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Friday, May 2, 2014

April Aces; Coaches Named for USTA Collegiate Team

My monthly review of the top college- and junior tennis-related accomplishments for April is up today at the Tennis Recruiting Network. While you are at their website, don't forget to enter their NCAA Division I May Madness contest. They just added a new addition to the grand prize--two tickets to this year's US Open, courtesy of the USTA.

Back in March, I published the criteria for the USTA Collegiate Team. The coaches who will be traveling with the players this summer were announced recently by USTA National Coach of Collegiate Tennis, Dustin Taylor.  I really appreciate being included on his mailing list, and the transparency of the player selection criteria that he's developed. The list of tournaments covered by the USTA Collegiate Team coaches is also included, as are the grant amounts and the priorities. One email was sent to college coaches for men and another sent to college coaches for women, exerpts from which are included below.

MEN:

First off, I’m pleased to announce the hiring of our coaches who will be assigned to look after our collegians participating on the USTA Men’s Pro Circuit this summer.
 
Bo Hodge is currently the Associate Head coach at the University of Oklahoma and will be returning for his 4th term; along with Assistant Coach at Wake Forest, Brett Ross, who will be returning for his second.  I’m also pleased to announce a newcomer this year, Derek Schwandt.  Derek is currently the Assistant Coach at Georgia Tech and highly regarded around the country as one of the top young assistants.

As for our tournament coverage this summer, we will be providing a coach (or coaches) at the following USTA Pro Circuit Future events: Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh, Godfrey, Decatur and Edwardsville.  We will also be providing a coach (or coaches) at the following USTA Pro Circuit Challenger events: Winnetka, Binghamton, Lexington, Vancouver and Aptos.

Our coaches will be working with all collegians (if interested) with the following priorities in mind:

Priority 1: The players who have already qualified for the team (Mitchell Frank and Clay Thompson so far; remaining opportunities are NCAA Singles Champion, ITA Player of the Year, ITA Rookie of the Year)
Priority 2: Grant money recipients who didn’t qualify during the course of the academic year (Top 10 Americans down the final ITA Singles ranking)
Priority 3: The rest of college tennis!!  Collegiate National Team coaches at tournaments will stay to help out ANY collegian at the tournament until all collegians are eliminated from the singles event

Below are the benefits for each priority:

Priority 1:

  • Coaching and lodging at all USTA Pro Circuit events through 2014
  • A $3,000 grant to cover needed expenses throughout the rest of 2014
  • An invitation to matchplay/wildcard playoff camps prior to the following events: Tulsa, Joplin, Binghamton and US Open qualifying/main draw
Priority 2:
  • Coaching including all USTA Pro Circuit events over the course of the summer
  • A $2,000-3,000 grant to cover expenses throughout the rest of 2014 (Top 5: $3,000; Top 6-10 $2,000)
  • An invitation to matchplay/wildcard playoff camps prior to the following events: Tulsa, Joplin, Binghamton and US Open qualifying/main draw
Priority 3:
  • Coaching including all USTA Pro Circuit events over the course of the summer
Lastly, there will be NO applications this year for players and coaches to fill out; no need to stress about those.  Everyone will be considered eligible and we will be contacting coaches and players in regards to the grants as soon as the ITA Final Singles Rankings come out.  Only the top 10 Americans will be eligible for grants; we will not go down the list if a player declines.

USC's West Nott, with USTA Coach Dustin Taylor
WOMEN:

First off, I’m pleased to announce the hiring of our coaches this year who will be assigned to look after our collegians participating on the USTA Women’s Pro Circuit this summer.  Lee Taylor-Walker is currently the Head Coach at the University of Memphis and will be returning for his second term; along with Associate Head Coach at USC, West Nott, who is also entering his second term.  I’m also pleased to announce a newcomer this year, Felix Alvarado.  Felix is currently the Assistant General Manager and Director of Tennis at John McEnroe Academy at Randall’s Island and has been one of our country’s top developmental coaches in recent years.

As for our tournament coverage this summer, we will be providing a coach (or coaches) at the following USTA Pro Circuit Challenger events: El Paso, Sacramento, Yakima, Lexington, Vancouver and Landisville.  We will also provide a coach (or coaches) at the following USTA Pro Circuit Future events: Evansville, Austin and Fort Worth.

Our coaches will be working with all collegians (if interested) with the following priorities in mind:

Priority 1: The players who have already qualified for the team (Jamie Loeb so far; remaining opportunities are NCAA Singles Champion, ITA Player of the Year, ITA Rookie of the Year)
Priority 2: Grant money recipients who didn’t qualify during the course of the academic year (Top 10 Americans down final ITA Singles ranking)
Priority 3: The rest of college tennis!!  Collegiate National Team coaches at tournaments will stay to help out ANY collegian at the tournament until all collegians are eliminated from the singles event

Below are the benefits for each priority:

Priority 1:

  • Coaching and lodging at all USTA Pro Circuit events through 2014
  • A $3,000 grant to cover needed expenses throughout the rest of 2014
  • An invitation to matchplay/wildcard playoff camps prior to the Sacramento Challenger and US Open qualifying/main draw
Priority 2:
  • Coaching including all USTA Pro Circuit events over the course of the summer
  • A $2,000-3,000 grant to cover expenses throughout the rest of 2014 (Top 5: $3,000; Top 6-10 $2,000)
  • An invitation to matchplay/wildcard playoff camps prior to the Sacramento Challenger and US Open qualifying/main draw
Priority 3:
  • Coaching including all USTA Pro Circuit events over the course of the summer
Lastly, there will be NO applications this year for players and coaches to fill out; no need to stress about those.  Everyone will be considered eligible and we will be contacting coaches and players in regards to the grants as soon as the ITA Final Singles Rankings come out.  Only the top 10 Americans will be eligible for grants; we will not go down the list if a player declines.

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