The ITA has been proudly serving the collegiate tennis community for 54 years. The inaugural meeting of the National Collegiate Tennis Coaches Association was called to order by the J.D. Morgan on June 26, 1956, at the NCAA Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Morgan, the athletic director and former tennis coach at UCLA, was the prime mover in establishing the coaches’ organization and served as its president for the first four years. That original group, consisting of fewer than 20 coaches of men’s NCAA Division I schools, has grown into today’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association, which features over 1,500 coach members, 15,000 collegiate tennis players members and encompassing more than 1,000 college tennis programs. Included in the current membership are women’s and men’s head and assistant coaches at the NCAA Divisions I, II, III and NAIA and Junior/Community College schools (13 different men’s and women’s divisions). The ITA also has parent, junior player, corporate, alumni, federation, and associate members.
The ITA, which was known as the Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches Association from 1958 until July, 1992, received its first significant contribution in 1957, when Wheaties gave $1,000 for sponsorship of the All-America Team. Thirty years later the ITA was receiving major sponsorship funding from a variety of corporations within and without the tennis industry, including: Rolex Watch, U.S.A., Volvo Corporation of America, Dupont, Wilson Sporting Goods, Reebok, Fila, Polo Ralph Lauren and Omni Hotels.
Originally, the association served mainly as a vehicle for expressing the wishes of men’s Division I coaches to the NCAA, lately in the form of recommendations for the conduct of the NCAA Championships. Most of the ITA’s current activities, from the sponsorship of nine national championships, the sanctioning of over 150 collegiate tournaments for teams, singles and doubles, and the awarding of an extraordinary range of honors for coaches and players – did not begin until the end of the 1970s. At that time, the ITCA first incorporated as an official non-profit association, restructured its bylaws and constitution, and expanded its membership to women’s collegiate tennis, as well as the NAIA, Junior College and Community College institutions. David A Benjamin, Director of Tennis and men’s tennis coach at Princeton University from 1974-2000, served two terms as president (1979-83) before assuming the role of Executive Director of the ITA, a position he still holds. The sponsorship that Benjamin has attracted for the ITA also allowed for the creation of the ITA Collegiate Grand Slam, a series of four national singles and doubles champions for men and women on three different surfaces.
Through the ITA Intercollegiate Program, over 5,000 players at ITA-member schools participate in 80+ ITA Regional Championships, which culminate in the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships for NCAA Division I and the ITA National Small College Championships.
The ITA Office is located in Skillman, N.J. In 2000, the ITA moved its headquarters to the greater Princeton area after 16 years at the Lenz Tennis Center on the Princeton University campus.