Parents Marti and Jorge Capestany and daughter Carli Capestany have received the Family of the Year award from the Western Michigan Tennis Association, the local branch of the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
The three were recognized for their significant involvement with tennis, which includes extensive connection with the sport at Hope College. Jorge is the long-time manager of the college’s DeWitt Tennis Center; Marti works with the center as a tennis teaching professional; and Carli is a 2015 Hope graduate and former Hope player who is now a volunteer assistant coach with the women’s team.
The award was presented on Sunday, April 24, during the Western Michigan Tennis Association’s annual meeting and awards ceremony, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Conference Center in Grand Rapids.
Carli Capestany came to competitive tennis when she was 14 years old. She played at Hudsonville High School, where she compiled more than 100 wins in her career. For two consecutive years as a sophomore at #3 singles and a junior at #2 singles, Carli was undefeated upon entering the high school state tournament. She qualified for the USTA Midwest Closed championships both years that she played in the G18s division.
At Hope, she competed at the #1 and #3 singles positions. She competed at the #1 doubles position all four years. Carli finished her decorated career by breaking school records and becoming Hope's all-time career doubles leader with 78 career doubles wins and the Flying Dutch's single-season leader in doubles wins with a 27-5 record as a senior.
Carli helped the Flying Dutch reach the NCAA Division III Team National Championships all four years and claim multiple MIAA regular-season and tournament titles.
As a senior, she earned Capital One Academic All-American honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America and the Karen Caine scholar athlete award from the MIAA conference. One of her most notable individual achievements occurred as a junior when she qualified for and competed in the NCAA Division III Individual Doubles National Championship in Claremont, California, with her doubles partner Nancy Benda. Carli was named MIAA Women's Tennis Player of the Week on multiple occasions and served the team at Hope College as captain during her senior year.
Marti Capestany has been a United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) certified tennis professional since 1985 and a Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) certified professional over the past 10 years. In addition to being a tennis teaching professional at the DeWitt Tennis Center since 2004, she has been a teaching tennis pro at several clubs in the Grand Rapids area and was the director of tennis at Cascade Hills Country Club for 15 years. She attended Grand Valley State University and played volleyball for two years before switching to tennis in her junior year. At GVSU, her tennis team won the conference before losing at the regional level.
Marti is a multiple winner of “Player of the Year” awards from the USTA and USPTA. She has been ranked as high as #3 in the nation by the USPTA and in the top 10 in the nation by the USTA. She has participated in women’s USTA travel teams with several district championships and sectional appearances. In 2003 her 5.0 team made it to the National Championships in Palm Springs, California, where they lost in a tightly contested final 2-1 to Southern California. She has competed several times in the USTA 35 and over National Indoors, with her best performance being a quarter-finalist in singles and doubles.
During her playing and teaching career she had the privilege of playing in three doubles exhibition matches that featured Billie Jean King, Stan Smith and Dick Stockton. Recently, she was part of an elite faculty of coaches working with recreational players in a new and fast growing program called the Tennis Congress. She is also certified as Mental Toughness Specialist through the Human Performance Institute and a certified Tennis Performance Trainer through the International Tennis Performance Association. Marti was inducted into the Coldwater High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
Manager of the DeWitt Tennis Center since 2003, Jorge Capestany also manages the college’s outdoor Vande Poel-Heeringa Stadium Courts, which since opening in 2012 have received national awards from both the USTA and the American Sports Builders Association. He also directs the college’s Summer Tennis Academy, and previously served as an assistant coach for the Hope women’s tennis team.
He is one of only 10 people worldwide to both hold a Master Professional distinction with the USPTA and be an International Master Professional with the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR). He is also a certified Mental Toughness Specialist through the Human Performance Institute and holds a USTA Sports Science certification.
His playing career began at Grand Valley State University, where he led his team to a conference championship in 1981. He graduated in 1984 and pursued his passion to teach tennis.
Jorge has coached hundreds of ranked juniors, including three national champions. In his career, at Hope and previously, his programs have developed more than 185 high school state champions in Michigan, and he has had several students earn college scholarships totaling $5 million and two named All-Americans.
Among other ongoing service to the profession, he is a USTA faculty member conducting workshops for coaches and on two committees of the Western Michigan Tennis Association (WMTA), of which he is a past president, in addition to serving as a member of the Wilson Premiere Speakers Team and as a consultant to many clubs in the tennis industry.
Jorge has hosted many PTR and USPTA workshops and Midwest Conferences at DeWitt, where every teaching pro on the staff is certified. He has been published in numerous industry publications, including several articles in the PTR magazine TennisPro and the USPTA ADDvantage Magazine. His three books include the “PTR International Book of Drills,” and he originated PTRtennis.tv for the PTR.
He is also the founder of two prominent tennis industry websites: a coach’s website, www.TennisDrills.tv, which features more than 1,200 tennis drills and has subscribers in more than 65 countries; and a player’s website, www.JorgeCapestany.com, which features free tennis instruction. He has also been featured on three episodes of USPTA’s “On Court with USPTA,” which airs exclusively on the Tennis Channel.
Jorge has spoken at more than professional conferences all over the world, including the PTR International Tennis Symposium, the USPTA World Conference on Tennis; the USTA’s Tennis Teachers Conference at the US Open in New York; the PTR Asia Tennis Symposium in Shanghai, China; the ITF worldwide Coaches Conference in Cancun, Mexico; the Norwegian Tennis Conference in Oslo, Norway; the Canadian Tennis Federation Coaches Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and many regional and national conferences around the United States.
In September, he received the national 2015 Alex Gordon Award for the Professional of the Year from the USPTA in recognition of his exemplary career achievement, and he was featured in the January 2016 issue of Tennis Industry magazine as the publication’s USPTA Member of the Year.
Other awards that he has received recently include the Karen Page Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association (MHSTeCA) in January 2015; the PTR/TIA Commitment to the Industry Award from the PTR and Tennis Industry Association in February 2015; and the 2015 Cap Leighton Award, for his role in promoting involvement in tennis, from the Midwest Section of the USTA in August 2015. He was also named the ITA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2015.
In addition, he has been named the “Michigan Pro of the Year” six times by either USPTA or PTR. The Midwest Division of the USPTA has honored him multiple times through the years, including with induction into its Hall of Fame in 2012, twice as “Midwest Professional of the Year,” twice as “Facility Manager of the Year” and with its “Outstanding Education of the Year” award. In February 2012 he was named the PTR Member of the Year by “Racquet Sports Industry” magazine.
Established in 1948, the Western Michigan Tennis Association is the governing body for the USTA in southwestern Michigan, covering primarily Kent, Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Ottawa, Muskegon, Berrien, Van Buren, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana counties. Its mission is to promote, develop, grow and service the game of tennis throughout the Western Michigan Tennis Association district. The WMTA has more than 50 organizational members and more than 4,000 members from throughout western Michigan.