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Grand Inductees

This is the Association's highest honor afforded any person, national or international, living or deceased. Inductees have given exemplary service to the tennis-teaching profession. Inductees must have momentous international and/or national tennis industry or teaching service, be well known by name to teaching professionals in the country in which they reside and fulfill various other requirements.

Tom Gullikson, inducted in 2015

Tom GulliksonTom Gullikson is a legendary player and coach who has taught Grand Slam champions and helped grow the game of tennis. Gullikson and his twin brother, Tim, played collegiate tennis together at Northern Illinois University, where they still rank as two of the top student-athletes at the university. At the professional level, Gullikson won 16 top-level doubles titles – 10 of them with Tim. His career-high rankings were world’s No. 34 in singles and No. 9 in doubles, both in 1984. Gullikson earned his only Grand Slam title in 1984 at the US Open, taking home the mixed doubles championship with partner Manuela Maleeva.

Gullikson became one of the original members of the USTA Player Development Program, coaching players such as Todd Martin, Jennifer Capriati and Andy Roddick. He served as Director of Coaching for the program from 1997 to 2001. He also served as the U.S. Davis Cup Captain from 1994 to 1999. He captained the teams that won the Davis Cup in 1995 and were runners-up in 1997. In 1996, he coached the U.S. men's Olympic tennis team, and guided Andre Agassi to winning the Olympic Gold Medal in Atlanta. Gullikson later returned to the USTA where he is now the lead national coach for men’s tennis with USTA Player Development. A USPTA member for more than 28 years, Gullikson has been generous with his time to share his expertise with other tennis-teaching professionals.

Dennis Van der Meer, inducted in 2015

Dennis Van der MeerDennis Van der Meer was a pioneer in creating a standard for tennis-teaching instruction. He began playing tennis at an early age while living in Namibia in southern Africa with his missionary father and mother. After a stint with the Davis Cup at the age of 19, Van der Meer found his calling to teach tennis. He made a name for himself in Johannesburg, South Africa, before he quickly developed a large following in the U.S. Eventually he started to coach professional players, including Margaret Court and Billie Jean King, who he coached during the famous “Battle of the Sexes” match with Bobby Riggs in 1973. Van der Meer founded the Professional Tennis Registry in 1976. He was instrumental in developing the TennisUniversity course manual, which became the first of PTR’s instructional series of books and supplements. He became one of the first registered coaches of both the ATP and WTA, and he has coached hundreds of nationally and internationally ranked professional and junior players throughout his career, including world champions in singles and doubles.

A USPTA member for 54 years, Van der Meer is a believer in the concept of tennis for everyone. He also developed courses and manuals for teaching wheelchair tennis and adaptive techniques.

Nick Bollettieri, inducted in 2013

Nick BollettieriNick Bollettieri of Bradenton, Fla., has been one of the most influential people in tennis. A year after becoming a USPTA member, he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (now known as IMG Academy) in Florida in 1978, which was the first full-time tennis boarding school to combine intense training on court with custom-designed academic curriculum. His approach led to 10 No. 1 players in the world: Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, Jelena Jankovic, Marcelo Rios, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova and Venus and Serena Williams.

Vic Braden, inducted in 2013

Vic BradenVic Braden has impacted tennis as a player, teaching professional and broadcaster. He was the founder/director of the Vic Braden Tennis College in Coto de Caza, Calif., co-founder of Vic Braden Tennis College at Star Island Resort in Kissimmee, Fla., and co-founder of Vic Braden Tennis College in St. George, Utah. He and Jack Kramer co-founded the Jack Kramer Tennis Club in Palos Verdes, Calif. Since joining the USPTA in 1984, he authored numerous books including “Tennis for the Future,” “Teaching Children Tennis the Vic Braden Way,” “Quick Fixes” and “Mental Tennis.” As a professional player, he was invited to play in the World Tennis Championships three times.

