Rodney Harmon Receives Tennis Educational Merit Award
Rodney Harmon has distinguished himself both on and off the court and is fully committed to growing the game of tennis. He has been an outstanding role model for developing junior players and is most recognized throughout the country for his coaching and teaching abilities. As the former Director of Men’s Tennis for USTA High-Performance (2002-2008), Harmon directed all aspects of the USTA program from the junior competitive players to the touring professionals. Prior to this position, he served as USTA Director of Multicultural Development and was responsible for developing strategies and implementing initiatives to increase the diversity of national tennis programs in communities across the country, working closely with members of the USTA National Coaching Staff and the seventeen USTA sections.
Working with individual coaches, players and parents, Harmon teaches the importance of physical fitness, off-court training, strategies and mental toughness, in addition to the technical aspects of the game. For the past 20 years, he has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences, symposiums, seminars and workshops nationally and internationally for groups including the USTA, USPTA, PTR and ITA. In addition, he has written various articles for regional and national publications, as well as industry periodicals, Tennis Magazine and Tennis Week.
A former pro player, Harmon was only the second African-American to reach the quarterfinals at the US Open (1982) following in the footsteps of tennis legend Arthur Ashe. (Current ATP World Tour pro James Blake reached this mark in 2005-06.) Harmon was also a three-time ITA All-American (1980, 1982-83) and NCAA Doubles Champion (1980) at the University of Tennessee.
The Tennis Educational Merit Award is given annually to individual(s) who are U.S. citizens that have made notable contributions in the tennis education field at the national level. Award winners have repeatedly demonstrated leadership and creative skills in tennis instruction, writing, organization and promotion of the game of tennis.
Courtesy: International Tennis Hall of Fame