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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Higueras Named Director of Coaching for USTA High Performance; Watch Koz's TV Show From Girls 18s in Berkeley

During the U.S. Open television coverage, John McEnroe mentioned that his brother was trying to get Jose Higueras involved in the USTA's Elite Player Development. A junior's coach remarked on Higueras's attendance at a lot of the junior matches, and once I started looking for him, he seemed to be everywhere (although not at Sound Shore). I mentioned the possible hiring to Patrick McEnroe in one of our brief conversations, but he was not revealing anything then. Today's announcement (see below) from the USTA confirms that Higueras will be working for them, as Director of Coaching for Elite Player Development.

Another famous tennis coach I saw a lot of in New York was Dave Kozlowski, a/k/a The Koz, who is now releasing his independently produced tennis shows on the internet via indietennis.com. Koz recently added his USTA Girls 18s in Berkeley production for free online viewing, so click here to watch. I'll post another link when the US Open show comes out, because I know Koz spoke to quite a few juniors in New York.

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., September 16, 2008 -- The USTA today announced that Jose Higueras has been named Director of Coaching for USTA Elite Player Development. Higueras will oversee all of the program’s men’s and women’s coaching efforts and will work at the USTA Training Centers in Boca Raton, Fla., and Carson, Calif. as well as Palm Springs, Calif., where Higueras lives. He will report to Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, Elite Player Development.

Higueras, 55, won 16 ATP singles titles and was ranked as high as No. 6 in the world during his 16 year professional career. Following his retirement, Higueras made the transition from professional player to professional coach and began to pass on his knowledge and his passion for the game. He helped Michael Chang win a French Open title at age 17, helped Jim Courier on his way to seven Grand Slam titles and has also worked with Pete Sampras, Carlos Moya, Todd Martin, Jennifer Capriati and most recently Robby Ginepri and Roger Federer.

“Jose is one of the greatest minds in coaching today,” said McEnroe. “His understanding of the sport is unrivaled, and his familiarity with American tennis makes him an invaluable asset and important addition to our staff as we continue to develop the skills of the brightest young talents in tennis.”

“Jose comes to the USTA with a veteran presence, including decades of experience as a player, coach and talent evaluator,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO, Professional Tennis, USTA. “We said the USTA was committed to providing the best possible resources to develop American champions, and with Patrick McEnroe and Jose Higueras, we are acting on that commitment.”

In the newly created role, Higueras will work with McEnroe to develop an overall strategic approach to best identify and develop future American champions. He will provide on-court guidance and coaching to both coaches and players, with a mission to build and maintain an Elite Player Development coaching staff at a world class level.

The new USTA Elite Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American champions by surrounding the top junior players and young pros with the resources, facilities and coaching they need to reach their maximum potential.

2 comments:

steven s said...

Congrats to the USTA on a great hire! Higueras will be a breath of fresh air, and what a "home run" as far as someone like this leading the other coaches.

Plotinus said...

Absolutely fantastic hire. Great decision.