ITA Announces Sixteen USTA Multicultural Grants Recipients

ITA Announces Sixteen USTA Multicultural Grants Recipients
Coaches Receive Assistance to Attend 2012 ITA Coaches Convention

SKILLMAN, NJ (Nov. 29) -- The Intercollegiate Tennis Association and United States Tennis Association are proud to announce the 16 recipients of the 2012 USTA Multicultural Grants. These $1,000 grants will assist these coaches in covering the cost of attendance at the ITA Coaches Convention, held at the Waldorf Astoria in Naples, Florida Dec. 15-18.

While in Naples, the group of beneficiaries will participate in a series of clinics and events to assist them in their profession, including the Multicultural Coaching Education Symposium presented by USTA Player Development.  This training session will provide college coaches with insight into the teaching and coaching philosophy of USTA National Coaches, while also serving as a forum for strategies to increase the number of multicultural tennis coaches and players.

The 2012 USTA Multicultural Grant recipients are:

  • Terry Alexander, Morehouse College
  • Tayo Bailey, Butler University
  • Andre Ferreira, Brenau University
  • Rochelle Nikki Goldthreate, Florida A&M University
  • Tanyaradzwa Gombera, The University of North Dakota
  • Sean Holcomb-Jones, Morgan State University
  • Curtis Lawson, North Carolina Central University
  • Chi Ly, Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Jose D. Martinez, Warner University
  • Ximena Moore, Huntingdon College
  • Eduardo A. Rincon, University of Arkansas
  • Charlotte Scatliffe, University of the Pacific
  • Patrick Sullivan, University of Houston
  • Carl Lynn Summerlin, Sr., Long Island University Post
  • Autumn Williams, Clark Atlanta University
  • Jami Yonekura-Jones, San Diego City College

Among the honorees are African American, Hispanic American and Asian American coaches of teams competing in NCAA Division I, II and III, as well as NAIA and JUCO. First-year and veteran head coaches, in addition to one assistant coach, were selected as recipients.

In asking coaches how attending the ITA Convention, through the help of this grant program, would benefit them, some felt it would be a great networking opportunity while others looked forward to participating in clinics to grow their skills and knowledge as a coach.  Each coach had the following to share.

Alexander, T

Alexander:  “The ITA Convention will allow me to gain knowledge and techniques in various aspects of coaching through collaborative conversation with my coaching peers and athletic administrators. More importantly it will allow me to follow up and follow through with the efforts that last year's multicultural entity started, and continue to build upon what was started. It allows me to gain information and participate in this peer event that otherwise my institution would be unable to afford to send me to.”

Bailey, T

Bailey:  “Attending the ITA Convention could be very beneficial to the future of my college coaching career. I have just begun my first season as head women’s tennis coach at Butler University; it has been a long time dream of mine to come back to my alma mater and lead as the head coach.  As a former student-athlete and USTA pro-circuit player I understand what it takes to become a great tennis player but now I am looking to learn more about what it takes to create a great tennis player.”


Ferreira:  “As a young tennis coach and tennis professional, I am hungry for opportunities to meet other college coaches, learn about our industry, the trends, as well as the current issues, challenges and topics of discussion. I am now ready to step up to the next level, and attend the ITA convention in Florida, where I will have the chance to personally meet, learn and interact with these mentors, while sharing my experiences and struggles with one another.”


Goldthreate:  “The couple of times that I have gone to Convention, I have come back with new and innovative ways to help my team to improve both mentally and physically with the clinics, panel discussions and the trade shows that is provided at the convention. Also, having the time to talk to other coaches about how they run their practices, recruiting methods, and help with team concepts in an individual sport helps out tremendously in the development of me becoming a better coach.”


Gombera:   “The ITA Convention gives me a chance to meet some of the best coaches in country and I would learn how these coaches develop successful programs, how they recruit, how they run drills and conditioning in practice.  I will also learn on how to overcome some important issues that coaches face. I believe that attending the ITA Convention will be beneficial in my career in that it will help me become a better coach and will lead me in the right path of  winning a national championship.”

