USTA Player Development boosts Staff

April 15, 2010

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA announced today that Lee Hurst has been hired as a USTA National Coach, while Bret Waltz and Ryan Curtis have been hired as Strength and Conditioning Specialists. Hurst will facilitate coaching and training programs while working with players in the USTA Player Development program. He will be based at the USTA Training Center-East at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., and will report to Jay Berger and Ola Malmqvist, the Heads of Men’s and Women’s Tennis for USTA Player Development. Hurst started on Monday, March 29.

Waltz and Curtis will help facilitate strength and conditioning activities for players in the USTA Player Development program at their respective locations; Waltz will be based at the USTA Training Center-East, while Curtis will work at the USTA Training Center-West in Carson, Calif. They both will report to Satoshi Ochi, Strength and Conditioning Coach, USTA Player Development. Waltz joined the staff on Monday, March 29, while Curtis assumed his duties on April 1.

“Lee, Bret and Ryan will make for strong additions to our staff,” said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development. “Lee brings over 20 years of coaching experience during which he’s worked with a number of top junior players from all over the world, and Bret and Ryan are both experienced trainers who will help keep our young players as fit and as healthy as possible, and continue to instill in our young players the importance of fitness.”

Hurst, 39, of Southampton, U.K., has served as a professional coach for 20 years and joins the USTA following a five year stint as founder and director of 360 Tennis in northern New Jersey, where he worked with a number of top junior players including 2008 US Open qualifier Kristie Ahn. Working out of clubs in both New Jersey and Florida, Hurst has also traveled to tournaments worldwide with a number of touring professionals. During his playing career, Hurst played German Club tennis and participated in professional events across the U.S., Europe and Africa.

Waltz, 31, joins the USTA from Overland Park, Kan., where he worked as both a physical therapist at The Inside Sports Clinic, and Sports Performance Director of the Overland Park Racquet Club. He has experience diagnosing and treating orthopedic injuries, and also has a history of developing and implementing training programs designed to enhance physical performance. Waltz earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Miami.

Curtis, 26, comes to the USTA from Pensacola, Fla., where he worked as an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Aviation Training group. Curtis coordinated and administered a comprehensive Sports Medicine/Injury Prevention program designed to decrease attrition and loss of physical training days for enlisted Marines, and also implemented a number of injury prevention activities in consultation with Marine instructors. Previously, Curtis served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the football team at Kansas State University, where he earned a Master’s degree in Kinesiology.

The USTA Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American champions by surrounding the top junior players and young pros with the resources, facilities and coaching they need to reach their maximum potential. The Player Development program is based at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., and also utilizes the USTA Training Center-West in Carson, Calif., and the USTA Training Center-East in Flushing, N.Y. In 2008, the USTA began implementing its Certified Regional Training Center program as part of its expanded efforts to develop future American tennis champions, which will expand the USTA Player Development program’s reach throughout the country by partnering with academies, clubs and tennis centers that have a proven record of identifying and developing tennis players. The USTA expects to name approximately fifteen Certified Regional Training Centers over the next five years.