USTA/ITA Campus & Community Awards

2014 Campus and Community award scroll

Jasper, Roditi win
USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award
New Mexico, TCU coaches also among six Sectional Winners

SKILLMAN, NJ (Nov. 26) -- The Intercollegiate Tennis Association and United States Tennis Association have named head coaches Erica Perkins Jasper and David Roditi recipients of the 2014 USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award, one of college tennis’ most esteemed awards.

Jasper, of the University of New Mexico, and Roditi, of Texas Christian University, will travel to the 2014 ITA Coaches Convention at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples, Florida, where they will be presented with their awards during the ITA Membership and Awards Banquet on Sunday, December 14.

The USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award is presented each year to one men’s and one women’s college coach who provides a leadership role in promoting tennis participation throughout his or her campus and local communities. Among the USTA/ITA partner programs available to assist coaches in giving back are Campus Kids' Days, Kids 10 & Under, Campus Showdowns and Tennis On Campus.

After being named New Mexico’s women’s head coach in 2012, Jasper improved the Lobos from a 7-15 record in her first year to 17-8 in her second, the most wins in a season for the program since 2004. The 2013 season also saw the first appearance for the Lobos in the Mountain West Conference championship since 2004.

The Lobos’ quick turnaround on the court is no surprise to those who know Jasper. At each of her previous coaching stops- Georgia Southern and Michigan State as head coach, William & Mary as assistant coach- Jasper’s teams excelled both on and off the court. In just six seasons of head coaching, more than two dozen of Jasper’s players have been named ITA Scholar-Athletes. In Albuquerque, the trend continues; her 2013-14 roster compiled a cumulative 3.61 GPA, with seven players achieving ITA Scholar-Athlete honors.

The Lobos’ successes on the court and in the classroom have amplified the team’s reach into the community. Jasper and her players host Kids 10 & Under and adult clinics throughout the school year, and annually host a USTA/ITA Campus Kids’ Day, a program Jasper helped create when she worked for USTA Player Development in Boca Raton, Florida from 2008 to 2012. “I was working with USTA Player Development when we worked in conjunction with the ITA to develop the concept of Campus Kids’ Day,” said Jasper. “So it was really fun for me to be able to get in on the ground level and actually host one at New Mexico.”

Jasper knows that volunteering is made easy when the players approach it with enthusiasm. “One thing I really like about my team and my players is they’re always willing to work in these volunteer opportunities and to give back,” Jasper said. “They just enjoy spending time with each other and working hard.”

“It doesn’t matter if we’re setting up for an event or running a clinic, or signing autographs for the kids, whatever it may be,” she said. “My players make volunteering and giving back to the community a lot more fun for all of us.”

Each fall semester, Jasper’s team volunteers in a larger, non-tennis event. In 2012, the Lobos helped with the setup and joined in the Walk to Defeat ALS® in Albuquerque, raising money to fight the degenerative brain disease. This year, Jasper’s team was involved with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®, raising money for the fight against breast cancer. “As women, it was really important to give back to that event,” said Jasper. “It’s really good to be aware of the number of women that are affected by breast cancer and the number of families affected.”

Being visible in the community has helped the Lobos build local connections. “It’s a great way to get people excited about college tennis and about our program when they see us out there,” said Jasper. “These are unbelievable mentoring opportunities, chances for our players to connect with women in the community who are successful business people, successful in their careers and great role models.”

“I give a lot of credit to my assistant coach Kelsey McKenna,” Jasper said. “She really worked to set up that volunteering opportunity for our team, and our players really did a fantastic job.”

Behind every successful coach is a strong network of supporters, from assistant coaches to athletic department staff. Tim Cass, a former head coach of the University of New Mexico men’s tennis team and currently the athletic department’s Chief Operations Officer, knows firsthand how deserving Jasper is to receive the honor. “Erica is a very deserving recipient for the ITA’s Campus and Community Outreach Award,” Cass said. “She works tirelessly to promote the game of tennis locally and nationally, and has had an incredible impact on our campus and local community. We are very proud of all of her efforts.”

Across state lines in Fort Worth, Texas is Jasper’s fellow recipient of the award, TCU men’s head tennis coach David Roditi. Roditi has the respect of his peers. “Both David and Erica are deserving winners,” said New Mexico’s Cass. “I know David well and I have been very impressed by his work ethic and determination to growing the game. He is a relentless promoter of the sport.”

A three-time ITA All-American tennis player at TCU in the 1990’s, Roditi returned to his alma mater as head coach in 2010. From 2005 to 2010, Roditi was the Lead National Coach of the USTA Training Center in Carson, California.

Like Jasper’s efforts in the community, Roditi’s promotion of TCU tennis extends from the youth level to adult level. Roditi and his players host a USTA/ITA Campus Kids’ Day each spring in conjunction with a big home match, and each year they offer a different giveaway. In 2012, they gave away backpacks and in 2013 they gave t-shirts to the more than 350 fans that attended. The voluminous crowds attending TCU home matches propelled the Horned Frogs to two-straight ITA Attendance Race titles, both won by substantial margins. It is all part of Roditi’s plan to introduce the most exciting form of tennis- college tennis, in Roditi’s eyes- to as many young people and adults in the community.

“We basically said, ‘Forget about the tennis match, let’s make it an event,’” Roditi said of his home match strategy. “What does an event have? It has a lot of energy, it has music, it has different people involved, it has prizes, and it has contests.”

