ITA Coaches Convention Caps Off Great Year
NAPLES, FL — The 26th annual Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Coaches Convention culminated in yet another great year for varsity college tennis. For the fourth year in a row, the ITA Coaches Convention took place at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples, Fla., December 16-19, 2010.
The ITA Coaches Convention is one of the best professional development opportunities for collegiate tennis coaches today. Nearly 300 men’s and women’s college tennis coaches at all levels gather each year for the ITA Coaches Convention. The four-day convention is highlighted by some of the most influential people in the sport of tennis.
Luke Jensen and 2010 Wilson/ITA Coaches of the Year, Peter Smith of USC and Brian Kalbas of North Carolina headlined a line-up of outstanding clinicians. In addition to offering clinics, panel discussions, an awards banquet, a trade show and a chance to exchange ideas, the ITA Coaches Convention serves as the venue for the association’s annual meetings, which include the ITA Board of Director and Operating Committee and General Membership meetings. Jensen, courtesy of Wilson Sporting Goods, was the featured keynote speaker at the ITA Welcoming and Awards Banquet, honoring the 2010 Wilson/ITA National Coaches of the Year and the USTA/ITA Campus & Community Outreach and the USTA/ITA Campus QuickStart Provider of the Year Award winners.
A former highly successful professional player and tennis broadcaster, Jensen began his coaching career with Syracuse in 2007. His professional resume includes 10 ATP Tour doubles titles and singles victories against world-renown athletes. Jensen was a member of the 1991 and 1992 Davis Cup teams and won the 1993 French Open doubles title with his brother, Murhpy. In addition to his on-court experience, Jensen has served as a tennis analyst for ESPN since 1994, covering all four major tournaments, including Wimbledon and the French, Australian and US Opens. In continuing with the success of the ITA mentoring program, four highly experienced head coaches, Harvard’s Dave Fish, Pomona-Pitzer College’s Ann Lebedeff, Alabama’s Billy Pate and USC’s Smith led the inaugural ITA Coaches Mentorship Forum, sharing their insight on important topics for today’s young coaches. This small group format provided a setting that encouraged discussion between the moderator and all participants at each of the four stations. “The convention is always a very exciting time of the year for our Coaches Association,” ITA Executive Director David A Benjamin said. “Besides being able to participate in great clinics and workshops at a beautiful resort in a great city, the coaches also had the special opportunity to meet and discuss the important issues impacting college tennis today.” As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men’s and women’s varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 15,000 college varsity student-athletes at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA web site is itatennis.com
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