Steve Wilkinson, inducted in 2013

Steve WilkinsonSteve Wilkinson of Saint Peter, Minn., was the head men’s coach at Gustavus Adolphus College for 39 years from 1971-2009 and is the winningest coach in the history of men’s collegiate tennis with 923 victories. He has coached 46 players to 87 all-American honors (including current ATP tour player Eric Butorac). He founded the Tennis and Life clinics/camps more than 25 years ago and has dedicated his time and effort to improving tennis performance of youth and adults while teaching life lessons that can be used off the court. He has been a USPTA member since 1972.

Doris Hart, inducted in 2012

Doris HartDoris 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. 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 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, inducted in 2012

Pancho SeguraPancho Segura 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). 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.

Randy Snow, inducted in 2010

Randy SnowRandy Snow became the first Paralympic athlete inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004. He was a silver medalist in the 1,500-meter wheelchair race at the 1984 Summer Olympics. He won gold medals in both singles and doubles with Brad Parks at the 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona. He also won the U.S. Open Wheelchair singles titles 10 times and doubles six times.

A USPTA member for 17 years, Snow was considered a pioneer and an innovator in the wheelchair industry and helped improve the designs for athletes and improve the lives of many disabled people. He devoted his time to giving back and sharing the game of tennis.

Welby Van Horn, inducted in 2008

Welby Van HornWelby Van Horn's career as a coach has spawned institutions such as the Welby Van Horn Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., and Welby Van Horn tennis programs in a number of locations. The teaching system he developed is still used today and it is featured in his book "The Secrets of the Tennis Master."

Van Horn was a star player and contemporary of other world-class players and USPTA members, including Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, Bill Tilden and Bruce Barnes. When he was 19 years old, he reached the finals of the 1939 U.S. Nationals. One of the high points of his playing career was his crushing defeat of the great Bill Tilden during a match between U.S. and British Empire service teams at Wimbledon in 1945. Van Horn also won the United States Pro Championship (a USPTA event) in 1945.

Bill Tym, inducted in 2007

Bill TymBill 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. 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. As executive director of USPTA, Tym 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, inducted in 2007

Alex GordonAlex 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. As a player, he attended UCLA and was captain of the men's tennis team and the No. 1 singles player. He was also the two-time Southern California Interscholastic doubles champion. Gordon was the USPTA national 45 doubles champion in 1969, '71 and '72 (with Ben Press).

Gordon 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.

Clarence Mabry, inducted in 2006

Clarence MabryClarence Mabry is both a respected player and tennis-teaching professional. As a player, he was nationally ranked and a state champion, winning the Southwest Conference singles and doubles title while at the University of Texas at Austin in 1946. In 1955 he established the Trinity University's men's tennis team and went on to develop a nationally recognized program. He led them to the NCAA championship in 1972, and for 18 of his 19 years as coach, his team ranked in the top four NCAA teams, giving him an impressive win-loss record of 319-36.

Mabry's other honors include induction into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men's Tennis Collegiate Hall of Fame, Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, San Antonio Hall of Fame, Trinity University Hall of Fame and the University of Texas Hall of Honor.

Tut Bartzen, inducted in 2003

Tut BartzenTut Bartzen was one of America's top amateur tennis players, ranked in the U.S. top 10 from 1953-62. He was unflappable on clay courts, achieved a national ranking of No. 2 in 1959 and reached as high as No. 3 in 1961. He was 15-0 as a Davis Cup player and also served twice as assistant captain. He competed with players like Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Chuck McKinley and won.

Bartzen joined USPTA in 1961 and a year later turned professional as a player and became a tennis professional at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. After the 1998-99 season and 25 years as head men's tennis coach, Bartzen retired from Texas Christian University. Starting with a group of walk-ons and one scholarship, Bartzen experienced all but one winning season. With a winning record of better than 70 percent, his team finished in the nation's top 20 all but three times between 1977 and 1998.

