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USPTA Awards Honor Standouts in Tennis Profession

September 20, 2007 — The United States Professional Tennis Association recognized outstanding tennis coaches, players, managers and volunteers during its annual awards breakfast at the USPTA World Conference on Tennis on September 20. The USPTA, the world’s oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals, is hosting its annual World Conference, which is the premier educational event of the tennis industry, Sept. 17-22 at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

The year’s award ceremony was noteworthy since it included the induction of two very special members, Bill Tym and Alex Gordon, into the USPTA Hall of Fame. Tym, a USPTA Master Professional and past USPTA national president, has been involved in tennis as a coach, player and administrator for half a century. Gordon, who was inducted posthumously, made lasting contributions to the game of tennis as a coach, player and USPTA member. In fact, his legacy is so great that the USPTA Alex Gordon Professional of the Year award was named in his honor. Both join the ranks of only seven other grand inductees into the USPTA Hall of Fame.

John Joyce from Boca Raton, Fla., was honored with the Alex Gordon Professional of the Year Award, as the top member in the association. Joyce, who has been a USPTA Professional 1 since 1985, is the director of tennis at Boca West Country Club, the largest equity club in the nation.

The USPTA Star Award recognizes a person who leaves a lasting impression in the community by using tennis as a vehicle to reach out to the community. Jane Hines of Omaha, Neb., has made tremendous contributions to the growth of tennis and to bringing the game of tennis to communities in Nebraska. She has done this through her involvement with several causes including the Tennis Everyone program, Special Olympics and wheelchair tennis, and as an active fundraiser for various tennis projects within the Nebraska District.

The recipient of the USTA/USPTA Community Service Award is Craig S. Jones of Martinez, Ga. He is the owner and director of tennis at the Petersburg Racquet Club, where he also created the Futures Program for players ages 4 to 18.

Sue Burke of Boulder, Colo., received the USPTA Industry Excellence Award, which honors those who have outstanding business insight and a charitable attitude. Burke has used various avenues to serve as an ambassador and promote the game of tennis. She has worked with several community groups including Boys and Girls Clubs and the I Have a Dream Foundation. The award is sponsored by the Tennis Industry Association and supported by Tennis Tutor ball machines.

Mike Doty of McGregor, Texas, received the Facility Manager of the Year Award. Doty is the general manager of Waco Regional Tennis & Fitness.

Other honorees are:

Kari Yerg, Boynton Beach, Fla. – Touring Coach of the Year
Michael Center, Austin, Texas – College Coach of the Year
Dave Steinbach, Brookfield, Wis. – High School Coach of the Year
Gordon Hammond, Las Vegas – High School Coach of the Year
Tommy Wade, Tuscaloosa, Ala. – George Bacso Tester of the Year

The following were named Player of the Year in their respective divisions:

Paulo Barros, Orlando, Fla. – Men’s Open
Anders Eriksson, Austin, Texas – Men’s 35-and-over
Val Wilder, Fort Worth, Texas – Men’s 45-and-over
Brian Cheney, Chandler, Ariz. – Men’s 55-and-over
Julie Cass, Austin, Texas – Women’s Open
Sophie Amiach, Eastham, Mass. – Women’s 35-and-over
Viktoria Beggs, Palm Beach, Fla. – Women’s 45-and-over
Sue Bramlette, Houston – Women’s 55-and-over

USPTA divisions receiving awards are:

USPTA Texas Division – Division of the Year
USPTA Southern Division – Newsletter of the Year
USPTA New England Division – Most Improved Division of the Year

Biographies of the award recipients follow.

Founded in 1927, USPTA celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2007. It strives to raise the standards of the tennis profession while promoting greater awareness of the sport. USPTA offers more than 30 professional benefits to its 14,500 members worldwide, including certification and professional development. With more than 300 days of educational opportunities throughout the year, USPTA offers the most comprehensive continuing education program in the tennis industry. For more information, call (800) 877-8248 or visit uspta.com.

Bill Tym, Brentwood, Tenn. – USPTA Hall of Fame Inductee

Bill Tym will join the ranks of only seven others as a grand inductee in the USPTA Hall of Fame. Tym, a USPTA Master Professional and past USPTA national president, has been involved in tennis as a coach, player and administrator for half a century. He coached the Vanderbilt University men’s tennis team to its first NCAA tournament. Tym has had a 25-year association with the Indonesian Tennis Association and coached Yayuk Basuki, the first Indonesian player to reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. He also coached USPTA Professional Bryan Shelton, who became the first black player since Arthur Ashe to win an ATP event. As a player, Tym was a Southeastern Conference singles champion at the University of Florida. He also competed on the international tour and won 10 national and international titles. Tym has made significant contributions to the USPTA. As executive director of USPTA he helped create a standardized certification test. Tym was named USPTA Professional of the Year in 1982, College Coach of the Year in 1989, and Touring Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2002. He also received the George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award from the USPTA in 2001 and the International Tennis Hall of Fame Tennis Educational Merit Award in 1981.

