Close Window | Print this page

USPTA World Headquarters

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.

Peter Burwash, inducted in 2016

Peter BurwashPeter Burwash is the founder and president of Peter Burwash International, which for the past 41 years has been the world’s largest tennis management company operating in 32 countries. PBI was named “One of the Ten Best-Managed Companies in America” by author James O’Toole in his book, “Vanguard Management.” He has been a USPTA Master Professional and a USPTA-certified member for more than 40 years,  spoken at numerous conferences and events, and has encouraged the certification of many teaching professionals.

Burwash is a featured international speaker for Fortune 500 companies and devotes his time as a keynote speaker, consultant and seminar specialist giving more than 100 speeches a year. The former Canadian champion and Davis Cup player coached and played in 135 countries.  As a player, he won 19 international singles and doubles titles and competed on the ATP Tour from 1968-74. Burwash has been recognized for many of his accomplishments throughout his successful career as a tennis professional, entrepreneur, speaker, and author, and now as an inductee into the USPTA Hall of Fame.

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.

> Top

2016 National Award Winners

Kirk Anderson (Portland, Ore.) received the USPTA Alex Gordon Professional of the Year Award, the association’s top annual member award. He is a USPTA Master Professional, a graduate of the USTA High Performance Coach program, and is certified by the International Youth Conditioning Association as a Youth Fitness Specialist. Anderson has written and co-authored 14 tennis books for coaches and tennis professionals, and he’s also written several workshop scripts and dozens of articles in journals in the United States and internationally. He was the Content Manager for the Coach Youth Tennis online course and served as the project manager for the development of six online Coach Youth Tennis courses and workshop for 10 and Under Tennis coaches. He is a member of the Special Olympics International Global Resource Tennis Team and the Special Olympics North America Tennis Development Committee. With the help of Special Olympics North America Tennis Director Nancy Hoekstra, Anderson helped change many of the competition rules and expanded the competition levels that now include red, orange and green balls. 

The George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ben Press (Coronado, Calif.). Press was a USPTA Master Professional and had been in the San Diego area coaching scene for more than 65 years. He was one of the original USPTA members in the San Diego division and taught more than 10,000 people to play tennis. As a player, Press began as an All-American at UCLA and played against some of the greats including Jack Kramer, Bobby Riggs, Pancho Gonzales and Tony Trabert. As a coach, he worked with San Diego’s two Wimbledon champions, Maureen Connolly Brinker, the first woman to win the Grand Slam, and Karen Hantz Susman, winner of three Wimbledon titles. He was also responsible for coaching Brian Teacher to an Australian Open singles title and Steve Avoyer, who won the 18 & Under title at Kalamazoo. Over the course of more than six decades, Press was head pro at several prominent tennis facilities, including the Kona Kai Resort, Hotel del Coronado and Mission Bay Hilton San Diego. Along with his successful tennis and teaching career, Press co-founded the Greater San Diego City Tennis Council, an organization that provides and funds for the improvement and refurbishment of public tennis court facilities in San Diego. He also invented the Scepter Racquet, which was one of the first commercial graphite tennis racquets.

Fred Viancos (Lake Nona, Fla.) was honored with the USPTA Paul Waldman Presidents Award. This award is given by the USPTA President for lifetime achievement as a member of the association. Viancos is USPTA's Director of Professional Development and has worked for the association for 14 years. Previously, he was the Worldwide Manager of Tennis Pro Relations for Spalding Sports Worldwide, and before that, the Tour Manager and later Regional Director of Latin Americathe for the ATP World Tour.

Aki Takayama-Wolfson (Flushing, N.Y.) 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. Takayama-Wolfson has been teaching tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the past 22 years. She is a USPTA Elite Professional and PTR-certified professional. In addition, she has been an ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Director, certified High Performance coach and USTA National Cat II Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Director. As a veteran team member in the US Open Player Operations, she has played a significant role in the two-year development of innovative practice court software.

In recognition of his business acumen and advancing the sport of tennis in his community, Jeff Bearup (Duxbury, Mass.) received the USPTA’s Industry Excellence Award. Bearup is the founder and director of the New England Academy of Tennis Natick Racquet Club, and serves as the International Tennis Consultant to the Beijing International Group in conjunction with the China Tennis association.  He has received the USPTA New England Joseph Dietz Bowl Award for Outstanding Contribution to Tennis, USPTA New England Coach of the Year honors, and the USTA Gardner Chase Memorial Award for Outstanding Life Time Contribution to New England Tennis.

Patrick LaSalle (Coventry, R.I.) was awarded the USPTA Star Award for his efforts to bring tennis to socioeconomically challenged communities as the tennis program director with the Town of Coventry Parks and Recreation. LaSalle has introduced tennis to more than 450 children involved in the Recreation Department’s summer camp each year as the director of tennis at the Town of Coventry Parks and Recreation. He is responsible for providing opportunities for people of the community to engage themselves in beneficial programs, to promote individual and physical achievement.