Tim Gullikson, inducted in 2001

Tim GulliksonTim Gullikson, a USPTA member from 1989 until his death in 1996, was a teaching professional, playing professional and coach to other world-class playing professionals, including Pete Sampras, who he coached to six Grand Slam singles titles. As a USPTA member, Gullikson was generous with his time as a speaker at educational events and a promoter of the association.

Gullikson and his brother Tom were doubles partners in high school and college, and then club teaching professionals before joining the pro tour in 1976. Tim Gullikson was the ATP's Newcomer of the Year in 1977 and reached 11 finals and won 16 doubles titles. Ten of those came when playing with Tom, with whom he reached the doubles final at Wimbledon in 1983.

Tim Heckler, inducted in 2000

Tim HecklerTim Heckler was USPTA's CEO for 30 years, from 1982-2012. Prior to that, he served on the national USPTA executive committee and board of directors before being elected USPTA president in 1980. He was USPTA Professional of the Year in 1979 and a Master Professional.

As CEO, Heckler guided the Association through a period in which it increased its membership fivefold and its annual income tenfold, established USPTA as the foremost organization of teaching professionals in the world, and revolutionized USPTA's operations through computerization.

While attending Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, on a tennis scholarship, he played the international circuit, including Wimbledon in 1959 and 1961, and the U.S. Open in 1960. Heckler assumed a full-time tennis-teaching position in 1970 at Houston's Westwood Country Club, and was elected president of USPTA's Texas Division in 1974. In 1973 he was the consultant to and tennis director for the Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King "Match of the Century" held in the Houston Astrodome.

Paul Xanthos, inducted in 1999

Paul XanthosThe late Paul Xanthos amassed a 550-94 win-loss record during a 28-year career as tennis coach of Los Angeles Pierce College. During Xanthos' tenure at Pierce College, he led teams to 23 conference championships, and experienced winning streaks of 96, 50, 37 and 27 wins in a row.

Xanthos wrote numerous articles and books on tennis, and conducted tennis seminars worldwide. He was a charter member of the USPTA Education and Research Committee, and was instrumental in founding the USTA's National Tennis Teachers Conference.

His awards include the USTA Award of Merit in 1974, the USPTA California Division Coach of the Year in 1981-84, and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Community College Coach of the Year in 1988. In 1994, he was named USPTA Coach of the Year and was also inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame. Xanthos was a USPTA honorary member and Master Professional.

George Bacso, inducted in 1994

George BacsoThe late George Bacso served as USPTA's Director of Certification and Academies. In this capacity, he traveled the world conducting Certification Exams, Tennis Teachers' Courses and Certification Training Courses. He was also a popular speaker and clinician in the United States. Bacso was instrumental in developing the current USPTA certification process and worked with USPTA's national tester network.

From 1978 to 1980, he served as USPTA's national president. He also served several years as the president of the USPTA Eastern Division. He received the USTA National Education Merit Award and the national USPTA Professional of the Year Award. Bacso also received the inaugural George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and he held a Master Professional rating.

Arthur Ashe, inducted in 1993

Arthur AsheThe late Arthur Ashe was the first inductee into the USPTA Hall of Fame. Ashe's tennis accomplishments, including Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles, earned him the world's No. 1 ranking on two separate occasions -- 1968 and 1975. He was instrumental in the founding of the ATP Tour and the National Junior Tennis League.

Ashe, who died of AIDS complications in 1993, is also well remembered for his off-court activities, including his outspoken support of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, a writing career that earned him an Emmy award and his publicized battle with AIDS. He was also active in bringing inner-city children into the sport of tennis through programs such as USPTA's Tennis Across America.

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Award Nominations

USPTA Professionals are driven individuals who go above and beyond their call of duty to inspire their students to reach their highest level of performance on the tennis court and provide them with tools to be successful off the court as well. The USPTA wants to recognize members who are committed to excellence as tennis teachers and as ambassadors using tennis to impact people and communities.

