(This release is courtesy of Casey Snedecor at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association)
Gustavus Adolphus’ men’s tennis coach Steve Wilkinson has been named the national winner of the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Campus Recreation Award. Wilkinson will be honored on December 15 at the ITA Coaches Convention at the Naples Grande Resort and Spa in Naples, Florida.
The USTA/ITA Campus Recreation Award honors an ITA coach who has done an outstanding job implementing the USTA’s Tennis on Campus program or similar recreational tennis programs in an effort to grow tennis participation within the campus community.
Wilkinson is in his 38th year as the men’s tennis coach at Gustavus. In addition to creating and maintaining one of the most successful Division III men’s tennis programs in the nation, Wilkinson has taken great steps to promote the game of tennis on the Gustavus Adolphus campus. He runs three tennis leagues that play in the fall and spring, including an Intermediate League with six teams, an Advanced Singles League and an Advanced Doubles League. In the month of January, Wilkinson provides free indoor recreational tennis for all Gustavus students three days a week. He has also established two competitive intramural teams on campus, who compete at the Sectional Championships and have also hosted intramural competitions against two teams from the University of Minnesota. Wilkinson has helped to organize an Advanced Intramural Doubles Tennis League on campus, which consists of six teams that play a round robin, and an eventual league championship. He’s also created an Advanced Intramural Singles Tennis League with a similar team format.
“Steve is a great example of a coach who give back to his community and campus and our hope is that his efforts continue to inspire other varsity coaches to emulate the great work he is doing,” says ITA Executive Director David A Benjamin. “We strongly believe that campus recreation programs are vital for today’s college coach to become involved in and this award helps highlight the coaches who have made those crucial efforts.”
“The USTA is proud to be associated with Steve Wilkinson,” says Glenn Arrington, USTA National Manager, Collegiate Tennis. “We recognize the many challenges varsity tennis coaches face and tip our hat to those that go above and beyond the call of duty like Steve has. The extra efforts Steve has put into campus and community activities pay dividends for everyone involved in and around the sport of tennis.”
This year’s national winners were selected from a group of USTA Sectional winners determined this fall. This awards program, which began in 2003, was open to over 2,000 ITA head and assistant coaches at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College levels.