Six Earn USPTA Master Professional Distinction

Larry Dupleich Puña, Jack Foster, Paul Marcum, Michael Mercier, Mark Rearden and Mark Savage were honored at the annual awards presentation during the USPTA World Conference on Sept. 27 at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif.

Members must hold USPTA’s highest certification rating (Elite Professional) for more than 10 years before becoming eligible for the Master Professional designation. Then each must fulfill a broad spectrum of requirements, including making significant achievements in areas such as tennis teaching and coaching, business, education and volunteer work.

Larry Dupleich Puña has more than 30 years of experience as a coach and has taught players of all levels and ages. As a former Harry Hopman Professional, Dupleich Puña has traveled around the world to numerous academies of all levels. He coached at The Carlos Goffi Tournament Tough Academy for Top Ranked Juniors, The Meyer Wilton Academy in Brazil, and The Sakurada Tennis College in Tokyo. As result of his vast experience teaching, he started "The Larry Dupleich Tennis Academy" to teach and coach his own methodology based on mind, skill and body. Articles about his techniques have been published in magazines such as Tennis and Tennis Classic. The Academy has nearly 100 students and is growing. His total dedication to his students' excellence stems from his passion for the sport and his desire to make his students excel and be their best.

Jack Foster is the Director of Tennis for the First Colony Community Association in Sugar Land, Texas. In addition, he and his wife are the owners of Jack's Tennis/She Strings in Sugar Land. Foster played competitively in tournaments and leagues for many years and started teaching tennis full time in 1991. He is a USPTA Tester and has received many honors including the 2005 USPTA Star Award, the USPTA Texas Division's Tester of The Year Award for 2009 and 2012, the 2013 George Basco Tester of the Year Award, and several others over his career. Foster coaches all levels with several past students going on to play college tennis, national tournaments or the junior circuit.

Paul Marcum is in his 14th year as a professional at The Sports Club of West Bloomfield in West Bloomfield, Mich. During the summer months he runs Paul Marcum's Tennis Services LLC in Bloomfield Hills. Marcum is the USPTA Midwest Immediate Past President and has served as a USPTA Tester since 1999. He is a four-time USPTA Midwest Tester of the Year recipient and a Head National Advisory Staff Member. A former NCAA All-American himself, he’s coached two NCAA All-Americans and national champions.
Michael Mercier is the Head Tennis Professional at Harvard University, where he provides individual and group instruction for more than 100,000 Harvard Alumni, family and affiliates who hail from around the world. Mercier serves as a volunteer leader for Harvard community programs including advising the Harvard University Men/Women Club Tennis Team, Special Olympics and Wheelchair Tennis. During his tenure, he has grown program participation from single digits to more than 600 active players. Currently, he serves on the USTA Tennis on Campus National Committee, is Regional Vice President of the USPTA New England Board of Directors, and is Wheelchair Tennis Chairman for USTA New England.

Mark Rearden is the current Head Tennis Professional and Program Director at Palmetto Tennis Center in Sumter, S.C. As Head Professional, he oversees all areas of programming, which includes bidding and planning PTC tournaments. Rearden is certified as a USTA official, a USTA High Performance Coach and PTR Professional. He was the past president of the Central Savannah River Professional Tennis Association and currently stands as vice president of the USPTA South Carolina. As a player he held an adult ranking at the state, southern and national levels, and he has trained hundreds of junior players at every level, including state, sectional and national.

Mark Savage is in his 18th year as Tennis Director of Sportsplex in New Windsor, N.Y.  With 25 years of professional teaching experience, Savage is considered one of the top developmental coaches in the USPTA Eastern Division.  In addition, he is a two-term USPTA Eastern Division President, USPTA Professional of the Year and USTA George Seewagen Tennis Professional of the Year. 

Biographies of the award recipients are included below.
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Biographies of the new USPTA Master Professionals

Larry Dupleich Puña (Tokyo, Japan)

Larry Dupleich Puña has more than 30 years of experience as a coach and has taught players of all levels and ages. He has organized many tennis events and coached players to international tennis tournaments throughout his career. He holds a business degree in marketing and speaks six languages English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Japanese. As a former Harry Hopman Professional, Dupleich Puña has traveled around the world to numerous tennis academies as a professional instructor. He has also coached at The Carlos Goffi Tournament Tough Academy for Top Ranked Juniors, The Meyer Wilton Academy in Brazil, and The Sakurada Tennis College in Tokyo, Japan for aspiring Top Players from Juniors to Professionals.

Dupleich Puña also holds clinics overseas, giving young players the chance to train under a professional coach where otherwise they may not have such opportunity. In Oruro, Bolivia, South America, there is an annual honorary tournament for his continued contribution to the sport, the "Larry Dupleich Tennis Tournament." As result of Dupleich Puña's vast experience teaching, he started "The Larry Dupleich Tennis Academy" to teach and coach his own methodology based on mind, skill and body.  Articles about his techniques have been published in magazines such as Tennis and Tennis Classic. The Academy has approximately 100 students and is growing.  His total dedication to his students' excellence stems from his passion for the sport and his desire to make his students excel and be their best. He believes "every student deserves a high performance lesson."

Jack Foster (Sugar Land, Texas)

John J. "Jack" Foster is the Director of Tennis for the First Colony Community Association in Sugar Land, Texas. He and his wife are the owners of Jack's Tennis/She Strings in Sugar Land. He previously worked for Colony Creek Country Club in Victoria, Texas. As a player, Foster played competitively in tournaments and leagues for many years. He later started teaching tennis full time in 1991 because he fell in love with teaching people the joy of the sport. Foster coaches all levels with several past students continuing on to play college tennis, national tournaments or the junior circuit.