Don’t let your fellow USPTA Professional go unnoticed. USPTA is looking for deserving tennis professionals who are growing the game of tennis as it accepts nominations for the 2016 awards program. Awards are presented in every facet of the tennis business in which USPTA members work.

Please note the changed dates from previous years: The USPTA Awards Committee has moved the awards period to a calendar year, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2015, and the nominating period has been moved up to accommodate the new schedule. The new deadline is Feb. 28, 2016. These changes were made to allow the Awards Committee more time to review applications and to give award recipients more time to make travel arrangements to accept their awards in person at the USPTA World Conference, Sept. 25-29, at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif.

Awards period – Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2015
Nominations due – Feb. 28, 2016
Eligible members – Certified Professional-level members*
Applications available – below or by request at 800-877-8248 or
*Nonmembers may apply for Facility Manager of the Year

Click on the award name to open the online application. Applications may be completed via the online forms OR nominees may download the Word document and submit the completed applications via email to

USPTA award categories include:

The Alex Gordon Award for Professional of the Year recognizes a member who, over a career, has demonstrated exemplary achievement in seven areas, including: contributions to USPTA and USTA; as a teaching professional, player and coach; in education, research and publications; and with other organizations, achievements and contributions. (Download application / Rules)

USPTA Stars are members who have dedicated many years to volunteering in grassroots tennis and through initiatives incorporating multicultural and other aspects and bring the sport and sportsmanship to the players they touch. Their giving spirits have made them stars in their own communities. We may not have heard of the people who receive this award, but their stories are inspiring, and almost all of us know at least one person who deserves a nomination. (Download application / Rules)

The USPTA Industry Excellence Award is given to teaching professionals who take both an altruistic and entrepreneurial attitude toward their jobs. They use their own resources and those offered by the industry to build programs that bring tennis to more people. At the same time, they are successful in growing a tennis business. The recipient of this award will receive a $1,000 grant from the Tennis Industry Association and a Tennis Tutor ball machine from Sports Tutor for use in his or her grassroots programs. (Download application / Rules)

The Steve Wilkinson College Coach of the Year and the High School Coach of the Year awards recipients are usually selected based on their results as team coaches, however, individual coaches may be considered. The Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the Year is selected on the basis of his or her work with a playing professional on the ATP World tour or the WTA Tour and/or touring juniors. (Download college application, high school application, touring application / Rules)

The George Bacso Tester of the Year award recognizes the USPTA tester who does the most to advance certification opportunities and the certification process. (Download application / Rules)

The USPTA Lessons for LifeTM Award recognizes those USPTA members who have done the most to raise money for charities through tennis events. While the award spotlights individuals who have raised large amounts of money, it also honors those hosting the most creative, original or unique tennis event to raise money for charities. An individual hosting an event raising the most money will not necessarily receive this award. (Download application / Rules)

The USPTA Diversity Award recognizes those USPTA members who have demonstrated an outstanding ability to unite diverse populations within their community through tennis. (Download application / Rules)

The USPTA U30 Award is a new award in 2015 and recognizes a USPTA member under the age of 30 who, through their tennis-teaching and volunteer spirit, has increased opportunities for others to participate in tennis. This member exemplifies and emphasizes individual achievement and sportsmanship along with teaching the physical attributes of the sport. This member has served the USPTA in one capacity or another, and has made a commitment to grassroots tennis and an indelible impression on her community. (Download application / Rules)

The only USPTA award available to nonmembers is for Manager of the Year, Large and Small Facility, however, each year a USPTA Professional has received the award, sometimes along with a nonmember. Applicants/nominees must be the general manager (in function, if not in title) of a club or tennis facility. (Download application / Rules)

Nominations for the above awards may be submitted by a USPTA division or a certified USPTA member in good standing, as long as an official application form is used. Member self-nominations are accepted. The nomination forms available above are Microsoft Word documents that may be completed in the program and then forwarded to USPTA by mail and/or email. ALL applications can now be submitted as PDFs and submitted via email. Large PDF files may be burned to a CD/DVD and mailed in. The Awards Committee encourages applicants to submit their applications and all supporting materials in one of the above electronic formats. Send email applications and questions to

The World Headquarters must receive all applications and division yearly reports by the Feb. 28 deadline. Having an application postmarked Feb. 28 is not acceptable and those applications will not be considered by the Awards Committee. Applications submitted via email must be emailed by Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m. Central time. The entire application and ALL supporting materials must be received on or before the deadline date to be considered. The Awards Committee will not accept applications received after the deadline. Applications may be mailed or shipped to the address below.

