ITHF to present Awards on March 20

March 18, 2010

NEWPORT, R.I. — The International Tennis Hall of Fame will present the 2009 Samuel Hardy and Tennis Educational Merit Awards on March 20 during the International Tennis Hall of Fame Annual Awards Luncheon. The luncheon will be held at the InterContinental Dallas in conjunction with the United States Tennis Association’s Annual Meeting. Jane Brown Grimes of Chadds Ford, Penn. will receive the prestigious Samuel Hardy Award. 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.”

The Samuel Hardy Award is presented annually by the International Tennis Hall of Fame to a volunteer of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in recognition of long and outstanding service to the sport of tennis. The award was established in 1953 in memory of Hardy, who served on various USTA committees in his lifetime. The award was established to honor USTA volunteers who exemplify Hardy’s dedication and loyalty to the sport of tennis. The Tennis Educational Merit award is given annually to individual(s) who are United States citizens and 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.

Jane Brown Grimes served as Chairman of the Board and President of the USTA from January 2007 through December 2008, following terms as Secretary, Treasurer and First Vice President. She is currently a member of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Fed Cup Committee, having previously served on the ITF Junior Competitions Committee, Rules Committee and the Grand Slam Committee. In 1977, she opened the New York office of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and became the Hall of Fame’s Executive Director in 1981. During this time, she served as the Tournament Director for both ATP and WTA Tour events held at the Hall of Fame. Grimes served with the International Tennis Hall of Fame until 1986, when she became the Managing Director of the Women’s Tennis Council and presided over an unprecedented period of growth in women’s professional tennis. She returned to the Hall of Fame as the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer in 1991 and served until 2000, during which time she oversaw a major reconstruction of the historic buildings and grounds of the Hall of Fame’s headquarters in Newport, Rhode Island. She currently serves the Hall of Fame as President Emerita. The WTA Tour presented Grimes with the David Gray Special Service Award in 1991 for outstanding contributions to the Tour. Grimes is a member of the Board of Directors of USTA Serves and is Chairman of the Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association, an inner-city grassroots program located in Wilmington, Del. She is also a board member of the Brandywine Conservancy and the Provident Loan Society of New York.

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.

Dr. W. Ben Kibler is the Medical Director for Lexington Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Lexington, Ky. and is a long-time member of the USTA National Sport Science Committee. Kibler currently serves as a medical consultant for the PTR and the WTA. Kibler is also a founding member of the Society of Tennis Medicine and Science, as well as a fellow and former vice-president of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is a team physician for numerous professional teams, colleges, and high schools in the Lexington area. Kibler has presented and written prolifically on all areas of sports medicine, but specializes in the upper extremity, shoulder pathology, scapula, and biomechanics of tennis and is known worldwide as an expert in shoulder mechanics and injury. Kibler attended medical school and completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. and has been affiliated with Lexington Clinic since July 1977.

For more information regarding the Samuel Hardy Award and the Tennis Educational Merit Award, and for information regarding the nomination process, please contact the International Tennis Hall of Fame at 401-849-3990.