Grand Canyon University Adds USPTA-Accredited Professional Tennis Management Program
HOUSTON – The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) added another school to its list of accredited Professional Tennis Management programs. Grand Canyon University in Phoenix is the most recent four-year school to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with an emphasis in tennis management. Students in the program have the opportunity to become USPTA-certified by the time they graduate in order to prepare them for a career teaching tennis and working in the fitness and club industry.
GCU’s program will be the first tennis management program among NCAA Division I schools and is set to begin in the fall of 2015 within the Colangelo College of Business, named after Phoenix sports icon Jerry Colangelo. The 120-credit program will be incorporated with the University’s growing Sports Business program as well as their new hospitality program, also being rolled out in the fall. It will align with the pillars of the USPTA and will cover the skills needed to manage tennis operations, including facility management, merchandising, event planning and introduction to food and beverage management.
“Club managers are looking to recruit the next generation of tennis-teaching professionals, and Grand Canyon has responded to this need by establishing this program,” USPTA CEO John Embree said. “As the leading tennis-teaching organization, USPTA is excited to partner with a university that is committed to providing pathways for aspiring tennis professionals to begin their careers.”
The program also will teach player development and the skills needed to become an effective instructor, and students will be required to get at least 100 hours of experience in the industry before they graduate.
“If you love business, love tennis and want to be in the industry, this is the program for you,” said Dr. Randy Gibb, dean of the Colangelo College of Business. “You can work on the operations side or on the hospitality side, either way graduates will have a solid business foundation.”
GCU, located in one of the foremost resort areas in the country, is one of the nation’s most dynamic and fast-growing universities, and its athletic program is accelerating at the same rate. The GCU men’s and women’s tennis teams both had a winning record in 2014, their first year in Division I, and the University also has started a club tennis team that competes throughout the school year.
“Business is a popular degree among tennis players, and there are a lot of them going into the tennis business,” GCU tennis coach Greg Prudhomme said. “There’s a demand in the tennis industry for more qualified professionals, and the reason is that there’s not a lot of formal training available. As a result, most of the people getting hired are former players.”
GCU also is planning a new tennis facility on campus that will be run by students, and they will be able to gain internship experience elsewhere as well.
For more information on GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Business Management with an Emphasis in Tennis Management, visit the GCU website.