Jones, Sean

Holcomb-Jones:  “With our school being located in an urban community, it is paramount that our facility be top notch to be able to attract and be a location hub for outreach to the greater community at large. The ITA conference will allow me to brainstorm and create new innovative urban initiatives for our school and the Baltimore City community around us.”


Lawson:  “As a collegiate coach, attending the ITA Coaches Convention is the pinnacle of Professional development and thus a commitment to excellence. The benefits of me attending the conference are numerous but in short range from increasing my knowledge base, having positive interfaces with peers from all divisional levels and remaining current on industry updates (equipment/supplies/gear and training tips). As a result, not only do I benefit from the experience but my players, staff and community benefit as well.”

Ly, Chi

Ly:  “The ITA Coaches Convention has been very beneficial for me because it has not only provided me the opportunity in collecting more resources, drills, and teaching methods from the workshops that I have attended, but I found most beneficial the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other coaches.  Although the workshops are very valuable as we all are continuing to learn and develop our knowledge of the game, I find that I learn the most from the opportunity in hearing other coaches sharing with each other ways to improve the game and ways to make impact our players' lives.”


Martinez:   “I'm still a very young coach and would really benefit from the opportunity to attend this venue.  My limited knowledge I hold in tennis has all been self-taught, I've only had one professional lesson in my entire life due to my family’s financial situation.  It would be a great honor to be able to attend this event and expand my knowledge from the top tennis minds in the country.”


Moore:  “I absolutely love to be around so many amazing coaches and speakers. After I attend the Convention, I leave energized, I am empowered to do so many new things at my job, and enjoy the opportunity to help my players with new teaching concepts learned at the Convention.”


Rincon:  “Last year I attended the Convention mostly because of the Multicultural Coaches Symposium, and I can say that I’m a better coach now because of it.  I particularly enjoyed learning from the USTA crew about their player development approach to tennis and also their different coaching philosophies and principles.”


Scatiffe:  “I am in my in my second month of head coaching.  I am the women’s head tennis coach at the University of Pacific in Stockton, California. This position came my way a lot earlier in my life than I ever expected, and I am thrilled!  Nevertheless, my age and my college tennis history leave me eager and hungry for more guidance and mentors in this field.”


Sullivan:  “Attending the Convention is a huge privilege as well as a great learning experience. The ITA does a wonderful job of bringing in top-notch speakers and presenters covering nearly every aspect of college coaching. I really enjoy being part of the discussions about where the college game is headed and what we can do to help get it there.”


Summerlin:  “This is my second year of coaching tennis and I am still learning the nuances of Division II coaching. Attending this convention would allow me to network with other coaches and attend helpful seminars. Participating in group settings allows a variety of information to be passed and disseminated which would allow me to enhance my program.”


Williams:  “After attending the ITA Coaches Convention for the first time last year, the experience enhanced my knowledge of ITA Tennis, coaching, recruiting and my professional network. It was one of the best experiences I've had at a conference. I feel it is beneficial to attend these events so that I am constantly improving as a coach and working professional. This grant will afford me the chance to gain more knowledge and set new goals for the 2012-2013 season.”


Yonekura-Jones:  “This is my first year as the Head Women's Tennis Coach at San Diego City College in San Diego, California. From 1993-1997 I was the Head Women's Tennis Coach at Long Beach State University in Long Beach, California. I attended the ITA Convention in 1993 and I found it to be educational and an excellent opportunity to interact with and learn from collegiate coaches from all divisions and areas of the country. Although I have been active in the tennis community over the past few years, I feel that attending the ITA Convention would help me to jump-start my career again.”

An annual event since 1985, the ITA Coaches Convention is one of the best professional development opportunities for collegiate tennis coaches today. Nearly 300 men's and women's college tennis coaches at all levels gather each year for the four-day Convention, highlighted by some of the most influential people in the sport of tennis.

In addition to offering clinics, panel discussions, an awards banquet, a trade show and a chance to exchange ideas, the ITA Coaches Convention serves as the venue for the association's annual meetings, which includes Board of Directors, Operating Committee and Roundtable sessions.

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