“We believe that college tennis is just so exciting, it’s fun, there’s so much energy out there, that getting the kids to watch it could be a huge influence for them to continue to play tennis,” Roditi said. “That’s the ultimate goal- to grow our sport and introduce as many young kids to our sport.”

TCU regularly hosts USTA/ITA Campus Kids’ Days and USTA/ITA Campus Showdowns, attracting junior players to its facilities. TCU players give free weekly clinics to members of the community, including to high schools. “All the high schools come and my players go out there with a smile and make those high school kids feel very special,” Roditi said. His players are embarking on a new initiative this coming spring: teaching tennis to senior citizens in the Fort Worth area.

“This year our new outreach program is going to involve senior citizens of lower income parts of town. That’s the new group that we want to welcome and invite,” Roditi said. “We’re going to senior centers and using USTA 10 & Under equipment to let those seniors play, get them doing a little exercise, making friends. They’ll come out to our matches, we get them involved, meet our players.”

The matches are a spectacle, and will be even more so when the Big 12 Conference enacts its new crowd rules this year. Tennis has long been a sport of courteous fan etiquette but at Big 12 matches this year fans are allowed to let loose as if it were a basketball game, and can cheer during points and attempt to rattle opponents. “They can scream and yell like they do in basketball, just like when somebody is shooting a free throw,” said Roditi. “We just want to make it more of a college atmosphere and make it more exciting, and let the crowd be a bigger part of the event.” TCU’s home court advantage, already with the best attendance in college tennis, will become an even more potent asset to Horned Frog players.

With the help of TCU’s marketing department and a committee of TCU tennis lovers called “Keep it in the Purple” (TCU’s tennis courts are purple, the school’s color), Roditi has extended his match day outreach to include theme days: Family Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter Egg Hunts, International Student Day, and Alcohol Awareness Day are just a few home match themes TCU tennis has sponsored in recent seasons. Roditi invites the Greek sororities and fraternities to convey the themes through decorations, refreshments, costumes and more. Cheerleaders throw t-shirts to the crowd and fans interact on a “Prize Court” in between singles and doubles matches. “Our marketing department is awesome,” said Roditi. “They work really hard supporting us, supporting our crazy ideas. It’s been a five-year process of reaching out to as many demographics and groups of people as we possibly can.”

Roditi was flattered to receive the USTA/ITA Campus & Community Outreach Award but is more excited to share it with his support staff and athletic administration. “It’s always nice to be recognized. We worked really hard. At times I even felt guilty spending so much time promoting the matches, instead of recruiting,” Roditi said. “But I just think there’s a bigger picture out there about college athletics.”

“I do believe our committee and our marketing department deserve this award more than I do,” he said. “I might be the face of it but they’re definitely the ones doing all the work and giving their support, staying out there from beginning to end, and their enthusiasm. It’s been really fun.”

Within the TCU athletic department, the respect is mutual. “David Roditi is an incredible college tennis coach who goes above and beyond the role of simply coaching his student-athletes,” said Jackie Torda, TCU’s Assistant Director of Marketing. “David cares just as much about encouraging, supporting and being a champion of college tennis as he does developing his players. His enthusiasm for college tennis is contagious and invigorating.”

Jasper and Roditi were selected from a group of USTA Sectional winners that included coaches of teams across the different divisions. Award applications are open each year to ITA member varsity head and assistant coaches from NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, NAIA and Junior & Community Colleges.

2014 USTA/ITA Sectional Campus & Community Outreach Award Winners
(National winners in bold)

USTA Section

Coach

School

Mid-Atlantic

Teresa Boylan

Sweet Briar College

Missouri Valley

Brian Nelson

Seminole State College

Southern

Glen Hunt Fanelli

University of West Alabama

Southern California

Steve Bickham

Pomona Pitzer Colleges

Southwest

Erica Perkins Jasper

University of New Mexico

Texas

David Roditi

Texas Christian University


 

Past USTA/ITA National Award Recipients

2013
Francie Barragan, Methodist University (Campus & Community Outreach)

Dwayne Hultquist, Florida State University (Campus & Community Outreach)

2012
Peter Wright, University of California, Berkeley (Campus & Community Outreach)
Chuck Willenborg, Johns Hopkins University (QuickStart Provider of the Year)

2011
Claire Pollard, Northwestern University (Campus & Community Outreach)
Matt Meredith, Slippery Rock University (QuickStart Provider of the Year)

2010
Brad Pearce, BYU (Campus & Community Outreach)
Derrick Racine, West Florida (QuickStart Provider of the Year)

2009
Kim Gidley, Air Force (Community Service)
Christine Davis, Smith College (Campus Recreation)

2008
Lisa Hart, Washington State (Community Service)
Bill Macom, Florida Tech (Campus Recreation)

2007
Craig Ward, Ouachita Baptist (Community Service)
Steve Wilkinson, Gustavus Adolphus (Campus Recreation)

2006
Chris Young, Wichita State (Community Service)
Dave Shook, Lehigh (Campus Recreation)

2005
Mike Gennette, California Lutheran (Community Service)
Dee Henry, Biola (Campus Recreation)

2004
J. Webb Horton, Florida Gulf Coast (Community Service)
Kai Fong, Lewis-Clark State (Campus Recreation)

2003
Greg Patton, Boise State (Community Service)
Laura Travis, Delaware (Campus Recreation) 

Award Archive

2013 Release

2012 Release

2011 Release

2010 Release

2009 Release

2008 Release


 


Additional Information
  • Coaches Workspace
  • Players in the Pros
  • ITA Advantage - Member Discounts



  • Subscribe to the ITA Newsletter!
    Email: