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Section Announces 2012 Award Winners

August 30, 2012 07:02 PM
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SCOTTSDALE Two new USTA Southwest Hall of Fame members - Bill Lenoir and Jack Kennedy, along with the 2012 USTA Southwest Award winners were recently chosen by the section's Hall of Fame and Awards Committees.


The USTA Southwest Awards committee decided upon 13 separate categories in the volunteer and competitive realms. Award winners were selected from nominations among members in their respective districts, then decided upon at a Section level.


Both the 2012 Award winners and the 2012 Hall of Fame class will be recognized at the USTA Southwest Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Saturday evening, October 27 at the Airport Wyndham Hotel in El Paso, Texas. That event will be part of a larger weekend gathering of volunteers and the tennis community


The Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 in El Paso, Texas.


Congratulations to our newest award winners and Hall of Fame inductees. A special thanks also goes out to our committees for their work in helping select these deserving people!


Pothoff2012 USTA Southwest Award Winners 

Community Tennis Volunteer of the Year: Jana Perpich - Flagstaff, Ariz..
Tournament Enrichment: Meghan Houk, Tucson, Ariz.
*Family of the Year: The Rodriguez Family (Carlsbad, N.M..)

*NJTL Chapter of the Year: Americas NJTL (El Paso, Texas)

Junior Player of the Year (Female) - Maddie Pothoff  (Tucson, Ariz.)
Junior Player of the Year (Male): Nathan Ponwith (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
High School Coach of the Year: Laurie Martin (Tempe, Ariz.)
Outstanding Contributor to USTA League Tennis: Dan Prasil (Tucson, Ariz.)

*Junior Sportsmanship: Alex Lawson (Tempe, Ariz.)
Adult Player of the Year: Jimmy Parker (Santa Fe, N.M..) 
*Member Organization of the Year: Bill Ellis Tennis Center  (El Paso, Texas.)  

Dianne Miller Courage in Tennis: Shelley Burt (Santa Fe, N.M.)
 *Media Excellence: Bill Knight (El Paso Times - El Paso, Texas)


*National awards: These USTA Southwest Award winners will be submitted for USTA national awards consideration in these categories.




Longevity and success on the court was what impressed the USTA Southwest Hall of Fame Committee about our two newest inductees, Bill Lenoir (Scottsdale/Tucson, Ariz.) and Jack Kennedy (Albuquerque, N.M.). Both men will be honored for their success and their contributions to the game alongside our 2012 Awards Winners in El Paso, Texas.

The two newest inductees brings the USTA Southwest Hall of Fame Class to 46 total members. The Southwest Hall of Fame was formed in 1991.


BillLenoir_photoBILL LENOIR (Scottsdale/Tucson, Ariz.

Lenoir is one of the best tennis players to ever come out of Tucson and was one of the top juniors in the Southwest, and, indeed America in the late 1950s/early 1960s.

Lenoir had a terrifically distinguished junior career, twice an Arizona state high school champion for Tucson High (1959-60), and reached the top ranking in the country as an 18 year old high school senior. He also captured the Boys 18s National Hard Court Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. , as well as a victory at the prestigious international junior event, the Orange Bowl in 1960. He was known for his tenacity on the court as well as being one of the first-ever players to hit two-handed off both forehand and backhand wings.

Lenoir decided to play tennis for his hometown squad, the University of Arizona, and had arguably the greatest college tennis career ever for a Wildcat (1962-64). A former first-team All-American (three times), Lenoir reached the singles quarterfinals in the NCAA in 1961 and 63 and the semifinals in 1962. His University of Arizona squads finished third and fourth in the nation, the best-ever rankings in school history. After graduating from U of A, Lenoir played in the singles main draw at Wimbledon twice (1964 and 1965) as well as the French and US Opens.

After a short amateur career, he pursued graduate mathematics/engineering degrees from both Arizona and Arizona State, and actually coached both schools' tennis teams in the late 1960's and early 1970s.

After leaving Arizona State in 1972, Lenoir became the teaching pro at Scottsdale Chaparral Racquet Club for a decade (1974-1984) before moving to TampPalisades1

a, Florida. Lenoir taught at the Tampa Yacht and Racquet Club for 21 years before passing away in 2007 of thyroid cancer. During the years he lived in Scottsdale,

Bill served as an official for the Fiesta Bowl Junior Tennis Tournament (which has since become the USTA Winter Nationals.) He was also actively involved with the USPTA for more than 25 year and developed many high school champions, and nationally-ranked and collegiate players as an instructor.  He is also a member of the University of Arizona Wildcat Hall of Fame and the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame.

Kennedy_UNMJACK KENNEDY (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Like Lenoir, Kennedy's tennis heydays were the 1950s and 1960s and made an impact as a collegiate player for his hometown. Kennedy was born in Montana, but has lived and resided in Albuquerque since he was six years old. He was a former Southwest junior champion as well as a state titlist for Highland High School in 1956.

Kennedy stayed in Albuquerque after graduating from high school, and became one of the greatest all-time players at University of New Mexico. He had an undefeated collegiate season in 1957, a rare feat, and became the school's first ever All-American in the sport of tennis in 1958.

Upon completing his degree in Biology from UNM, Kennedy entered Baylor Dental School where he graduated with honors. After dental school, he entered the Air Force and served his country as an officer.

Kennedy played well into his 60s and early 70s, winning nearly 100 age group tournaments from juniors through senior competition. 

Kennedy was also a renowned dentist in the Albuquerque area, expert witness to several high-profile cases and freelance writer for various publications, including as a contributing editor to Dental Economics magazine.