The United States Professional Tennis Association honored those who stand out and go above and beyond in all aspects of the tennis industry, from tennis coaches to players to volunteers during its annual national awards breakfast today at the USPTA World Conference on Tennis. USPTA, the world's oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals, is hosting its annual World Conference Sept. 16-21 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif.
Doris Hart of Coral Gables, Fla., became part of an elite group as a grand inductee into the USPTA's Hall of Fame. Hart, who won 35 Grand Slam titles during her career and is only one of three players to have a "boxed set," has been a tennis-teaching professional and a USPTA member since she retired from the tour in 1955.
Pancho Segura of Carlsbad, Calif., also became part of an elite group as a grand inductee into the USPTA's Hall of Fame. Segura, who was a former leading tennis player of the 1940s and 1950s, both as an amateur and a professional and in 1950 and 1952 was the World Co-No. 1 player, became a tennis-teaching professional for many years and joined the USPTA in 1946. He was widely credited with helping develop the young Jimmy Connors.
David T. Porter of Laie, Hawaii, received the association's top annual member award, the Alex Gordon Award for the USPTA Professional of the Year. Porter has been involved in teaching tennis for 35 years and a USPTA member for more than 25 years.
Geoff Griffin of San Diego, Calif., is the recipient of the USTA/USPTA Community Service Award. He has been a USPTA member for 27 years and has continued to give to his community through tennis. He has been the director of tennis at Balboa Tennis Club since 1989.
Ken Sumrow of Plano, Texas, is the director of tennis at High Point Park Tennis Center and has had a tremendous impact on the growth of tennis participation by focusing on offering a comprehensive program of instructional programs and play programs that provide a pathway for all players to fully enjoy the game. The numbers for the instructional and play programs soared from July 2011 to June 2012. His work with the Plano tennis community and High Point Park Tennis Center is what earned him the USPTA Industry Excellence Award, recognizing business acumen and a charitable attitude. The award is sponsored by the Tennis Industry Association and supported by Tennis Tutor ball machines.
The USPTA Star, recognizing teaching professionals who make an indelible mark on their communities through the sport of tennis, was awarded to Catherine Thomas, of Mason, Ohio. Thomas, who is the director of tennis at Lindner Family Tennis Center, has made significant contributions to tennis in both Ohio and Arizona by creating, organizing and teaching afterschool tennis programs for private and public schools in both states.
Kyle Kaneshiro of Honolulu, Hawaii, received the Lessons for Life Individual Award for his all his efforts in the tennis community as director of tennis at Moanalua High School, including raising $200,000 for the Moanalua High School Tennis Lights Project.
Dave Neuhart of Madison, Ga., received the Lessons for Life Individual Award for his charity events at the Reynolds Plantation/PBI, including the Columbus Celebrity Classic, which is held in support of the John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus.
Jackie Roe of Greenville, Del., received the Tennis Across America Individual Award for her efforts in hosting Tennis in the Streets, a free tennis event for 800 children.
Angel Lopez of San Diego, Calif., received the USPTA Diversity Award for all he has done to bring tennis to those in San Diego who might not otherwise have the opportunity to try the sport, including sponsoring programs at several predominately low income high schools in the San Diego area.
Dee Henry of Norwalk, Calif., received the Manager of the Year Award - Small Facility. Henry is the tennis director at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif.
Trent Schiek of Tyler, Texas, received the Manager of the Year Award - Large Facility. Schiek is the former general manager of Hollytree Country Club in Tyler, Texas.
Other honorees are:
Jonas Lundblad, Austin, Texas - Touring Coach of the Year
Ron Albers, Vincennes, Ind. - College Coach of the Year
William Wickenheisser, Whippany, N.J. - High School Coach of the Year
Feisal Hassan, Midlothian, Va. - George Bacso Tester of the Year
The following have been named Player of the Year in their respective divisions:
James Daly, Tyler, Texas - Men's Open
Jonas Lundblad, Austin, Texas - Men's 35-and-over
Jeff Cohen, Boca Raton, Fla. - Men's 45-and-over
Kimm Ketelsen, Tyler, Texas - Men's 55-and-over
Agata Cioroch, Atlanta, Ga. - Women's Open
Robin Keener, Melbourne, Fla. - Women's 35-and-over
Kathy Vick, Lubbock, Texas - Women's 45-and-over
USPTA divisions receiving awards are:
USPTA Texas Division - Large Division of the Year
USPTA Southwest Division - Small Division of the Year
USPTA Southern Division - Most Improved Division of the Year
USPTA Southern Division - Newsletter of the Year
The USPTA National Awards program is conducted annually. Nominations are submitted by the 17 divisions and by individuals. Recipients in each awards category are decided by the USPTA's awards committee.
