The DeWitt Tennis Center at Hope College has been named the “Outstanding Organization of the Year” by the Western Michigan District of the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
The award will be presented during the district’s annual awards banquet on Wednesday, March 20, in Grand Rapids.
The six-court DeWitt Tennis Center, which opened in August 1994, features instruction year-round for young players from kindergarten age through the high school level, including through an intensive, 10-week tennis academy held each summer. The center offers annual memberships for individual community members and families, and its services also include adult tennis clinics and private lessons. The center offers free membership and free court time to all of the college’s 3,300-plus students, and also serves as the home court, along with the new outdoor VandePoel-Heeringa Stadium Courts, for the Hope men’s and women’s tennis teams.
The DeWitt Tennis Center was named the national “Public Facility of the Year” by the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR). The center currently hosts many USTA programs, such as Play Days, Orange Ball tournaments and regular USTA tournaments.
The center is located along Fairbanks Avenue near Holland Municipal Stadium. In addition to its six courts, the 40,000-square-foot building features men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a large waiting reception area. The center is named in honor of the Gary and Joyce DeWitt family.
The DeWitt Tennis Center has been managed since 2003 by Jorge Capestany, a 31-year veteran of the tennis industry who is also nationally recognized. He is one of only 10 people world-wide that is a Master Professional with both the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and the PTR and has received numerous regional and national honors through the years, including induction into the 2012 Hall of Fame for the Midwest Division of the USPTA and recognition as the PTR Member of the Year by “Racquet Sports Industry” magazine in February 2012.
In addition to Jorge Capestany, the center’s full-time staff, all of whom are PTR Professionals, includes Nate Price, director of tennis, who is also a USPTA Professional; Adam Ford, head professional and coach of the college’s women’s tennis team, who is also a USPTA Professional; Marti Capestany, who is also a USPTA Professional; and Matt Bradley. Since 2003, the DeWitt Tennis Center has produced more than 24 high school state champions, as well as 14 Midwest qualifiers in USTA competition. Across their overall careers, Capestany and his staff have developed more than 180 high school state champions in Michigan as well as three national champions.
The college’s tennis facilities, grouped within the Etheridge Tennis Complex, also include the 12-court, outdoor VandePoel-Heeringa Stadium Courts that opened during the summer of 2012. The outdoor facility, which includes elevated seating for spectators and an officials’ shelter, is named for Earle VandePoel and George Heeringa, doubles partners on the Hope tennis team in the 1930s; the complex is named in honor of the Etheridge family.
Additional information about the DeWitt Tennis Center and its programs, including this year’s June 10-August 16 tennis academy, is available online at hope.edu/resources/tennis/