Benjamin announces retirement from ITA

January 12, 2015

SKILLMAN, NJ — David A. Benjamin, Executive Director and CEO of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), has announced his retirement effective this July. A search committee has been formed and an executive search firm will assist in the hiring process for his successor, with more detailed information to be made available soon.

Benjamin’s tenure at the ITA began in 1979, when he was elected president of the ITA while serving as the Director of Tennis and Head Men’s Tennis Coach at Princeton University (and also chairing the NCAA Tennis Committee). In his 26-year coaching career at Princeton, Benjamin guided seven Princeton teams to Eastern College Athletic Conference titles (with three of his teams achieving year-end ITA national rankings among the top ten in the country), and finished with an overall coaching record of 339-150, with an Ivy League record of 178-44.

In 1981 Benjamin was re-elected president of the ITA, and also appointed as its Executive Director. Under his leadership, the ITA has expanded from an association of less than 80 NCAA Men’s Division I coaches to a not-for-profit organization that includes more than 1,500 men’s and women’s varsity coaches and close to 20,000 varsity student-athletes from over 1,200 NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, and junior/community colleges.

The governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA oversees the activities of all men and women collegiate varsity players, including national and regional tennis competitions, singles, doubles and team rankings, a comprehensive awards program, an annual Coaches Convention, and a wide variety of other activities.

An allied institution of the NCAA, the ITA also enjoys a significant partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), and, in addition, works closely with the USPTA and the PTR, as well as interacting with the WTA, the ATP and WTT. Benjamin has also helped foster significant corporate sponsorship with a wide variety of companies within and outside the tennis industry, including, among others: Rolex Watch USA; Campbell Soup; Volvo; Wilson Sporting Goods; DuPont; Omni Hotels; Adidas; Fila; Nike; Head and Reebok.

Benjamin’s tennis playing days were spent at Harvard University, where he finished his career by captaining the Crimson to an undefeated season and the Ivy League title. A Phi Beta Kappa, he graduated from Harvard magna cum laude in 1966 and was awarded the Harvard/Charles Henry Fiske Fellowship for study at Trinity College in Cambridge, England. Benjamin received an honors bachelor’s and master’s degree in English in 1968 from Cambridge University, and in 1977 received a doctoral degree in American Studies from Harvard University. Benjamin also taught American History and Literature at both Harvard and Princeton.

In 1979, Benjamin wrote Competitive Tennis: A Guide for Parents and Young Players, published by J.B. Lippincott, and in 1989 he edited The ITCA Guide to Coaching Winning Tennis, published by Prentice-Hall. Benjamin has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards for his accomplishments as coach and executive. In 2000, Benjamin was inducted into the Mercer County Tennis Council’s Hall of Fame as well as the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. In 2001 he received the prestigious Educational Merit Award from the USTA. In 2006 he was inducted into the USTA Middle States Tennis Hall of Fame alongside Billie Jean King, and in 2011, Benjamin was honored with the USTA’s President’s Award. Plans to honor Benjamin this spring for his service to the ITA and college tennis are being discussed and will be announced once finalized.