Biographies of the award recipients follow.
Doris Hart, Coral Gables, Fla. - USPTA Hall of Fame inductee
Doris Hart was born June 20, 1925, in St. Louis, Mo. She won 35 Grand Slam titles during her career. Six of her titles were in women's singles, 14 in women's doubles, and 15 in mixed doubles. Hart is one of three players, all women, to have a "boxed set" of Grand Slam titles - every possible title (singles, same-sex doubles, and mixed doubles) from all four Grand Slam events. The others are Margaret Court and Martina Navratilova. Hart won nine consecutive Grand Slam women's doubles titles from 1951 through 1953, with her streak of 43 consecutive match wins in Grand Slam women's doubles tournaments finally ending in the 1954 Wimbledon final. Hart retired from the tour in 1955 - the same year she joined USPTA - to become a tennis-teaching professional. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1969. She is the first woman inducted into USPTA's Hall of Fame. She lives in Coral Gables, Fla.
Pancho Segura, Carlsbad, Calif. - USPTA Hall of Fame inductee
Pancho Segura, born on June 20, 1921, is a former leading tennis player of the 1940s and 1950s, both as an amateur and a professional. In 1950 and 1952, he was the World Co-No. 1 player. He was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, but moved to the United States in the late 1930s. He is the only player to have won the U.S. Pro Tennis Championship title on three different surfaces (which he did consecutively from 1950-1952). After retiring from the tour, Segura became a teaching professional for many years in Southern California. He joined USPTA in 1946, and was widely credited with helping develop the young Jimmy Connors. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1984. In 1993, USPTA's Executive Committee, in acknowledgment of his positive impact on the sport of tennis, and his previous 47 years of devoted service as a P-1 member, voted to award Segura the distinction of honorary membership in USPTA. He lives in Carlsbad, Calif.
David T. Porter, Laie, Hawaii - Alex Gordon Award for the USPTA Professional of the Year
David Porter has been a tennis-teaching professional for 35 years and a USPTA member for more than 25 years. Porter, who is a USPTA Master Professional, played collegiate tennis for Brigham Young University, a top 20 Division I program. Porter graduated with Ed. D., M.S. and B.S. degrees before beginning his tennis-teaching career. He has been very committed to the USPTA. He has been a Head Tester since 1988 and has served on the National Board from 1994-2007. This included serving as the national president from 2003-2005. In addition, he has served as the chairman of the education committee and the chairman of the testing and certification committee. He has also been a speaker at numerous USPTA divisional conventions and national conferences. He is currently the head tennis coach at Brigham Young University - Hawaii. Porter has an impressive record of 1,193 wins and 145 losses over his college coaching career, and he has never lost a conference match in women's tennis during his entire career. His BYU - Hawaii women's team is the three-time Pacific West Conference champions (2010, 2011, 2012). He has also taught/worked with several nationally ranked players, including Zheng Jie, ranked No. 15 in the WTA, Yan Zi, ranked in the top 100 in the WTA and Li Na, ranked top 10 in the WTA. Porter has written several articles for China Tennis Club Magazine and ADDvantage Magazine. Also, as the chairman of the USPTA Player Development Advisory Council, he consulted and edited "The Six General Performance Components of Tennis." He is currently on the HEAD Penn Racquet Sports Advisory Committee and Nike China Advisory Committee. His previous accolades include Hawaii Division Pro of the Year (2004, 1995), USPTA College Coach of the Year (2003, 2002), Hawaii Division Tester of the Year (1997, 1994), and Hawaii Division Hall of Fame Inductee (1985).
