ITA's David Benjamin Announces Retirement; Easter Bowl Dates Revamped for 2015; Krueger, Lindell Win Pro Circuit Titles
David Benjamin, the longtime executive director of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, has announced his retirement, effective July 2015. Benjamin has been with the organization, the governing body of college tennis in the United States, since its inception in 1979. At that time he was men's tennis coach and director of tennis at Princeton; he became the ITA's executive director in 1981 and has served in that position ever since, overseeing its growth from 80 Division I members to 1500 from all levels of the collegiate game.
The ITA's release mentions the formation of a search committee, which will be receiving assistance from an executive search firm. This is obviously a huge change for the organization, which has the difficult task of replacing the decades of knowledge and wealth of relationships Benjamin possessed. His love of and appreciation for the college game will be even more difficult to equal. The search committee has its work cut out for it.
The complete ITA release can be found here.
I've just been notified by Asics Easter Bowl media assistant Steve Pratt that the tournament's dates this year have been adjusted, with an eye toward avoiding the hotel room crunch caused by the Coachella music festival on the final weekend. Although the ITF tournament dates will remain from Monday April 6 through Sunday April 12, the 12s and 14s will start their tournament on Saturday April 4 and finish on Wednesday April 8. The 16s will start on Monday April 6 and finish on Friday April 10. This is obviously an improvement on last year's schedule, which had all eight divisions finishing on Sunday. The issue of expensive/unavailable hotel rooms remains for the some of the 16s and the 18s, but it's obviously a step in the right direction. For more information, and a link to the TennisLink site, see easterbowl.com.
To wrap up last week's two men's Futures events, Mitchell Krueger won the $15,000 tournament in Los Angeles last night. The No. 8 seed, who celebrates his 21st birthday today, beat No. 3 seed Jason Jung 6-1, 6-2 in the second match of the day for both players. It is Krueger's second Futures title after losing all six finals he reached at that level in 2014. Krueger and Jung discuss their long day with Steve Pratt in this article.
Baylor junior Julian Lenz and top seed Christian Lindell had to wait until this morning to finish their final at the $10,000 Futures in Plantation. Tied at 3-3 when Sunday's match suspended, the resumption saw the score go to 5-5 before Lindell claimed the final eight games of the match for a 7-5, 6-0 victory. Lenz is still seeking his first Futures title after the loss.