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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Former USTA President, Longtime Kalamazoo Boys Nationals Referee David Markin Dies

David Markin, right, with 2005-06 USTA President Franklin Johnson
Photo courtesy YourGameFace.com
David Markin, former tournament referee of the Kalamazoo Boys 16s and 18s Nationals and past president of the USTA, has died in Florida at age 81 after complications from surgery two weeks ago.

It's difficult to overstate Markin's impact on the sport both here in Kalamazoo and at the national level.  As the tournament referee from 1976 to 2007, Markin, along with tournament director Rolla Anderson, provided the leadership that made Kalamazoo what it is today--the most revered junior tournament in the country.

Markin, who supported the tournament financially in ways great and small, never seeking credit for doing so, was committed to improving the tournament every year. He never balked at trying new ideas, knowing that complacency was the biggest threat to the tournament's stature.  Although he infuriated not a few players when he deemed it necessary to call foot faults the tournament's famous Tower, Markin was a respected official who handled a variety of difficult refereeing decisions with authority and sound judgment.

While president of the USTA from 1989-90, Markin was instrumental in the expansion of the National Tennis Center, including the building of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

His impact on the sport of tennis here in Kalamazoo, as well as nationally and internationally, will continue to be an inspiration to his family, community, friends and colleagues.

Current USTA president Dave Haggerty sent out this email today:

It is with great sadness that I share the news that former USTA President David Markin has died.  David, who served as USTA President from 1989-90, was a successful and astute businessman who utilized his remarkable business acumen and his lifelong passion for tennis in leading this association through an important time of growth and change.  David further employed his remarkable talent and keen vision in chairing the US Open site committee in the mid 1990’s, which planned and executed the revitalization of the National Tennis Center, including the construction of Arthur Ashe Stadium, the centerpiece of the US Open and one of the finest sports facilities in the world.  David was currently serving as a member of the USTA Major Construction Oversight Committee.

An avid player and supporter of our sport, David was devoted to giving back to the game he loved so much.  Prior to becoming USTA President, David was President of USTA Midwest, and is enshrined in both the USTA Midwest and USTA Eastern Halls of Fame.  He also served as Chairman of the Davis Cup Committee, the Junior Tennis Council, and was, for many years, the official referee of the National 16-18 Boys’ Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich.  He was awarded the Samuel Hardy Award for long and outstanding service to the sport in 1991, and in 2010, was presented a USTA Volunteer Service Award for 40 years of devotion to tennis.

There is a plaque on the outside wall of Arthur Ashe Stadium bearing David’s likeness with an inscription that reads, “His inspiration and hard work made Arthur Ashe Stadium a reality.”  That is a fact.  And it also is true that his vision and dedication to tennis made our sport better and richer for all. 

David will be sorely missed, and our deepest sympathies go out to David’s family and his many friends.


LoveTheGame said...

Awful news. As one of the players who Mr. Markin called a foot fault on, he certainly could agitate a young player! But when you spoke with him and spent time with him, you truly realized how much he cared about the players and the tournament. Wish there were more folks in tennis like him and all our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the tournament.