Presidents Letter February 2020

February 2020 President’s Letter


It is a distinct honor to begin serving as President of USTA Kentucky.  I am thankful to God for allowing me the ability to play tennis.  Many thanks to my wife Marsha and daughters Shelby and Katie for putting up with my tennis obsession.  I am indebted to the following Past Presidents of USTA KY for their mentoring and support-Jane Gamble, John Herring, Terry Bunnell, Dell Kelly and Rainey Johns.  I would like to extend a special thanks to Immediate Past President Rainey Johns as it has been a delight to work with and learn from her.  Thanks also to Jason Miller, USTA KY Executive Director and our wonderful staff-Stacey Croley, Bryan Hash, Kathy Klein, Kim Lonnemann, Maddie Notoris, Taylor Urquhart along with Tim McCollum, our USTA Southern Tennis Service Representative for the great work you do to promote and develop the game of tennis.  I look forward to working more closely with them in the next two years.


I was inspired by so many of our volunteers at the recent USTA Kentucky Annual Meeting and Community Development Workshop.  It was great to see the energy and enthusiasm from players across the state.  We were able to learn from each other and apply best practices from different Community Tennis Associations. We were delighted to have Bonnie Vandegrift, USTA Southern President, Bill McGugin, USTA Southern Board member, Cee Jai Jones, USTA Southern Director of Diversity, NJTL and Grants and our own John Herring, USTA Southern Treasurer as guests.  Thanks to Cee Jai for giving us a roadmap for developing diversity and inclusion!


In addition to learning from each other, we took time to celebrate our successes at our USTA Kentucky Awards Celebration luncheon and Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame Induction dinner.  I would like to extend a hearty congratulations to all of the award winners.  Thanks for your excellence on and off the courts.  The Hall of Fame Committee selected three outstanding individuals for induction this year.  Their list of accomplishments are too long to recite in this space, but please join me in congratulating Thomas Higgins, Cindy Miller, and Colleen Jones Underhill on a well-deserved honor! Thanks also to the Raise A Racquet Foundation for sponsoring the Hall of Fame Induction. 


There is a lot going on this month in Kentucky tennis.  Indoor adult leagues are in full swing.  The prestigious junior doubles tournament, the Jason Issacs Memorial Doubles Championship just concluded.  High school seniors participating in the tournament are eligible for a $1,000 college scholarship. As a former volunteer coach at Lexington Christian Academy for many years, February has a special meaning as the official start of high school tennis practice in the middle of the month.  It is always exciting to see new players and the improvement of seasoned players from the off season.  Some of the best women in the world played in the $100,000 Kentucky Open tournament at Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville.  The tournament is part of the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour and attracted players ranked as high as 59 in the world.  There is a good chance that it will be back in 2021 and I hope you can attend next year.


If you are ever asked why you play tennis, I think the four F’s work well to briefly answer the question. Tennis allows us to build lifelong friendships and become like family.  It provides tremendous fitness benefits and most of all, it is fun!  Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you in promoting and developing our great sport!


At your service,


Mike Eden