Team USA honors renowned coaches

April 7, 2015

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Legendary tennis coaches Jimmy Evert, Dennis Van Der Meer and John Wilkerson were honored as Team USA Coaching Legends at the second annual Team USA Coaching Awards reception held Monday at the ASICS Easter Bowl junior tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif. Lynn Nabors-McNally, coach and mother of 2014 USTA National Champions John and Caty McNally, was recognized as the 2014 Team USA Developmental Coach of the Year, and the Tucker Tennis Academy in Tulsa, Okla., was named the 2014 Team USA Developmental Program of the Year at the awards reception, part of USTA Player Development’s Team USA initiative to work collaboratively with developmental coaches and programs across America.

“Jimmy, Dennis and John have been synonymous with coaching excellence for decades, and we’re honored to be able to recognize them as Team USA Coaching Legends,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Patrick McEnroe. “On top of that, Lynn and the team at the Tucker Tennis Academy have done outstanding work this past year and deserve to be acknowledged for setting such a high standard for coaching success.”

Nabors-McNally is a renowned junior coach in Cincinnati who produced – in every sense of the term – two 2014 USTA National Champions. Her son, John, swept the Boys’ 16s National Championships’ singles and doubles titles at Kalamazoo, Mich., capping a year in which he also won the Boys’ 16s singles titles at the USTA National Clay Court Championships, Easter Bowl and International Spring Championships, on top of competing for the U.S. Junior Davis Cup Team. Meanwhile, her daughter, Caty, swept the Girls’ 14s National Championships’ singles and doubles titles and ended the year ranked No. 1 in the USTA Girls’ 14s national rankings. Nabors-McNally, a member of the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame who played at Northwestern University and on the pro tour, coaches out of The Club at Harper’s Point and is also the coach of the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

The Tucker Tennis Academy owned and operated by Trent Tucker out of The Grand Health & Racquet Club in Tulsa, Okla., had an outstanding 2014, with successful performances at both the national and international levels. TTA players brought home nine Gold, Silver and Bronze Balls from Level 1 National tournaments. Olivia Hauger began 2014 with a run to the junior girls’ quarterfinals at the Australian Open in Melbourne, defeating the No. 1 seed and bearing the standard for American juniors. In early 2015, Nathan Han made a splash at the Junior International Teen Tennis event in England – reaching the doubles final and singles semifinals – and followed that up with a quarterfinal doubles result at Les Petit As in France. At this winter’s USTA Winter National Championships, Tucker Tennis Academy, a USTA Regional Training Center, produced the Boys’ 18s singles champion (William Genesen) and third-place finisher (Zeke Clark), the Girls’ 16s singles champion (Morgan Coppoc) and a Boys’ 14s singles semifinalist and doubles finalist (Nathan Han).

Jimmy Evert is most famously known as the father of 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert but is equally regarded for his humility and lifelong devotion to the game. A Chicago native who played at Notre Dame, Evert made his permanent home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he was the city’s tennis director for 49 years, coaching out of the renowned Holiday Park tennis center that now bears his name. In addition to his five children, Evert coached world-class players such as Jennifer Capriati, Harold Solomon and Brian Gottfried.

Heralded as a “teacher of teachers,” Dennis Van Der Meer is the founder and president of the Van Der Meer Tennis University in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and founder and president/chairman emeritus of the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR). Known worldwide for his innovative teaching techniques, Van Der Meer has been inducted into many Halls of Fame, including Southern and NorCal. He has been a keynote speaker at the USTA’s Tennis Teacher’s Conference from its inception and hosted the very first Player Development event, Total Tennis Training, in 1985 at his Academy in Hilton Head. Dennis has received numerous coaching and teaching awards, including being named Olympic Developmental Coach of the Year in 1997, and was awarded an honorary doctorate for his contributions to the development of sports sciences in tennis from the University of Greenwich, England. Coach of both Margaret Court and Billie Jean King for the “Battle of the Sexes,” Van Der Meer became one of the first registered coaches of both the ATP and WTA tours. He has coached hundreds of nationally and internationally ranked professional and junior players throughout his long career.

John Wilkerson is the Houston-based tennis professional who discovered both Zina Garrison and Lori McNeil and groomed them into international tennis stars, coaching them both into the Top 10 and guiding Garrison to the world No. 1 junior ranking in 1981. Once a nationally ranked player himself and a 2002 Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee, Wilkerson has continued to coach and develop young players- with an emphasis on having deliberate focus, dedication and intensity – as the Managing Director of the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy in Houston.