U.S. Professional Tennis Association
World Headquarters
3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite 202
Houston, TX 77042
Attn: Awards Committee

Recipients will be recognized during the USPTA World Conference, Sept. 25-29, at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif. Since changes have been made to some individual categories, as well as Division of the Year criteria, please be sure to read the general rules and requirements for each award carefully. Also there are changes to the awards format and presentation at the conference, so please note that while all awards will be announced in writing at the conference, not all awards may be presented formally as they have in the past

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2015 National Award Winners

Jorge CapestanyJorge Capestany (Holland, Mich.) received the USPTA Alex Gordon Professional of the Year Award, the association’s top annual member award. He is a USPTA Master Professional and a certified Mental Toughness Specialist through the Human Performance Institute. He founded and ran the West Michigan Tennis Academy in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2003, and just a year later, founded the Hope College Tennis Academy in Holland, Mich., which he still runs today. As a member of the USPTA for more than 28 years, Capestany has made indelible contributions to the association. He served on the USPTA Executive Committee and held multiple positions on the USPTA Midwest Division board of directors, including serving on multiple committees and as president twice. He is a six-time Michigan Pro of the Year, a two-time Midwest Pro of the Year, a two-time Midwest Facility Manager of the Year, and a two-time Midwest Outstanding Education Award winner. In 2012, Capestany was inducted into the USPTA Midwest Hall of Fame.

Dave MuirThe George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award went to David Muir (Blue Island, Ill.). This award recognizes members who provide the USPTA with the most outstanding service and who dedicate a lifetime to raising the standards of teaching. Muir is a USPTA Elite Professional and has been on the Chicago area coaching scene for more than 60 years. He has taught more than 10,000 people to play tennis. As a longtime USPTA member, Muir has served on many positions, including as national president from 1970-1972. In 1991, Muir was inducted into the Midwest Professional Tennis Association Hall of Fame. Then in 2005, he was named the Chicago District Tennis Associates Coach of the Year. Muir is a highly accomplished tournament player, winning 11 national doubles championships.

Warren LemWarren Lem (Naples, Fla.) was the recipient of the USPTA President’s Paul Waldman Award for his contributions to the USPTA Foundation. As president of the foundation, Lem was instrumental in finding new avenues to raise money to support the mission of helping economically disadvantaged people learn tennis. Through his research and dedication, he has helped expand the reach of the foundation. In 2014, the USPTA Foundation distributed a record 31 grants in the amount of $41,750 to tennis programs and organizations around the country, the most grants awarded in the history of the foundation. 

Lisa GilbrideLisa Gilbride (Topsham, Maine) received the USTA/USPTA Community Service Award for her contributions to her community through tennis, presented annually by the United States Tennis Association as part of the USPTA’s awards program. Gilbride has used tennis in her community to help raise funds for many organizations through her work as the racquet sports director with both the Lincoln County and Boothbay Region YMCAs: a breast cancer awareness tournament for the past 13 years; a National Alliance on Mental Illness tournament for the past seven years; and a Sanford Open tournament, which raised funds to scholarship youth lessons and programs for the last nine years. She is a USPTA Elite Professional and a board member of the Maine Tennis Association.

