Jimmy Evert, Kathy Woods Inducted Into The USPTA Hall Of Fame
NEW YORK – The late Jimmy Evert and Kathy Woods were both inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame during the USPTA General Membership Meeting at the 2018 Tennis Teachers Conference at the Grand Hyatt New York. The USPTA Hall of Fame is the association’s highest honor and serves as a place to recognize excellence in the tennis profession and commitment to USPTA, the world’s oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals. The award was renamed in honor of the late Tim Heckler, who served as the CEO of the USPTA for 30 years, from 1982-2012.
Evert, who was born in Chicago, was an All-American tennis player at Notre Dame in the 1940s and reached as high as No. 11 in the U. S. rankings. He was the tennis director of Holliday Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for nearly 50 years and coached players such as Jennifer Capriati, Brian Gottfried, and Harold Solomon. The tennis complex was later renamed the Jimmy Evert Tennis Complex in 1997. During his tenure, he taught all five of his children how to play the game of tennis, including his daughter Chris Evert, who went on to win 18 Grand Slam Singles titles and became inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995.
Woods is the director of tennis at the USTA National Campus, where she is responsible for the set-up and implementation of all national campus programs and hiring teaching professionals and coaching staff. She directs a staff of 30 tennis professionals with comprehensive year-round programs for all ages and levels of play, as well as adult and youth camps. Previously, she served as the director of tennis at the Racquet Club of St. Petersburg, Florida and managed tennis programs in several communities, including Princeton, New Jersey, Key Biscayne, Florida and Westport, Connecticut.
In 1995, she was awarded the Tennis Educational Merit Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame for outstanding service at the national level. She served as president of the USPTA from 1994-1996 and held the distinguished honor of being the first and only woman to serve the Association in that capacity. She played singles and doubles for the University of Pennsylvania and graduated summa cum laude in 1980. She was later inducted into the University of Pennsylvania Tennis Hall of Fame in November 2017. She is the co-author with her husband Ron of Playing Tennis After 50.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this hall of fame induction and I would like to thank the USPTA,” said Woods. “I proudly accept this incredible honor and dedicate it to all the professionals I’ve had the privilege to work with through the years!”