Alex Gordon, San Diego – USPTA Hall of Fame Inductee (posthumously)

Alex Gordon will also join the ranks of only seven others as a grand inductee posthumously in the USPTA Hall of Fame. Gordon made great contributions to the game of tennis as a coach, player and USPTA member. As a coach, he was first hired on as head professional at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego in 1946. He taught there for 10 years and then returned again in 1960 and remained there until 1976. While at Hotel Del Coronado he also coached at Bishop’s School in La Jolla, Calif. As a player, while attending UCLA he was captain of the men’s tennis team and the school’s No. 1 singles player. He was also the two-time Southern California Interscholastic doubles champion. He was a runner-up at the National Senior Hard Court Mixed Doubles and the National Senior Indoors in the men’s 50 and 55s. He was also the USPTA national 45 doubles champion in 1969, ’71 and ’72 (with Ben Press). Gordon also made tremendous contributions to this country and the USPTA. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was the president of the USPTA San Diego Division in 1969-1974. He was also president of the USPTA national Board of Directors in 1976, but passed away during his presidency. He is credited with holding the Association together in the 1970s, when it struggled with internal political turmoil. For that and his other contributions, the Alex Gordon Professional of the Year award was named in his honor. The award recognizes outstanding performance as a teacher, coach and player, as well as contributions to the Association and the tennis industry as a whole.

Rosemary DeHoog, DeWitt, N.Y. – Master Professional

Rosemary is the head tennis professional at the Drumlins Tennis Club in Syracuse, N.Y. She has 34 years of experience as a tennis-teaching professional and has demonstrated the ability to produce tennis champions at the scholastic and state level. She is a USPTA Professional 1 and has served on the USPTA Eastern Division Board as president, national chair of the women’s committee and national tester. In addition, DeHoog has been involved in the following publications: “A History of the Women’s Division of the USPTA,” and “The Tennis Serve: A Film Analysis.” She has been a speaker at several USPTA Eastern and World Conferences. Some of her previous honors have included USPTA Pro of the Year and USPTA Major Contributor.

John Joyce, Boca Raton, Fla. – Alex Gordon Award for the USPTA Professional of the Year

John Joyce, a USPTA Professional 1 since 1985, is currently the director of tennis at Boca West Country Club, the largest equity club in the nation. He has overseen operations at this 39-court facility, which includes 8,500 total members, for the past 13 years. His involvement with the USPTA is extensive, including currently serving on the Florida Division Board as the Florida regional vice president. He is a member of the USPTA National Executive Committee and serves on the USPTA national future trends committee. As Florida Division president, Joyce initiated the Florida Division Hall of Fame in 2006. He and his board helped initiate and organize the USPTA tournament in conjunction with the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships in February 2006. His accolades include Florida Division Professional of the Year in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007, as well as Florida Division Facility Manager of the Year in 2000.

As a player he has held a national ranking in Men’s 35 singles in both the USPTA and USTA. Joyce was also ranked No. 1 in men’s 25, 30 and 35 doubles by the Florida Section of the USTA. Joyce is also a member of the Prince Advisory Staff. He was raised in Florida, and currently lives in Hypoluxo, Fla., with his four children, Chelsea, Alexis, Jack and Nicholas. Outside of tennis, Joyce is an all-around athlete who enjoys running, weight training and holds a third degree black belt in Tae-Kwon Do.

Jane Hines, Omaha, Neb. – USPTA Star

Jane Hines has made tremendous contributions to the growth of tennis and to bringing the game of tennis to communities in Nebraska. She has devoted much of her life to teaching tennis as a USPTA tennis professional. In addition to her role as a teaching professional and coach, she serves as the Nebraska District Diversity Chair, initiating the district’s Tennis Everyone program. The program sponsors tennis outreach efforts across Nebraska, servicing after-school programs, inner-city community centers and parks programs, Special Olympics and wheelchair tennis. Hines is an active grant writer and fundraiser for various tennis projects within the Nebraska District. Players in the diversity outreach programs receive a free racquet and tennis balls when sportsmanship and attendance standards have been met. Hines was also named the USTA National Volunteer of the Month in August 2006. She was the Omaha Tennis Association Volunteer of the Year in 2004. She is currently the director of marketing at the Tennis Club and Indoor Soccer Center.

