See 2023 National Award Winners

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.

The USPTA is looking for deserving tennis professionals who are growing the game of tennis as it accepts nominations for the 2024 awards program. The 2024 Awards program recognizes accomplishments of USPTA members during 2023. Awards are presented in every facet of the tennis business in which USPTA members work.

USPTA National Award Categories

Alex Gordon Award for Professional of the Year

The Alex Gordon Award for Professional of the Year recognizes a member who, over a calendar year, has demonstrated exemplary achievement in seven areas, including: the USPTA, allied organizations, club achievements, career development, volunteerism, coaching achievements and playing achievements. 

George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award

The George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a member who, over a career, has demonstrated exemplary achievement in seven areas, including: contributions to the USPTA and USTA; as a teaching professional, player, and coach; in education, research, and publications; and with other organizations, achievements, and contributions. The Lifetime Achievement Award is not necessarily awarded every year.

USPTA Star Award

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. The Star Award may also recognize USPTA members who have done the most to raise money for charities through tennis events. It could honor those hosting the most creative, original or unique tennis event to raise money for charities.

USPTA Industry Excellence Award

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.

Coach of the Year Awards

The Steve Wilkinson College Coach of the Year and the Laurie Martin 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.

George Bacso Coach Developer of the Year Award

The George Bacso Coach Developer of the Year award recognizes the USPTA coach developer who does the most to advance certification opportunities and the certification process. 

Bob Ryland Diversity Award

The USPTA Diversity Award recognizes those USPTA members who have demonstrated an outstanding ability to unite diverse populations within their community through tennis.

USPTA Elevate Award

The USPTA Elevate Award 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 for five or fewer years, and has made a commitment to grassroots tennis and an indelible impression on his/her community.

Manager of the Year, Large and Small Facility

The only USPTA award available to non-members is for Manager of the Year, Large and Small Facility; however, a USPTA Professional could receive the award. Applicants/nominees must be the general manager (in function, if not in title) of a club or tennis facility.

Division of the Year Award

The Division of the Year Award recognizes the USPTA division that contributed most greatly to the association's mission during the year, with sixteen elements of judged criteria including:
1. Hold a division Conference with at least 8 hours of qualifying education.
2. Communicate on a regular basis with division members via email, phone, text or accepted social media.
3. Have a board meeting at Division conference. Provide time for a national update and if possible, include High School and New Member recruitment element.
4. Operate Division board according to division Bylaws with officers serving as instructed in the Bylaws.
5. Be financially responsible and have regular communication with USPTA National office re financial status.
6. Submit Division award winners for all national categories, if applicable.
7. Hold regular Division Board meetings and take minutes of said meetings.
8. Plan at least four Division activities a year to promote racquet sports and coaching. Document activities with photos and social media promotion.
9. Increase Division USPTA membership with recruitment, free seminars, webinar opportunities.
10. Increase Division members who are Safe Play certified.
11. Promote USPTA and career opportunities whenever possible and have them registered on USPTA Career Resources.
12. Provide Division members with a regular communication and activities update.
13. Promote all national USPTA activities via email and social media.
14. Have a Division presence and activity on Facebook and other social media offerings
15. Provide and promote educational opportunities for all members on a regular basis and promote scholarships and grant opportunities.
16. Promote all national endorsees in all meetings and communications.

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 not accepted, unless the division first approves of that application.