George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award

Ken DeHart - Portola, California

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present the George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award to Ken DeHart of Portola, CA (NorCal Division). Ken first discovered tennis as a freshman in college. By the time he was a senior, he was the No. 2 singles player and co-MVP of his team. After earning a Master's degree, Ken became a high school boys tennis coach. He joined the USPTA in 1976 and attended every USPTA World Conference and Division Conference he could to learn from his peers. Ken has been a tennis director at several clubs and became a USPTA Master Professional in 1990. He is a two-time USPTA Southwest Professional of the Year and two-time USPTA Northern California Professional of the Year. In addition, Ken served on the USPTA National Education Committee, Master Professional Committee and presented at several USPTA World Conferences and Division Conferences.

National Awards

Ken DeHart (Portola, CA)

Alex Gordon Professional of the Year

Lane Evans - Norman, Oklahoma

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present the 2021 USPTA Alex Gordon Professional of the Year Award to Lane Evans of Norman, OK (Missouri Valley Division). Lane picked up his first tennis racquet at age eight and hasn’t put it down since. After being the No. 1 singles player on his high school team, Lane attended Highpoint College in NC, where the men’s tennis team ranked nationally in the top 10, three out of four years he played. After college, Lane started his tennis teaching career. In 1983, he became a USPTA Professional. Lane holds over 27 certifications in tennis and fitness and has held director of tennis positions at several clubs during his run. He is currently the owner of Lane Evans Tennis and Golf Performance. Lane has served countless roles for USPTA NC, USPTA Southern, and one term on the USPTA National Board. This year, he also won Pro of the Year for the USPTA Missouri Valley Division.

National Awards

Lane Evans (Norman, OK)

President’s Paul Waldman Award

Carol Anderson - Tigard, Oregon

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present the 2021 President’s Paul Waldman Award to Carol Anderson of Tigard, OR (Retired – Midwest Division). Carol served as USPTA Midwest Division Executive Director for 35 years and recently retired. During that time, she has experienced and assisted in the phenomenal growth of the USPTA. In appreciation of her dedicated service to the Midwest Division and the USPTA, the Association’s President Feisal Hassan presented Carol with the President’s Paul Waldman Award. The award recipient is selected at the discretion of the USPTA President. Each year it is given to a USPTA member that has made an outstanding and significant contribution to the USPTA. In Carol’s case, for managing the day-to-day activities of the USPTA Midwest Division and coordinating with the Association. Thank you, Carol, for the many years of hard work and dedication to the USPTA.

National Awards

Carol Anderson (Tigard, OR)

Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the Year Award

Lucas Regas Melero - Naples, Florida

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to name Lucas Regas Melero of Naples, FL (Florida Division), the 2021 USPTA Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the Year. The award is selected based on the recipient’s work with a playing professional on the ATP World Tour, the WTA Tour and/or touring juniors. Twenty-twenty was a challenging year for everyone. The ITF circuits were shut down from March to September due to Covid. Academia Sanchez Casal where Lucas is tennis director was only able to host one ITF men’s pro circuit event in February before the shut-down. However, with many alumni returning to Naples during the pandemic, Lucas made sure that training never ceased. Academia Sanchez Casal partnered with Universal Tennis to host the Universal Tennis Pro Tour. As director of tennis, Lucas successfully worked to make Naples, Florida, a tennis hub to provide opportunities to juniors, collegiate players, and transition players to train and compete in a one-of-a-kind tennis facility.

