991 doubles runner up I played two doubles there in “91
1992 men’s 55 singles
In 1993 Senior Southern Championship finalist in 55s.
In 1995 was hard court championship finalists
In 1996 was clay doubles finalist
*2000 Super Seniors National indoor doubles 65s finalist. His partner, Bill Hyde of Laguna Beach lost to Lenny Lindborg and Jim Nelson 6-2, 6-4.
*2003 Men’s 65s Southern Senior Cup Champions.
*2010 Houston Fall Tennis Festival Men’s Doubles 75s
1. T.C. Chang-Russell Seymour 2. George Frilot-Buddy Lomax
*2011 USTA Texas Super Senior Men’s 8.0 Championships
The Austin team defeated Fort Worth to win the championship. Captained by Don Primosie the team included George Frilot, James Anderson, Chic Bain, Brad Beal, Craig Cox, Ernie Fontes, Wellborn Gregg, Pat Haragan, Guz Manzur, Ken Mc Allister, Kerry Orr, Bill Terry, and Steven Thurber.
I found a major law firm in the City of New Orleans. At one time had over 100 lawyers. It still exists as George Frilot III LLC.
Over the course of 40 years of practice, I have tried cases in 23 states and actively participated in proceedings in two foreign countries. My practice involved the trial of cases resulting from major offshore catastrophes, energy and environmental issues stemming from class action proceedings, commercial litigation and products liability.
I have been listed in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Louisiana Super Lawyers and BTI’s Client All-Star Team for Law Firms.
The Louisiana Bar Foundation selected me as the recipient of the prestigious 2007
Curtis R. Boisfontaine Trial Advocacy Award.
I now live in Wimberly, Texas with my wife Stella, and play tennis three days a week.