Jean Mills to be Inducted into PTR Hall of Fame
January 31, 2023
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Jean Hughes Mills, a past president of the Professional Tennis Registry, will be inducted into the PTR Hall of Fame at the organization’s upcoming PTR International Tennis Symposium, to be held in Hilton Head Island, S.C., February 6-9.
Mills was the longtime Director of Spa and Tennis at The Polo Club in Boca Raton, Fla., retiring this past November. In 1998, she became the first woman in the world to earn the PTR designation of “International Master Professional,” and a year later became the first woman to serve on the PTR’s Board of Directors. When she served as PTR Executive Director in 1979-1980, she directed the construction of the iconic Van der Meer Tennis Center on Hilton Head Island, a 14-court complex with a clubhouse.
“Jean has been an industry leader in all aspects of tennis and racquet sports and we’re proud to induct her into the PTR Hall of Fame,” says Lynne Rolley, who now serves as the second female Chair of the PTR. “She’s set a high standard for all of us to learn from as the first female PTR President, USTA committee leader, esteemed Director of Racquet Sports and recipient of numerous leadership honors throughout her career. We thank and congratulate Jean for her numerous contributions, her leadership and her friendship and wish her great happiness in her retirement.”
Among Mills’s volunteer activities, she was PTR President from 2009-2012, PTR Secretary from 2000-2009, President of the USTA Florida Foundation from 2005-2018, USTA Florida Section President 1998-2000, a member of the USTA’s Strategic Planning Committee for two years, and the Founder of the Delray Beach Tennis Patrons. She was also a PTR Tester from 1980-2010.
“Jean’s long and honored history in the tennis and racquet sports industry is an inspiration to everyone,” says PTR President & CEO Dan Santorum. “Her dedication to tennis runs deep and crosses all lines. She’s been one of the most successful tennis directors in the country, has contributed her vast experience and expertise to educating and promoting teaching professionals, especially women, has been dedicated to helping players improve and enjoy this sport, and has been a key volunteer in this industry at the local, section and national levels.”
An outstanding junior player and star student-athlete at the University of Alabama, she’s been honored by the USTA Florida Section with the Merit Award in 1982 and received the USTA Service Bowl Award in 2002. She’s also been inducted into the USTA Florida Hall of Fame, Alabama Hall of Fame, and Palm Beach County Senior Men’s League Hall of Fame, among many other honors. She was named PTR Pro of the Year in 2002.
Under her leadership, The Polo Club was named the USTA Florida Section Member Club of the Year in 1987, was named a Tennis Industry magazine Pro Shop of the Year, and was named PTR Private Facility of the Year in 2010. From 2016 to 2022, The Polo Club also was named to the top 100 list of Distinguished Country Clubs of America.
Mills will become the second woman to be inducted into the PTR Hall of Fame, following Billie Jean King in 2016. Other members are Dennis Van der Meer (2013), Dr. Jim Loehr and Jim Verdieck (2014), Arthur Ashe (2015), Dr. Ludovit “Louie” Cap (2017), Luciano Botti (2018), Ken DeHart (2019), Roy Barth (2020) and Jorge Andrew (2022).
The induction ceremony will be on Monday evening, Feb. 6, at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, during the Awards Show at the PTR International Tennis Symposium. The Symposium runs from Feb. 6 to 9, with presentations, workshops, on-court and off-court seminars, a trade show, networking opportunities, and more. (Visit ptrtennis.org for more information and to register.)