Part of what has made his career so enjoyable to him is the fact that he is a successful tennis-teaching professional despite having a physical disability. As a USPTA Tester he received the USPTA Texas Division's Tester of the Year Award for 2009 and 2012, and the USPTA George Basco Tester of the Year Award at the 2013 USPTA World Conference. He has been honored with the 2005 USPTA Star Award, the USPTA top 10 education awards for 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009, and the award for 10 consecutive years of continuing education and career development. He has been a member of the Head/Penn Advisory Staff since 2005.

Foster is the past third vice president of the Texas Division and has served on the divisional Education and Grants Committee and Convention Committee. He also is a past member of the USPTA National Convention Committee. He became a member of the USPTA Diversity Committee, Awards Committee and the USPTA Education Committee in 2012.

Paul Marcum (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)

Paul Marcum is in his 14th year as a professional at The Sports Club of West Bloomfield in West Bloomfield, Mich. The Sports Club is one of the largest multi-purpose facilities in the Midwest and has 14 hard tennis courts. Marcum is the USPTA Midwest Immediate Past President and has served as a USPTA Tester since 1999. During the summer months he runs Paul Marcum's Tennis Services, LLC in Bloomfield Hills.

He has more than 20 years of experience in the tennis industry and has been certified as a USPTA Elite Professional for 18 years. He is a four-time USPTA Midwest Tester of the Year and a Head National Advisory Staff Member.

A former NCAA All-American himself, he’s coached two NCAA All-Americans and national champions. He has been a speaker for workshops and conventions, and a writer for various Midwest publications. Marcum received the 2009 USPTA Midwest Outstanding Education Award and the 2007, 2009, and 2012 USPTA Midwest Tester of the Year Award. Marcum has been married to his wife Lori Fedoronko for the last 14 years and has two children, Kaitlyn and Courtney.

Michael Mercier (Beverly, Mass.)

For over 40 years, Michael Louis Mercier has instilled a passion for tennis in players of all ages and abilities.  As Harvard University’s Head Tennis Professional since 2004, Harvard’s community program has grown to more than 600 active players, ranging from beginners to collegiate-ranked players. Mercier has expanded the school’s tennis offerings exponentially, establishing more than 20 USTA teams and building robust programs for both developing and high performance players.  As Director of Operations for the Boston Lobsters, he broadened the region’s tennis community, increasing attendance to 8,000 and doubling volunteer participation during his term.  

As a USTA National High Performance Certified Coach, Mercier has worked extensively with several nationally and internationally top ranked junior players. He has coached numerous schools in the area, leading teams to winning seasons and state championships, the latest being Beverly High School tennis team’s undefeated 2016 season.  

Mercier has earned numerous awards, including the USPTA New England Tennis Professional of the Year, Diversity Tennis Pro of the Year and Wheelchair Tennis Pro of the Year. He has also won the Brad Parks Wheelchair Tennis Pro of the Year, and Wheelchair Champion of the Year-Racquet Sports Industry Magazine. Mercier has conducted hundreds of wheelchair sports camps, lectures and presentations, and is the author of “Adapted Tennis Guidelines for the Athletics for All Task Force.”

Mercier has lead and organized community tennis programs across the New England area, including work with Special Olympics, Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country- Canon Ski Mountain and Maureen Connolly Brinker (“Little Mo”) Tennis Foundation. He is currently USTA New England's Wheelchair Tennis Chairman, Regional Vice President of the USPTA New England Board of Directors, and a member of the USTA Tennis On Campus National Committee.
 
Mark Rearden (Homewood, Ill.)

Mark Rearden is the Head Tennis Professional and Program Director of the Palmetto Tennis Center. As the Head Professional, he oversees all areas of programming including bidding and planning PTC tournaments. He has added numerous new USTA teams to the facility, began an ongoing Junior Academy program, and has created many new clinic opportunities for beginning to advanced players.

Rearden spent 21 years as the Director of Tennis at the West Lake Country Club in Augusta, Ga. There he grew a junior development program, coordinated and developed all USTA league teams, and was the tournament director of the West Lake Pro Tennis Classic a USTA satellite event. Prior to his current position, Rearden was the general manager and minority partner at the Petersburg Racquet Club where he used his country club experience to raise member expectations and the level of service at the club.

Rearden is a certified USPTA Elite Professional, PTR Professional, USTA High Performance Coach and certified USTA official. He serves as the current Vice President of USPTA South Carolina and was the past president of the Central Savannah River Professional Tennis Association. Rearden has trained hundreds of junior players at every level and has held adult rankings at the state, southern and national levels.

Mark Savage (New Windsor, N.Y.)

Mark Savage is in his 18th year as Tennis Director of Sportsplex in New Windsor, NY.  With 25 years of professional teaching experience, Savage is considered one of the top developmental coaches in the Eastern Division.  In addition, he is a two-term USPTA Eastern Division President, USPTA Professional of the Year and USTA George Seewagen Tennis Professional of the Year.  Savage lives in Wallkill, N.Y. with his wife Jane and two daughters, Emily and Erin.   


About the USPTA
Founded in 1927, the USPTA is the global leader in tennis-teacher certification and professional development. With more than 14,000 members worldwide, the association raises the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches and promotes a greater awareness of the sport.

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