National Awards

Luca Regas Melero (Naples, FL)

Steve Wilkinson College Coach of the Year Award

Jimmy Borendame - Murfreesboro, Tennessee

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to name Jimmy Borendame from Murfreesboro, TN (Southern Division), the 2021 USPTA Steve Wilkinson College Coach of the Year. This award recognizes a USPTA certified professional who coaches college tennis for their achievements that include, among other things, their coaching impact on student-athletes, community involvement, season records, and team and individual player accomplishments. This award was named after the late Steve Wilkinson from Division III Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. When he retired from coaching, Steve was the winningest college tennis coach in history and was inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame in 2013. Jimmy has been the head men’s tennis coach of Middle Tennessee State University for 11 years. Following a 13-5 shortened 2020 season, his Blue Raiders were ranked No. 28 in the nation. The team recorded wins over SEC teams like Auburn, Arkansas, Indiana, and Michigan State. His team averaged a 3.86 GPA during the 2019-20 season and gave 300 hours of community service. Additionally, his team boasts high attendance at home matches, with an average of 147 fans per match.

National Awards

Jimmy Borendame (Murfeesboro, TN)

High School Coach of the Year Award

Ryan Knarr - Robesonia, Pennsylvania

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to name Ryan Knarr of Robesonia, PA (Middle States Division) the 2021 USPTA High School Coach of the Year. The USPTA High School Coach of the Year Award recognizes USPTA certified professionals for their achievements as high school tennis coaches. Ryan is in his sixth year as the boys and girls head tennis coach at Conrad Weiser High School. Over the last five years, he has accumulated a 141-21 record. He was named USPTA Middle States Coach of the Year in 2018 and 2019 and USTA Eastern PA District High School Coach of the Year in 2018. In addition, Ryan was named Berks County High School Coach of the Year for boys and girl’s tennis a combined five times. He also was recognized with the USTA Starfish No-Cut Award for running an exemplary no-cut program. He has led his teams to four undefeated regular seasons, five division championships, four county championships, three district championships, and two district finals. Over the last four years, an incredible 40 percent of his players have played tennis in college

National Awards

Ryan Knarr (Robesonia, PA)

Large Facility Manager of the Year Award

Hunter Galaway - Concord, California

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to name Hunter Gallaway of Concord, CA (Northern California Division), the 2021 USPTA Large Facility Manager of the Year. The award recognizes facility managers who encourage and develop their staff, hire and support USPTA-certified Professionals, and contribute to the tennis community. Hunter has owned, managed, and served as Tennis Director at the Lafayette Tennis Club in Lafayette, CA, for over 20 years. He has long been known for offering many competitive events at the club. However, in 2019, his newly renovated clubhouse burned to the ground, and he was only able to offer one USTA junior tournament before COVID hit. Hunter was ready to open as soon as the county gave the okay to open, utilizing all the COVID protocols and guidelines. He quickly ramped up his tournament schedule offering open and challenger level junior events so that developing players could participate and gain tournament experience. He even opened his club to local pros whose clubs were closed so that they could continue teaching. Hunter also spent part of his time working on designing, planning, and permitting his new clubhouse.

National Awards

Hunter Galaway (Concord, CA)

Small Facility Manager of the Year Award

Brian Darlak - Kilmarnock, Virginia

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to name Brian Darlak the 2021 USPTA Small Facility Manager of the Year. The award recognizes facility managers who encourage and develop their staff, hire and support USPTA-certified Professionals, and contribute to the tennis community. As Manager of Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club in Kilmarnock, VA, Brian was the manager of a club with four outdoor tennis courts and four indoor tennis courts that were not in the best condition. In 2020, Brian oversaw the refurbishing of the courts. First, extensive weeds were removed from the outdoor courts, and the old clay was pulled off. Then, six tons of new clay was added, lines were nailed down, and new windscreens were installed. The indoor courts then had the lighting replaced with state-of-the-art LED lighting, and the courts were resurfaced with US Open colors. Brand new tennis nets and pickleball nets with a new scoreboard completed the renovation. Finally, numerous programs for adults and children were successfully established.