Ken Sumrow, Plano, Texas - USPTA Industry Excellence Award
Ken Sumrow, who is the director of tennis at High Point Park Tennis Center in Plano, Texas, has had a tremendous impact on the growth of tennis participation by focusing on offering a comprehensive program of instructional programs and play programs that provide a pathway for all players to fully enjoy the game. A major portion of the overall program is the instructional program which is designed to meet the needs of players of all ages and ability levels. In fact from July 2011 to June 2012, his programming ideas helped a huge surge/high level of participation in the instructional programs. The second major portion of the overall program is the play programs, which are designed to complement the instructional programs, and the numbers for the play program also soared from July 2011 to June 2012 with more than 3,600 players participating. High Point's intra-facility adult leagues participation grew about seven percent from 2011 to 2012. Overall sales at High Point for the period of July 2011 through May 2012 were up 2.5 percent.
Catherine Thomas, Mason, Ohio - USPTA Star Award
Catherine Thomas, who is the director of tennis at Lindner Family Tennis Center, has made significant contributions to tennis in both Ohio and Arizona. She has created, organized and taught afterschool tennis programs for private and public schools in Arizona and Ohio. She created and operated afterschool programs in Arizona with four campuses and 20 students/program. In Cincinnati she operated an afterschool program in Mason for nine years, with at least 60 participants each year. She also specifically works to increase awareness of Special Olympics through tennis clinics and fundraising events and generate funds for the Special Olympics Hamilton County, Ohio. At the center, she volunteers during the Western and Southern tournaments. In addition, she is in the process of organizing and providing afterschool programs and junior camps, and adult programs at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.
Geoff Griffin, San Diego, Calif. - USTA/USPTA Community Service Award
Geoff Griffin has been a USPTA member for 27 years and has continued to give to his community through tennis. He is past president of the USPTA San Diego Division and has been a 20-year board member of the San Diego District Tennis Association, and is in his fourth year as a board member of the Southern California Tennis Association. In 1999 he founded the Tennis Fest with more than 1,000 participants. For the last four years, he has been offering tennis clinics to the wounded warriors at the Balboa Naval Hospital and in fact, was honored in 2011 with the Channel 10 Leadership Award for his efforts to bring tennis to wounded warriors around the country. In addition, he is a 10-and-under Tennis enthusiast (with four painted teaching courts). Griffin is a past USPTA San Diego Division Pro of the Year. He has been the director of tennis at Balboa Tennis Club since 1989.
Kyle Kaneshiro, Honolulu, Hawaii - Lessons for Life Individual Award
Kyle Kaneshiro has been the director of tennis at Moanalua High School for 13 years and has done much for the tennis community during that time. He raised $200,000 for the Moanalua High School Tennis Lights Project. The courts have been without lights since 2009 after they were removed due to safety issues because of corrosion, and as a result the facility was forced to discontinue a majority of its tennis programs. With the help of family, friends, students and parents, Kaneshiro was able to raise the $200,000 within two years by hosting golf and tennis tournaments, through grants and donations and tennis clinics. The project was finally completed in November 2011. He continues to use the courts to give back to the community. He has hosted events supporting the Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation and he has hosted free clinics for kids in the Free Judiciary Juvenile Drug Court Clinic and at Moanalua Elementary School.
Dave Neuhart, Madison, Ga. - Lessons for Life Individual Award
Dave Neuhart is the director of tennis at Reynolds Plantation/PBI, and one of the biggest events he hosts is the Columbus Celebrity Classic in Columbus, Ga. He has been involved with this event and organizing the tennis pros for the past 13 years. The two-day event includes a celebrity headliner (this year it was Todd Martin). The event which caters to adults and kids includes intensive clinics in the morning, catered lunch with special speakers, and prizes. This is followed up with round robins, doubles drill sessions, a pro exhibition, and trip and award giveaways. This all benefits the John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus. Over the years this event has helped to pay off the Ronald McDonald House and help start/support a new wing at the Children's Oncology Unit at Columbus Regional Medical Center, in addition to being a major sponsor for the John B. Amos Cancer Center. This year another record total of $271,000 was raised to support the cancer center.
