Former Gustavus Coach Wilkinson to Receive International Tennis Hall of Fame's Tennis Educational Merit Award

Former Gustavus Coach Wilkinson to Receive International
Tennis Hall of Fame's Tennis Educational Merit Award

Gustavus_Adolphus_sm
Courtesy: International Tennis Hall of Fame

NEWPORT, RI - The International Tennis Hall of Fame will present the 2009 Tennis Educational Merit Award on March 20. Dr. Steve Wilkinson of St. Peter, Minn. and Dr. W. Ben Kibler of Lexington, Ky. will receive the Tennis Educational Merit Award. 
 
"We are very pleased to recognize these individuals who have made such great contributions to tennis over the years," said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. "Very much in the spirit of Samuel Hardy, Jane has donated countless hours toward the growth of the sport through her leadership within the USTA, the Hall of Fame and other industry organizations. Dr. Wilkinson has had a positive influence on hundreds of student-athletes over the years and Dr. Kibler's efforts in the medical area have proved vital to so many athletes. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is proud to honor the work of these three remarkable individuals."
 
Dr. Steve Wilkinson, Ph.D. took over the Gustavus College tennis program in 1970. His teams compiled a 334-1 record in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Conference and 929 wins overall, the most victories in the history of collegiate men's tennis. Wilkinson's squads have won two NCAA Division III and four ITA national indoor team titles. Recognized as one of the most prominent coaches in collegiate tennis history, Wilkinson has been involved in numerous national tennis organizations having served on the executive committees of the United States Professional Tennis Association and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and on national committees of the United States Tennis Association. He was inducted into the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame in 1974, the Northern Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 1983, and the United States Tennis Association Missouri Valley Hall of Fame in 1999. In the summers, Wilkinson and his wife, Barbara, run the Tennis and Life Camps on the Gustavus campus. The Tennis and Life camps are considered to be among the finest tennis camps in the country. He played collegiate tennis at the University of Iowa where he finished second in #1 doubles at the Big Ten Championships during his senior season. After college, he played competitive tennis for many years and was ranked #1 in the United States in the 45, 50, 55, and 60 and over divisions. Wilkinson has represented the United States in the Dubler Cup, Perry Cup, and Austria Cup competition winning the world championship in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1989 and finishing second in Berlin, Germany in 1992. Wilkinson earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He previously taught world religions at Gustavus and currently teaches sport ethics.
  
For more information regarding the Tennis Educational Merit Award, and for information regarding the nomination process, please contact the International Tennis Hall of Fame at 401-849-3990.

About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was recognized as the sport's official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at 
www.tennisfame.com.

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