National Awards

Brian Darlak (Kilmarnock, VA)

Industry Excellence Award

Peter Dauphinee - Arcata,California

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present the 2021 USPTA Industry Excellence Award to Peter Dauphinee of Arcata, CA (NorCal Division). The Industry Excellence Award recognizes a USPTA certified professional with a unique entrepreneurial spirit that has done the most to develop unique special events, programs, and/or equipment, services, or ideas to promote tennis. Peter has created a great tennis community in the far northwest edge of California. As co-founder and current president of the Humboldt Association of Tennis, he has developed one of the most successful grassroots tennis programs in Northern California. In 2020, he kept tennis going with Universal Tennis events. Peter is currently involved in his most ambitious project, fundraising for and building the HITS Team Sports and Learning Center. Permits are in place, and the building should begin sometime late this year.

National Awards

Peter Dauphinee (Arcata, CA)

Tester of the Year Award

Mark Centrella - Wilmington, Delaware

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to name Mark Centrella of Wilmington, DE (Midwest Division), the 2021 USPTA Tester of the Year. The USPTA Tester of the Year award recognizes the USPTA tester who does the most to advance certification opportunities and the certification process.

National Awards

Mark Centrella (Wilmington, DE)

USPTA Elevate Award

Ryan Johnson - Phoenix, Arizona

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present the 2021 USPTA Elevate Award to Ryan Johnson of Phoenix, AZ (Southwest Division). Our next award is the Elevate Award. It recognizes the achievements of USPTA certified professionals with five or fewer years of service, which, through tennis-teaching and volunteerism, have 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. In addition, this member has served the USPTA in some capacity and has committed to grassroots tennis in their community. Ryan joined the USPTA in 2017, and within 30 days, he achieved elite status. He also served on the Pacific Northwest board as a coordinator. In 2018, he was hired as Director of Tennis at Camelback Village. He helped plan, organize, and run the Pacific Northwest 2019 conference even though he lived in the Southwest. Ryan runs several charity events annually at Camelback Village, including Swing for the Cure, Relay for Life, and the Emerald Foundation. In 2020, Ryan served on the Southwest Board as a coordinator.

National Awards

Ryan Johnson ( Phoenix, AZ)

USPTA Star Award

Caitlyn Segraves - Edmond,Oklahoma

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present the 2021 USPTA Star Award to Caitlyn Sagraves from Edmond, OK (Missouri Valley Division). The USPTA Star Award recognizes certified professionals that have dedicated many years to volunteering in grassroots tennis while incorporating multicultural and inclusive aspects to bring tennis and good sportsmanship to the players they touch. Their giving spirits make them stars in their community. You may not have heard of the people who receive the award, but their stories inspire us. As the Director of Outreach for the Edmond Center Court complex, Caitlyn teaches adult programs, junior classes, and private lessons. She is actively involved in the USPTA and serves on the Missouri Valley Board. Edmond Center is a host site for ‘Play It Forward,’ an outreach program that celebrates the idea that anyone from anywhere should be able to play and compete. Caitlyn has worked tirelessly to develop programs for children living in Section 8 housing, the Edmond YMCA, Champions League, and children with special needs. It is because of Caitlyn’s countless hours in arranging for volunteers, providing snacks, and coaching, that ‘Play It Forward’ for the underserved and adaptive tennis programs are a success.

National Awards

Caitlyn Segraves (Edmond, OK)

USPTA Star Award

Rita Gladstone - Orlando, Florida

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present the 2021 USPTA Star Award to Rita Gladstone from Orlando, FL (Florida Division). The USPTA Star Award recognizes certified professionals that have dedicated many years to volunteering in grassroots tennis while incorporating multicultural and inclusive aspects to bring tennis and good sportsmanship to the players they touch. Their giving spirits make them stars in their community. You may not have heard of the people who receive the award, but their stories inspire us. As head tennis professional at the Nemours Family Zone at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, FL, Rita is instrumental in introducing, promoting, and developing the benefits of tennis to children and families. Her infectious enthusiasm has blended the happiness of healthy activity with the joy of family togetherness through tennis. Programming at the USTA National Campus includes red and orange ball progressive activities for continued growth in skill and enjoyment. The Family Zone is committed to developing the athlete, player, and person in a dynamic environment. Rita encompasses a perfect combination of skills and enthusiasm to reach children and parents to build tennis skills within a positive, happy, and supportive environment.