Jackie Roe, Greenville, Del. - Tennis Across America Individual Award
Jackie Roe hosted Tennis in the Streets, a free tennis event for 800 children, with 12 USPTA pros who volunteered their time. It offers inner city children an opportunity to learn the basics of tennis. This year, the event included additional support through a partnership with the Rodney Street Tennis and Tutoring Association, an organization that provides special academic and tennis opportunities to children from the City of Wilmington. Tennis in the Streets is a public event that is offered to children in elementary and middle schools. It is held in Downtown Wilmington, Del., and the city closes off a major street and sets up mini nets.
Angel Lopez, San Diego, Calif. - USPTA Diversity Award
Angel Lopez is the director of tennis/head tennis professional at San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club and has done much to bring tennis to those in San Diego who might not otherwise have the opportunity to try the sport. He has sponsored programs at several predominately Hispanic and low income high schools throughout San Diego and surrounding areas, including Calexico High School, Montgomery High School, Lincoln High School, and San Ysidro High School. He has also sponsored programs at San Diego City Community College and Las Palmas Elementary School. In addition to serving as chair on the USTA/San Diego District Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the USPTA National Diversity Committee, he also makes it a point to recruit top instructors from surrounding Hispanic neighborhoods and educate them about USPTA and encourage them to join.
Dee Henry, Norwalk, Calif. - Facility Manager of the Year - Small Facility
Dee Henry is the tennis director at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. The facility currently has six courts and an equipment room with plans underway for completion of a larger tennis complex. Under her direction, the Biola Tennis Program is committed to intercollegiate competition, high profile events, and supporting youth and disabled athletes of the community. The courts serve well beyond the college, as there is a great blend of college players and members of the community that play at the Biola courts. In addition, the courts have blended lines so they are kid friendly, and all the courts are totally wheelchair accessible. The courts are home to a variety of activities/events during the year, including tennis on campus, weekly wheelchair clinics, regional Special Olympics, campus kids day, NJTL and Tennis Across America.
Trent Schiek, Tyler, Texas - Facility Manager of the Year - Large Facility
Trent Schiek is the former general manager of Hollytree Country Club in Tyler, Texas. Under his guidance, Hollytree Country Club became well known for its thriving tennis programs and friendly atmosphere. The club, which has more than 1,000 members, a 29,000-square-foot clubhouse, an 18-hole championship golf course, an Olympic size swimming pool and 10 hard courts and two clay courts, requires all tennis pros to be USPTA certified members. In addition, the club also actively supports all USPTA programming and events. The club has also hosted the $10,000 USPTA National Hard Court Championships for the last six years and will be hosting the 2012 $13,000 USPTA National Hard Court Championships. Since 2006, he grew the bottom line by $600,000 and he also managed $3.5 million in capital expenditures including resurfacing all tennis courts in 2007 and erecting a $100,000 tennis patio.
William Wickenheisser, Whippany, N.J. - High School Coach of the Year
The Milburn High School girls' team went undefeated (28-0), while the boys' team went 27-2 during the 2011-2012 season under coach William Wickenheisser. In addition, both teams were crowned district, regional and state champions. It was the boys 27th consecutive year as district champions and fourth consecutive year as regional champions. The players also make it a point to give back to their community during the off season by volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Newark where they teach tennis lessons and tutor academically.
Ron Albers, Vincennes, Ind. - College Coach of the Year
As head men's tennis coach at Vincennes University, Ron Albers led his team to an impressive 18-1 record for the 2011-2012 season overall. They were crowned the 2011 NJCAA Division I National Champions. It was the first tennis national championship in school history. He has been coaching at the university for 32 years and has a lifetime coaching record of 681-151.
Jonas Lundblad, Austin, Texas - Touring Coach of the Year
Jonas Lundblad is currently the director of tennis at Fishers Island Club. One of his students, 16-year-old, Mackenzie "Mackie" McDonald, is currently ranked No. 12 in junior ITF ranking for 18 & under, with a 13-4 singles record and a 7-4 doubles record for the year. In 2011 he reached the semifinals in singles at the Wichita Falls ITF and the quarterfinals in singles at the Pan American ITF Championships. He also reached the semifinals in the XXV Yucatan Cup in Mexico. He has also worked with Ashley Weinhold, who is currently on the WTA tour.
