Wright, Willenborg Recipients of USTA Awards

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association and United States Tennis Association have named veteran head coaches Peter Wright and Chuck Willenborg as recipients of two of the most prestigious awards in college tennis.

Wright of the University of California, Berkeley is the winner of the 2012 USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award, while Johns Hopkins University's Willenborg has earned the honor of being the 2012 USTA/ITA National Campus QuickStart Provider of the Year.

Both coaches will receive a travel stipend to attend the 2012 ITA Coaches Convention at the Waldorf Astoria in Naples, Fla., where they will be presented with their awards during the ITA Membership and Awards Banquet on Monday, December 17th.

Entering his 20th season at the helm of the Cal men's tennis program, Wright has been a model for success on the courts, on campus and in the community. His Golden Bears have made 13 consecutive trips to the NCAA postseason tournament and 18 times in the last 19 years.

Along with his success on the court, Wright and his Golden Bears are extremely active on campus, hosting eight USTA/ITA Campus Showdowns over the years. Wright also started the club tennis program at Cal and in its 20 year history, the club tennis program has become one of the strongest club teams in the country, winning the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship in 2010 and 2012.

Reaching out to the local community, Wright hosts an annual USTA/ITA Campus Kids' Day event which takes place each year at their annual regular season match against Stanford. Kids who attend the event are treated to free food, promotional gifts and a pre-match clinic with members of the Cal tennis team.

"It's a great program" states Wright.

"The more kids we touch in the community and get involved in tennis is just great because that's where our tennis players will come from."

Each year, Wright teams up with the USTA to host the Napa Valley Tennis Classic, a tournament that features the top American juniors against some of the top college players.

"It's an opportunity for local kids to play with their next peer group which are college kids" said Wright, who, has also hosted USTA Futures events on the Cal campus as well as two televised 'Chang Challenges' featuring Michael Chang and John McEnroe.

"Winning this award is exciting, humbling and completely unexpected" enthused Wright, "but I think for me it's great that my work is noticed within the ITA and USTA because it's a big part of what I've been doing which is developing players; juniors, collegians, and professionals."

The USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award is presented each year to a college coach who provides a leadership role in increasing tennis participation throughout his or her community, both on and off campus. Among the USTA/ITA partner programs available to assist coaches in giving back are Campus Kids' Days, Campus QuickStart, Campus Showdowns and Tennis On Campus.
The USTA/ITA National QuickStart Provider of the Year Award recognizes a college coach who has promoted the 10 and Under Tennis format to elementary school children by hosting QuickStart programs on campus. With smaller racquets, softer balls and shorter courts, 10 and Under Tennis ensures that America's newest tennis players enjoy the sport from their very first forehand.