The New York Times broke the news late this afternoon that Patrick McEnroe would not continue in his position as General Manager of Player Development.
Although the USTA had hoped to announce this after the completion of the Open, the Times' report led to a hastily called news conference Wednesday evening, with USTA chairman, CEO and president David Haggerty, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Gordon Smith and McEnroe all speaking and answering questions.
The reason given for McEnroe's exit centered on his reluctance to move to Lake Nona, Florida, where the USTA will be building a huge new complex. USTA Player Development will be headquartered there, moving from its current site in Boca Raton, Florida. McEnroe never moved to Boca Raton, so why that is suddenly part of the job description is unknown, but it has been rumored for months that he was in trouble as new lows for US men's tennis began to mount.
McEnroe will stay on to help in the search for a replacement and to provide advice to his successor, but a time frame for that has not been established. Several names have surfaced, with Davis Cup captain Jim Courier's the most plausible, but many others will no doubt be considered. From the comments McEnroe made when asked about Jose Higueras' role (near the end of the transcript), it doesn't sound like he will be among those candidates. But Smith did say, when I asked about the status of Higueras, Jay Berger and Ola Malmqvist (I'm not sure how Jorge got in question). "We don't see changes in what we're doing or who's doing it."
The Times' article, which has been revised to include quotes from the press conference, is here. The Wall Street Journal also has published an extensive look at what might have led to the change at the top of Player Development.
The complete transcript from the press conference is available here.
Once I've returned from covering the Junior Championships here in New York, I will post my thoughts on Player Development and what direction I would like to see it to take now. I welcome your thoughts in the comments section. What do you think are the most important qualities for the General Manager of Player Development? Who would you like to see fill that role? What has gone right during McEnroe's tenure? What are some of the mistakes you think he has made in his six plus years at the USTA?