Lane EvansLane Evans (Hendersonville, N.C.) received the USPTA’s Industry Excellence Award, which recognizes members who increase tennis activity in their communities. This award is sponsored by the Tennis Industry Association, and Evans will receive a $1,000 grant from the TIA and a Tennis Tutor ball machine from Sports Tutor for use in his programs. Evans is an USPTA Elite Professional and the Director of Tennis & Wellness at the Champion Hills Club. He was named the North Carolina Professional of the Year in 2011 and received the USPTA “Pride of the South” Award in 2014 from the USPTA Southern Division. Additionally, Evans is the USPTA Southern First Vice President and chairman on the USPTA National Sports Science Committee and the USPTA Southern Education Committee.

Trenton CorvinoTrenton Corvino (Portland, Ore.) was awarded the USPTA Star Award for his efforts to provide tennis to at-risk children as the program director with the Portland After School Tennis and Education program. Corvino led a staff to serve the needs of 50 children to teach them tennis, education, fitness and nutrition skills. The USPTA Elite Professional is an assistant coach for the men’s tennis team at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., and he serves on the USTA Adult Competition Committee as chair of the millennial subcommittee.

Suzanne LaBelleSuzanne LaBelle (Oklahoma City) is the recipient of the Lessons for Life Award for her extensive contributions to her community. In July 2014, she helped raised more than $50,000 at The White Fields of Dreams Tennis Classic while collecting 24,000 donated books for the White Fields Library, a non-profit organization that cares for abused and neglected boys who are in the custody of the state of Oklahoma. LaBelle also organizes tennis tournaments to help a variety of charitable organizations that resulted in more than $80,000 over the last year, including the Wounded Warriors Project, down syndrome, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, Infant Crisis Services of Central Oklahoma, the Humane Society of Oklahoma, the America Heart Association, and the Oklahoma Layers for Children.

Ron WoodsRon Woods (Corpus Christi, Texas) was recognized for his efforts to increase tennis participation in his community by being named the recipient of the Tennis Across America Individual Award. Since 1991, Woods has hosted a Military Appreciation Day free tennis clinic on Memorial Day to honor military personnel and their families. The event is for all age groups and is free and open to the public. Woods also won this award in 2010, the same year he was named the USPTA Professional of the Year.

Dale EvansJohn Dale Evans (Oakland, Calif.) received the association’s Diversity Award for his work to increase diversity within the USPTA. Evans, a former collegiate tennis player at Jackson State University, began hosting USPTA NorCal Young Pro events and educational workshops to reach out to tennis professionals of diverse backgrounds. The USPTA Elite Professional was also presented the 2014 USPTA NorCal Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer Award, presented for "lifelong and groundbreaking service to the multicultural community."

Craig O'ShannessyCraig O’Shannessy (Austin, Texas) is this year’s recipient of the Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the Year Award. He has coached 11 tour players in his career, including Kevin Anderson (who went from No. 150 to No. 50 in one year), Rajeev Ram (whose ranking increased from No. 272 to No. 93 in one year), and Alex Kuznetsov (whose ranking increased to No. 140 from No. 270 in four months). O’Shannessy is also one of the world leaders in strategy analysis for the ATP World Tour, WTA, the New York Times and the Australian Open. The USPTA Elite Professional is the director of the Brain Game, a sports science website that specializes in video analysis and teaches patterns of play in tennis.

Reedy ToneyCharles “Reedy” Toney (Kingsport, Tenn.) was named the High School Coach of the Year. As the head boys and girls tennis coach at Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tenn., Toney led his players to multiple championships in 2015. The boys’ team won district, regional and state tournaments – including a doubles duo who won their second consecutive state title – with the entire team being named all-conference. The girls' squad also won the district and regional championships, with four players making the all-conference team. Toney was named the 2014 National Federation High School Coach of the Year and the 2015 USPTA Southern Division High School Coach of the Year.

Rolando VargasRolando Vargas (Troy, Ala.) was named the College Coach of the Year after leading the men’s and women’s teams to conference championships at Auburn University at Montgomery in 2015, posting a combined 44-10 record for both teams. Both teams were named the Southern States Conference Season and Tournament Champions this year, with the men advancing to the semifinals of the NAIA tournament and the women earning the national championship.