Josh Jorgensen (San Diego, Calif.) was named the Top Education Credit Earner for 2015 after earning an outstanding number of education credits as part of the USPTA Career Development Program. He also received this honor in 2012 and 2013.

Angelo and Ettore Rossetti (Hamden, Conn.) are the recipients of the Lessons for Life Award for their extensive contributions to their community.  In 2015, they helped raise more than $104,300 for the Save the Children charity organization through tennis. Save the Children is a a non-profit organization providing support to improve and invest in the protection, education, disaster relief and health of children around the world.

Ronald Elizondo (Corpus Christi, Texas) received the association’s Diversity Award for his work to increase diversity within the USPTA. Elizondo has worked for more than 15 years to bring tennis to disadvantaged youth. As the founder and Executive Director of Tennis Success, he’s helped them become better citizens through learning the game of tennis. As his program has continued to grow it not only includes tennis, but an educational component to help kids through school.

Dion Crupi (Irving, Texas) is this year’s recipient of the Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the Year Award. His coaching experience includes serving as a development and travel coach for juniors and professionals at both national and international levels. He has coached 10 tour players in his career, including working with Donny Isaac and Jack Waite.  The USPTA Elite Professional has been in charge of Junior Development for the Brookhaven Academy of Tennis Training since 1994 and has had several Top 10 Junior players throughout his career.

Dick Johnson (Albuquerque, N.M.) was named the High School Coach of the Year. As the head boy’s tennis coach at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, N.M., Johnson led his players to the state championships in 2016, winning several state titles. The boys’ team won their 23rd district title in the past 25 years and their 12th state title in the past 15 years.

Kim Gidley (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was named the College Coach of the Year after leading the Air Force Academy’s women’s tennis team to an 18-9 overall mark last season, its sixth consecutive winning season. She has a 230-224 career record and has guided the program to 10 winning seasons. The women’s tennis team is traditionally one of the most successful women’s programs at the Academy. With her guidance they have found great success on and off the court as well.

J. Weston Reese (San Francisco, Calif.) was named the George Bacso Tester of the Year.  Reese is a USPTA Elite Professional and has been a tester for 35 years, 33 of those as a head tester. He administered the USPTA certification exam to 68 people over the last year.

Dan Miles (Bonita Springs, Fla.) was named the Facility Manager of the Year.  Miles has been the general manager of the Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs, Fla., for more than 25 years and has continually made the commitment to support tennis and tennis-teaching professionals.

Ryan McDaniel (Evansville, Ind.) is the second recipient of the U30 Award, new to the awards program in 2015. The U30 Award recognizes a USPTA Professional aged 30 or under for their contributions to tennis. McDaniel has assisted in the development of the U30 USPTA Professionals in the USPTA Midwest Division. In addition to his role at the Evansville Tennis Center and Evansville Community Tennis Association, he has been a leader in local initiatives including the USTA Pro Circuit, the only professional tournament in Indiana. 

> Top

2016 Masters Invitational Winners

Men's Open Singles
Winner: Stefano Ianni (Miami)
Runner-up: William Noblitt (Raleigh, N.C.)  

Women's Open Singles
Winner: Agata Cioroch (Atlanta) 
Runner-up: Ekaterina Morozova-Pomier (Houston)

Men's Open Doubles
Winners: Stefano Ianni (Miami)/William Noblitt (Raleigh, N.C.)
Runners-up: Franco Mata (Naples, Fla.)/Jicham Zaatini (Naples, Fla.)

Women’s Open Doubles                                                                                                                                 
Winner: Miranda Rodriguez (Skokie, Ill.)/Ekaterina Morozova-Pomier (Houston)
Runner-up: Cari Buck (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)/Sara Morse (San Diego) 

Men's 35 Singles
Winner: Franco Mata (Naples, Fla.)
Runner-up: Paulo Barros (Fort Myers, Fla.)

Men’s 35 Doubles                                                                                                                                                  
Winner: Juan Martinez-Arraya (Old Greenwich, Conn.)/Patricio Misitrano (Darien, Conn.)
Runner-up: Juan Garcia (San Diego)/Francois Castejon (San Diego) 

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

Men’s 45 Doubles 
Winners: Rob Horsch (Laguna Niguel, Calif.)/Kevin Gillette (Meridian, Miss.)
Runners-up: Jeff Cohen (Boca Raton, Fla.)/Frank Vermeer (Jacksonville, Fla.) 

Men’s 55 Singles 
Winner: Mike Fedderly (Palm Desert, Calif.)
Runner-up: Kie Foreman (Pebble Beach, Calif.) 

Men’s 55 Doubles
Winner: Craig Koessler (Wilsonville, Ore.)/Sal Castillo (San Antonio)                                 
Runner-up: Michael Smith (Fair Oaks, Calif.)/Ken Dehart (San Jose, Calif.)

> Top

Educational Achievers

> Top


2017 Awards

Awards Applications