Feisal Hassan, Midlothian, Va. - Tester of the Year
Feisal Hassan, a USPTA Master Professional, is the general manager/director of tennis at Midlothian Tennis Club in Midlothian, Va. He has been a tester for the Mid-Atlantic and Middle States Divisions for 15 years. He previously served as the USPTA Head Tester for Middle States. In his current role as co-chair of the USPTA National Education Committee and USPTA College Curriculum Committee, he is dedicated to educating our network of testers and working on a USPTA certification for 10-and-under Tennis.
James Daly, Tyler, Texas - Men's Open Player of the Year
James Daly was the men's open doubles winner and a semifinalists in men's open singles at the 2011 Hard Court Championships. He also reached the semifinals of the 2011 Grass Court Championships. He was the USPTA's No. 3-ranked player in men's open singles and No. 4-ranked player in men's open doubles in 2011. Daly is an assistant tennis teaching professional at Hollytree Country Club in Tyler, Texas.
Jonas Lundblad, Austin, Texas - Men's 35-and-over Player of the Year
Jonas Lundblad was the champion of the men's 35 doubles and a finalist in men's open doubles at the 2011 USPTA International Championships. He was the USPTA's co-No.1-ranked player in men's 35 doubles and co-No. 5-ranked player in men's open doubles in 2011. He is the director of tennis at Fishers Island Club.
Jeff Cohen, Boca Raton, Fla. - Men's 45-and-over Player of the Year
Jeff Cohen was a finalist in the men's 45 singles at the 2011 USPTA International Championships. He was also the men's 45 singles champion at the 2012 USPTA Florida Fast Dry-Club Med-Port St. Lucie and a finalist in men's 40 doubles at the 2012 International Tennis Championships in Delray Beach, Florida. He was USPTA's No. 1-ranked player in men's 45 singles and the co-No. 5-ranked player in men's 40 doubles in 2011. Cohen is the director of tennis at Woodfield County Club in Boca Raton, Fla.
Kimm Ketelsen, Tyler, Texas - Men's 55-and-over Player of the Year
Kimm Ketelsen was the winner of the men's 60 singles and 60 doubles at the 2011 USPTA International Championships. He was the USPTA's No. 1-ranked player in men's 60 singles and co-No.-1 ranked player in men's 60 doubles in 2011. Ketelsen is the Apache Men's Tennis assistant coach and the chair of the professional tennis management program at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas.
Agata Cioroch, Atlanta, Ga. - Women's Open Player of the Year
Agata Cioroch was the winner of women's open singles at the 2011 USPTA International Championships. She was the USPTA's No. 1-ranked player in women's open singles and co-No. 1-ranked player in mixed open doubles in 2011. Cioroch is a tennis teaching professional at Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta, Ga.
Robin Keener, Melbourne, Fla. - Women's 35-and-over Player of the Year
Robin Keener was the winner of the women's 35 singles and a finalist in the mixed open doubles at the 2011 USPTA International Championships. She was also the winner of the mixed 40 doubles and a finalist in the women's 45 singles at the 2012 USPTA Clay Court Championships. She was USPTA's No.1-ranked player in women's 35 singles in 2011 and was ranked No. 3 in mixed open doubles in 2011. Keener is the director of tennis at the Swiss Inn Tennis Center in Melbourne, Fla.
Kathy Vick, Lubbock, Texas - Women's 45-and-over Player of the Year
Kathy Vick was the winner of the women's 50 singles and mixed 45 doubles at the 2011 USPTA International Championships. She was also the women's 45 singles champion at the 2011 USPTA Hard Court Championships. She was USPTA's co-No. 1-ranked player in women's 45 singles and No. 1-ranked player in women's 50 singles in 2011. She was also USPTA's co-No. 9-ranked player in mixed open doubles and co-No. 1-ranked player in mixed 45 doubles in 2011. Vick is the head tennis professional at Hillcrest Golf & Country Club in Lubbock, Texas.