Tom IngramTom Ingram (Cedar Park, Texas) was named the George Bacso Tester of the Year. Ingram is a USPTA Elite Professional and has been a member for more than 37 years. He has served as a tester for 21, 17 of those as a head tester. He administered the USPTA certification exam to 50 people over the last year. Ingram is a tennis professional for Lakeline Oaks in Cedar Park, Texas, where he also coaches a Special Olympics team.


Ryan GeorgeRyan George (Odessa, Texas) was named the Facility Manager of the Year, Small Facility. George has been the general manager of the Odessa Country Club in Odessa, Texas, for the past seven years and has continually made the commitment to support tennis and tennis-teaching professionals. Under George’s direction, Odessa Country Club was the first facility in its region to put permanent blended lines on its tennis courts for 10 and Under Tennis. His club requires USPTA Elite Professional certification for all tennis professionals and the facility recently became a USPTA Certified Testing Facility. George is currently the Chairman of the Odessa Family YMCA, the Secretary of the Texas Lone Star Chapter of CMAA, and a Board Member of the Texas Restaurant Association and the Texas Alliance of Recreational Organizations.

Richard MaceyRichard Macey (Bradenton, Fla.) was named the Facility Manager of the Year, Large Facility. As manager of IMG Tennis at the IMG Academy for the past three and half years, Macey helps manage the 52 staff tennis professionals who teach the 230 full-time student athletes in addition to the 4,000 weekly students over the course of the year. He has emphasized the importance of certification and in 2015, made it mandatory for all tennis professionals to be USPTA-certified. Macey, a USPTA Elite Professional, was also the 2015 USPTA Florida Division Facility Manager of the Year.

Jeremiah De JoseJeremiah De Jose (Wilmington, Del.) is the first recipient of the U30 Award, new to the awards program in 2015. De Jose has focused on the development of the U30 USPTA Professionals in the USPTA Middle States Division and helped spearhead the national initiative. He organized this group and created high performance workshops, a mentorship program with experienced professionals, and assisted with job openings. In addition to his role with the USPTA, he serves as the second vice president of the USTA/Middle States/Delaware District. As head tennis professional at Wilmington Country Club, he has instituted an extensive 10 and Under junior tennis program. He developed the inclusion of tennis with the 18-40 age group in Delaware through the Delaware Sports League, which services over 10,000 members. In 2015, De Jose organized the U30 professionals to participate in Tennis in the Streets, a junior tennis event in Wilmington, Del., involving more than 900 juniors. He also organized a Tennis Carnival to benefit the Rodney Street Tennis and Tutoring Program that services inner city tennis youth.

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2015 Masters Invitational Winners

Men's Open Singles
Winner: Stefano Ianni (Miami)
Runner-up: Adrians Zguns (Orlando, Fla.)

Women's Open Singles
Winner: Zorana George (Cordova, Tenn.)
Runner-up: Miranda Rodriguez (Baytown, Texas)

Men's Open Doubles
Winners: Stefano Ianni (Miami)/Adrians Zguns (Orlando, Fla.)
Runners-up: Rudy Obregon (San Antonio, Texas)/Thiago Barbosa (Glendale, Ariz.)

Men's 35 Singles
Winner: Paulo Barros (Winter Garden, Fla.)
Runner-up: Mathieu Soto (Boca Raton, Fla.)

Men's 45 Singles
Winner: Jeff Cohen (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Runner-up: Frank Vermeer (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Men's 45 Doubles
Winners: Jeff Cohen (Boca Raton, Fla.)/ Frank Vermeer (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Runners-up: Tom Breece (Phoenix, Ariz.)/Rob Horsch (Laguna Niguel, Calif.)

Men's 55 Singles
Winner: Hans Gallauer (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Runner-up: Pat Serret (Alexandria, La.)

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Educational Achievers

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