ITHF Honors Longtime Industry Leaders & Volunteers at USTA Annual Meeting

3/19/2018

In recognition of their generous and longtime service to the sport of tennis, three dedicated industry leaders and volunteers were recently honored by the International Tennis Hall of Fame, in a special awards presentation at the USTA Annual Meeting. Bill Kellogg of San Diego was the recipient of the 2017 Samuel Hardy Award, which is presented annually by the Hall of Fame to a dedicated USTA volunteer. In addition, the 2017 Tennis Educational Merit Awards were presented to former WTA doubles star turned sports psychologist Anne Smith of Dallas and wheelchair tennis industry leader Dan James of Seattle.

Martin remarked, “At the International Tennis Hall of Fame we are committed to celebrating all that is great about our sport. We celebrate its history, and we celebrate its people—the inspiring champions and the dedicated leaders who have built tennis into the exciting, global sport that it is today. When we talk about celebrating tennis, we are committed to doing so at all levels – from junior tennis to rec tennis to the pro tours. We are very pleased to present these awards to three individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding and selfless commitment to inspiring participation and growth in the sport.”

The Samuel Hardy Award is given in memory of a highly engaged and dedicated USTA volunteer. Sam was a promoter for Spaulding racquets, and spent much of his time as a USTA volunteer, actively serving on national committees for well over two decades. This award was established when Sam passed away in 1953 and it has been given every year since by the International Tennis Hall of Fame to a USTA volunteer who exemplifies Sam’s devotion to tennis, and who has been an inspiration to others.

In his day job, Bill Kellogg is the President of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, where he has worked since 1979 and is now a fourth-generation family member to hold the position. In addition to growing the club to be a world-class tennis and hospitality facility, Kellogg has spent much of the past 40 years giving of his time to grow tennis on a local and national level. He is a past member of the USTA Board of Directors, where he has also served on the Executive Committee, Nominating Committee, Davis and Fed Cup Committees, and Adult/Senior Competition Committee among other areas of service.

Locally, Kellogg served over 35 years on the Southern California Tennis Association Board of Directors, and last fall he was inducted into the SCTA Hall of Fame. He was instrumental in bringing the Davis Cup, Fed Cup and ITF’s Seniors World Championships to San Diego. Today, he serves as Tournament Director for some of the most widely acclaimed national senior championships in the country. Kellogg has also given generously of his time in volunteering as for International Tennis Hall of Fame in board and committee service. A lifelong tennis player, Kellogg was a top-ranked Southern California junior, who went on to captain the team at Dartmouth College. He’s still on court nearly every day and with his daughter Tiffany, he has won two gold balls in the Senior Father / Daughter Division.

"Tennis truly is the sport of opportunity. It gives you a chance to stay in shape, to make friends and keep up with old friends, and most importantly it has given us a chance to help others and truly make a difference. I'm truly honored to be this year's recipient of the Samuel Hardy Award, and will say that whatever I've accomplished has been with the help of other amazing and very special people,” commented Kellogg at the awards ceremony.

The Tennis Educational Merit Award is presented annually by the Hall of Fame to a man and a woman who have made notable contributions at the national level and have demonstrated leadership and creative skills in such areas as instruction, writing, organization, and promotion of the sport of tennis. 

Also honored with the Tennis Educational Merit Award was Dr. Anne Smith, a former WTA star and world No. 1 in doubles who turned her “retirement” into an accomplished and impactful career in sport psychology and training. Smith was ranked world No. 1 in doubles in 1980 and 81. She won 10 major titles in doubles and mixed doubles between 1980 and 1984, capturing trophies at all four majors.

After retiring from the WTA Tour, Smith pursued higher education, earning her doctorate in Educational Psychology at University of Texas. She is the author of several books, including GRAND SLAM: Coach Your Mind to Win in Sports, Business, and Life, with a foreword by Hall of Famer Billie Jean King.

Smith is the creator of the MACH 4 Mental Training System, a powerful mental training system that which teaches how to develop empowering relationships between parents, coaches and players to produce independent, strong, and confident players. The program also centers on creating a powerful partnership between the mind and the body, so as to coach a player’s mind to win. The program has proven to be highly effective across a range of areas – in tennis, it has proven beneficial for junior players, collegiate athletes, club players, and parents; while other individuals have utilized the program to excel in academics, business, and many varied areas of life.

For many years, Smith has shared the system in independent private coaching, public speaking programs, and through numerous published works. She has also served as the Mental Training Coach for the Harvard University Women’s Tennis Team and the Southern Methodist University Women’s Tennis Team, among other coaching roles.

"I want to thank my two coaches as a junior. They were positive coaches and I thrived under that. I think positive coaches allow juniors or club players to play their best and we need a lot more of that positive coaching. I went on to use those same methods and build my career around that. It's an honor to receive this award,” remarked Smith.

A competitive tennis player from a young age, Dan James’ first job out of college was as a teaching pro at a local club. In that role, James encountered wheelchair tennis for the first time during his professional development hours. He was awestruck by the sport, became a volunteer wheelchair tennis coach, and quickly found his career calling. In 2003, James became the national manager of Wheelchair Tennis for the USTA. As Head Coach for Team USA, James took 5 teams to Paralympic Games, with the Americans medaling each time. James also served as tournament director for the US Open Wheelchair Competition from 2013 - 2015.

James’ tireless commitment has directly heightened visibility for wheelchair tennis and grown its participation immensely. Working from scratch he developed the template used by the USTA Wheelchair Tennis Department for all pathways into the sport from grassroots to Paralympic. He has authored training manuals for coaches and players and is an official certification tester for USPTA and PTR Wheelchair Certifications.

In addition to his work with the USTA, James served on the International Tennis Federation’s Wheelchair Tennis Advisory Panel for 11 years. He was also instrumental in the inclusion of wheelchair tennis inductees into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which began in 2010. James stepped down from his role with the USTA in November 2016, but remains involved and continues to be a tireless advocate for Wheelchair Tennis and has also spent time working with the Positive Coaching Alliance.

"I would like to sincerely thank the USTA, where I worked from 2003 through 2016. They provided an opportunity for me to live a dream. A dream to make tennis relevant to all people. Thanks to that, I've really had an amazing experience in tennis," stated James. "I would also like to thank the International Tennis Hall of Fame who has made wheelchair tennis relevant by inducting our great athletes."