USTA and ITA Honor Champions of Campus and Community
The USTA and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association are continuing a tradition of honoring coaches who, in addition to their job of successfully coaching and graduating student-athletes, reach out to their campus and outlying communities to grow tennis. “The ITA and USTA strongly believe that community service and campus recreation programs are extremely important for today’s college coach to become involved in, and these awards help highlight the efforts of those coaches who have,” says ITA Executive Director David Benjamin.
Gennette (left) and Henry (right) with Bill Ozaki, the
USTA’s director of junior and collegiate competition.
In 2005, two coaches from the USTA’s Southern California section received national awards. The Campus Recreation Award, presented to Dee Henry, women’s tennis coach at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., recognizes an ITA coach who has implemented successful tennis programs on campus in an effort to grow tennis participation. The Community Service Award, presented to Michael Gennette, men’s tennis coach at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, honors an ITA coach for developing community-based tennis programs through community centers, schools, parks, CTAs, inner city, suburban, or rural programs.
At the USTA section level, 20 additional coaches received awards. The national winners were chosen from the group of section winners by a panel comprised of ITA and USTA staff. Also, 50 coaches from ITA-member schools were awarded grants from the USTA to support their Community Outreach and USTA Team Tennis programs.
This is the third year that the USTA and ITA have honored college coaches in this manner. For pros and managers working at college tennis facilities, reaching out to the community for programs and lessons is a good source of additional revenue. In fact, some industry insiders predict that, while public parks were the genesis for much of recreational tennis’s growth in earlier decades, tennis facilities on college campuses will fill that community role in the future.
At Biola, Henry has organized numerous tennis events and programs throughout the academic year for students, faculty, alumni, and the surrounding community. Among those programs are a USA Team Tennis campus league, a campus wheelchair program, and Tennis Across America, a free USPTA program that introduces tennis to families from Biola and the community.
Gennette has helped grow tennis in Ventura County by organizing many entry-level programs and special events. He started local park and recreation tennis programs in six cities, including six high schools and 12 parks. In addition, Gennette has organized and hosted adult and senior Play and Learn Classes, Youth League Tennis, corporate tennis picnics, county junior tournaments, and a number of summer camps.
“Tennis needs people out there doing the legwork to get people involved and promoting the sport,” says Casey Angle, director of communications for the ITA. Meanwhile, the coaches’ efforts can help their own varsity programs as well. “It makes the coach more visible in the community, and more valuable in the community,” Angle says. “It ultimately gets more people interested in the tennis program.”
USTA/ITA Campus Recreation Award Section Winners
Intermountain: Brad Pearce, Brigham Young University
Mid-Atlantic: Constantine Ananiadis, Washington College (Maryland)
Middle States: Dave Shook, Lehigh University
Missouri Valley: Lisa Johnson, Oklahoma Christian University
New England: Christine Davis, Smith College (Massachusetts)
Northern California: Peter Wright, University of California-Berkeley
Pacific Northwest: Carl Swanson, Linfield College (Oregon)
Southern: Mary Ann Sunbury, Pfeiffer University
Southern California: Dee Henry, Biola University
USTA/ITA Community Service Award Section Winners
Eastern: Gary Glassman, Stony Brook University
Florida: Bruce Carrington, St. Thomas University
Intermountain: Nicole Kenneally, University of Colorado
Mid-Atlantic: Darryl Cummings, Old Dominion University
Middle States: Lori Sabatose, Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Midwest: Tim Corwin, Kalamazooo College
Missouri Valley: Andy Hamilton, Grinnell College
New England: Julie Greenwood, Williams College
Northern California: Marc Weinstein, Mills College
Pacific Northwest: Lisa Hart, Washington State
Southern: Bill Riddle, Cumberland University (Tennessee)
Southern California: Michael Gennette, California Lutheran University
Texas: Lance Drake, Tarleton State University
See all articles by Kristen Daley
About the Author
Kristen Daley is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.