National Awards

Rita Gladstone (Orlando, FL)

USPTA Lessons for Life Award

Kevin Pope - Livermore, California

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present the 2021 USPTA Lessons for Life™ Award to Kevin Pope of Livermore, CA (Northern California Division). The Lessons for Life award recognizes USPTA certified professionals that have done the most to raise money for charities through tennis events. While the award spotlights individuals who raised large sums of money, it also honors those hosting the most creative, original, or unique tennis fundraisers. An individual that hosted the event that raised the most money will not necessarily win this award. Kevin has hosted the Service Champions Tennis Classic for the last 10 years. While there was no event in 2020 due to Covid, Kevin's 2020 planning led to a very successful, sold-out Memorial Day 2021 event. The 2019 event raised over $50,000, and over the years, Kevin has raised approximately $400,000 in donations. In addition, nearly 100 percent of all entry fees go to charity as Kevin has successfully obtained materials, food, awards, and event space at no charge. This unique event is by far the largest doubles tournament event in Northern California.

 

National Awards

Kevin Pope ( Livermore, CA)

Bob Ryland Diversity Award

Christine Macure - Bridgewater, New Jersey

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present the 2021 USPTA Bob Ryland Diversity Award to Christine Macur from Bridgewater, NJ (Middle States Division). The USPTA Bob Ryland Diversity Award recognizes certified professionals that demonstrated an outstanding ability to use tennis to unite diverse populations within their community. This award was renamed after Bob Ryland, a 60-plus year member, who was inducted into our USPTA Hall of Fame in 2020. As a Middle States board member, Christine is the diversity and inclusion division liaison to the national committee. Her responsibilities are to teach and ensure fair and equitable treatment of all in tennis through tennis-teaching professionals. In 2020, she secured a diverse speaking lineup for the Middle States conference, wrote articles on diversity in tennis, and encouraged anyone with a diverse background who was interested in a leadership position to participate. She is also responsible for adaptive tennis being incorporated into the Middle States 2021 conference.

National Awards

Christine Macur (Bridgewater, NJ)

USTA/USPTA Community Service Award

Amanda Shaw - Dallas, Texas

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to present Amanda Shaw of Dallas, TX (Texas Division) with the 2021 USTA/USPTA Community Service Award. The USTA/USPTA Community Service Award is presented to a USPTA member who used the power of tennis over the past year to improve their community. These members organize local events that bring together families and neighborhoods and invite new people to join our great game to foster a sense of community. This year’s USTA/USPTA Community Service Award winner is Amanda Shaw. “Amanda has done an outstanding job during a challenging year,” USPTA CEO John Embree said. “She has had an impact on the lives of many people through her hard work and dedication.”


 

National Awards

Amanda Shaw (Dallas, TX)

Top Education Credit Earner

Michael Friedman - Highland Park, IL

The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is proud to recognize Michael Friedman of Highland Park, Ill. (Midwest Division), for earning 874 Continuing Education Units, the most by any member in 2020. “Continuing education is a pillar of our Association, and we are blown away by Michael’s dedication to this pursuit,” USPTA CEO John Embree said. “He constantly strives to improve himself as a coach and tennis-teaching professional, and it shows.” Twenty-twenty is Friedman’s third consecutive year winning this award. Friedman is a USPTA Professional and a 30-plus year member. Also recognized for their pursuit of continuing education were Lance Anderson, Michael Baugh, Jon Beets, Thomas Chicoine, Doug Eng, Lane Evans, David Gary, Elliot James, and Jason Joesph. 

National Awards

Michael Friedman (Highland Park, IL)