Sue Burke, Boulder, Colo. – USPTA Industry Excellence Award

Sue Burke has used various avenues to serve as an ambassador and promote the game of tennis. She brought tennis to the Denver Broncos branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver for the first time ever and provided funding for 60 new players. She helped the I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County to get two USTA tennis and education grants worth $50,000 and created and administered a tennis program for 140 lower-income minority kids in surrounding areas. Burke has also created a year-round tennis program for the Open Door Youth Gang Alternative program in Denver among several other community initiatives and programs. Burke’s efforts have helped increase player participation in tennis by connecting resources with groups in need, financially and otherwise, so hundreds of new juniors and adults could begin playing tennis. She also developed a volunteer base for the new programs so that they have sustainability. Also by creating the curriculum for health fairs, tennis will be an ongoing component of their program, which reaches 70 schools per year and over 50 local communities participating in the health fairs. Burke is currently the head tennis teaching professional at the Flatiron Athletic Club in Boulder, Colo.

Craig S. Jones, Martinez, Ga. – USTA/USPTA Community Service Award

Craig Jones is very committed to the game of tennis and bringing it to the community on both a professional and volunteer level. He has been involved in several ways in volunteer positions, such as racquet drive chairman, member of the South Carolina and Georgia junior tennis council, chairman and founder of the SCTA Challenger Circuit and coordinator of Special Olympics. Jones, who is a USPTA Professional 1, is the owner and director of tennis at the Petersburg Racquet Club. Under his direction, the club offers the Futures Program, which is for players of all levels from ages 4 to 18. The goal of the program is to make tennis fun and build a foundation, which allows students to reach their potential.

Mike Doty, McGregor, Texas – Facility Manager of the Year

As general manager of Waco Regional Tennis & Fitness, Mike Doty’s efforts have led to the construction and development of the club house design and layout, development of the tournament business model and to the facility being named the National USTA 2006 Outstanding Facility. The staff’s professional development and education are supported by the facility, which currently has 425 members 18 tennis courts, a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse with tanning, massage, whirlpools and sports lounge, and three group exercise studios with spinning room.

Dave Steinbach, Brookfield, Wis. – High School Coach of the Year

The Brookfield Central High School girls and boys team finished first and second respectively in both the district and regional tournaments led by coach Dave Steinbach. The girls team was crowned state champions. The girls team had an impressive undefeated record of 26-0, while the boys team had an impressive record of 15-5. Several players on both the girls and boys team received all-state and all-conference honors. After 38 years as part of the high school faculty, Steinbach just retired this year and now teaches tennis at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Gordon Hammond, Las Vegas – High School Coach of the Year

The Bishop Gorman High School girls team was crowned champions in the district, regional and state tournament led by Gordon Hammond. The team has also amassed a very impressive 154-9 record. Three of his players received collegiate scholarships this year. Coach Hammond has the most state titles by any one coach for tennis at Bishop Gorman High School with six. The team has also had three undefeated seasons.

Michael Center, Austin, Texas – College Coach of the Year

In just four short years as head men’s tennis coach for University of Texas, the team has set itself apart as one of the premier tennis programs. Center has led the men’s tennis team to an impressive overall record of 75-29 and 23-6 in Big 12 Conference play. This past season, Texas captured both the Big 12 regular season and conference tournament titles for the first time in seven years. Center’s coaching career spans over 17 years and includes an overall lifetime record of 291-119. Prior to arriving at Texas, Center had earned conference coach of the year honors in four of his last five seasons as head coach.

Kari Yerg, Boynton Beach, Fla. – Touring Coach of the Year

Kari Yerg is a teaching pro at the Patch Reef Park Tennis Center in Boca Raton, Fla., and has been deeply involved in wheelchair tennis coaching for many years. She is a seven-time coach of U.S. teams in World Team Cup, which is the wheelchair tennis equivalent of Davis Cup and Fed Cup. For the past three years she coached the U.S. juniors at Cruyff Junior Masters in Tarbes, France. Her world-ranked junior players include Noah Yalong, Dylan Levine, Matt Farmen, and Emmy Kaiser. She is the coach of 10 USTA nationally ranked wheelchair tennis players including three ITF world-ranked players, Karin Korb, ranked No. 34, Jan Proctor, ranked No. 23, David Harrison, ranked No. 19 in quads and John Becker, ranked No. 63. Other players she has coached include Randy Snow, David Johnson of Australia and the 2000 silver medalist in the Sydney Paralympic Games and Kevin Whalen, a competitor in the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games. She is the director of a free weekly wheelchair tennis clinic conducted at Patch Reef Park.

Tommy Wade, Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Tester of the Year

Tommy Wade, a USPTA Professional 1, is the director of tennis for the city of Decatur in Alabama. He took over a facility with six unused courts and has expanded the program to 16 hard and soft courts, two courts in a bubble, and a new pro-shop and tennis building. Tommy is a two-time USPTA National Tester of the Year, state and division Pro of the Year, and Pride of the South award winner. He currently serves as the head tester for the Southern Division, and has held the office of president for both the state and the division. Tommy won 21 Kentucky State championships, played No. 1 on the team for four years at the University of Kentucky, made the SEC all conference team three of those years, and later coached both the University of Kentucky and the University of Alabama tennis teams. He has spoken at various USTA and USPTA workshops and conventions across the country.

Paulo Barros, Orlando, Fla. – Men’s Open Player of the Year

In 2006, Paulo Barros was the winner of the USPTA National Grass Court championships, USPTA Florida Grand Prix Masters – Isleworth and USPTA Florida Grand Prix – Bonita. This year, he was the men’s open singles and doubles champion at the USPTA Grass Court championships and a finalist at the USPTA National Clay Court championships and USPTA Florida Grand Prix. Barros is the head tennis professional at Winter Park Racquet Club in Orlando, Fla.

Anders Eriksson, Austin, Texas – Men’s 35-and-over Player of the Year

Anders Eriksson was the men’s 35 singles and doubles champion at the 2006 USPTA International Championships. He is currently the USPTA’s No. 1-ranked men’s 35 singles and doubles player. Eriksson was also the men’s 30 singles champion at the 2007 USTA Hard Courts. He is director of tennis at Onion Creek Club in Austin, Texas.

Val Wilder, Fort Worth, Texas – Men’s 45-and-over Player of the Year

Val Wilder won the 2006 USPTA Hard Court Championships and was a finalist at the 2006 USPTA Grass Court Championships in men’s 45 singles. He is currently ranked No. 4 by the USPTA in men’s 45 singles. He is ranked No. 1 nationally by the USTA in men’s 45 singles and doubles. Wilder was both the men’s 45 singles and doubles champion at the USTA Hard Court, Indoor and Grass Court Championships. He also won the men’s 45 doubles at the USTA Clay court championships. Wilder is the director of tennis at Val Wilder Tennis in Fort Worth, Texas.

Brian Cheney, Chandler, Ariz. – Men’s 55-and-over Player of the Year

Brian Cheney has been very successful in USTA sectional, national and international tournaments. In 2006 he won the USTA National Men’s 60 Hard Courts in singles and doubles and the National Men’s 55 Grass Courts in the doubles. He was a semifinalist in singles and finalist in doubles at both the USTA National Men’s 55 Indoor and Clay Courts. In 2006 he was player captain of the ITF Austria Cup Men’s 55 team, which finished second. He is currently ranked No. 29 in men’s 55 singles and No. 12 in men’s 60 singles in the ITF and was ranked No. 3 in men’s 55 doubles in 2006 by the USTA. Cheney is currently the tennis director at Village Racquet and Health Club in Phoenix.

Julie Cass, Austin, Texas – Women’s Open Player of the Year

Julie Cass was champion of both the women’s open singles and doubles at the 2006 USPTA National Hard Court championships. Cass was ranked No. 3 in women’s open singles and is currently ranked No.1 in women’s open doubles by the USPTA. She was also the champion in several USTA tournaments including the National 35s Grass Courts (singles and doubles), National Father/Daughter Grass Courts (open champion), adult sectionals (open singles and open mixed champion), National 35 Clay Courts (singles finalist and doubles champion) and senior sectionals (35 singles and doubles champion). She is the director of women’s programs at the Westwood Country Club in Austin, Texas.

Sophie Amiach, Eastham, Mass. – Women’s 35-and-over Player of the Year

Sophie Amiach was the champion in women’s 35 singles, women’s 40 doubles and mixed doubles at the USPTA International Championships in 2006. She is also currently the USPTA’s No. 1-ranked player in women’s 35 singles and women’s 40 doubles. Amiach is the director of tennis at Willy’s Gym in Eastham, Mass.

Viktoria Beggs, Palm Beach, Fla. – Women’s 45-and-over Player of the Year

Viktoria Beggs was the winner of women’s 45 singles at this year’s USPTA National Clay Court Championships and the 2006 USPTA Florida Grand Prix Masters – Isleworth. Beggs is ranked No. 2 in 45 singles by the USPTA. She is the tennis director at the Everglades Club in Palm Beach, Fla.

Sue Bramlette, Houston – Women’s 55-and-over Player of the Year

Sue Bramlette has finished strong in several USTA tournaments. She was a finalist in women’s 55 doubles at the USTA Clay Court Nationals, a team finalist in 55 singles and doubles at the USTA National Intersectionals, the 55 singles champion at the 2006 Tennis Express, a 55 singles finalist at the USTA Hard Court National Championships, and a 55 doubles champion at the Les Grande Dumes Checket Cup. Bramlette is the president of the National Senior Women’s Tennis Association.

 

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