I grew up in west Philadelphia and went to Saint Joseph's high school, where I coached track and field and freshman cross country. From there, I joined the Air Force for 10 years. I was at Yokota Air Base in Japan and Vandenberg Air …
I grew up in west Philadelphia and went to Saint Joseph's high school, where I coached track and field and freshman cross country. From there, I joined the Air Force for 10 years. I was at Yokota Air Base in Japan and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. After my experience as a base tennis pro at Yokota, Vandenberg let me put together a tennis team. We played in tournaments all along the West Coast.
Vandenberg is where I met my wife, Judy. She was a lab technician but cross-trained to weather forecasting and that brought us to LowryAir ForceBasein Colorado. We have two kids.
I worked for about 10 years in microbiology at Leprino Foods. In my spare time, I worked with inner-city tennis programs. I was the president of Colorado Tennis Association for a few months — I continue to be on its junior recreation committee and diversity and inclusion committee. After that, I served on the board of directors and eventually became president of the Intermountain Tennis Association. I've been playing and coaching for the Asian Tennis League of Denver for more than 15 years and was inducted into their hall of fame.
From player to coach
In Philadelphia in the 1970s, I had been away from home visiting family friends for the summer. When I came back, two tennis courts had been built down the street from my house. I went and played, got beat badly, and just stayed.
I joined the National Junior Tennis league at 14 years old. Each week, I would learn a different stroke and teach the other kids what I learned. I noticed instantly that these kids were becoming really good tennis players. That's when I realized I am a much better teacher than I am tennis player and that is what has led me to where I am today.
HRCA tennis pro
I've been at the HRCA for 20 years. I'm the tennis pro — I design tennis programs and train coaches. I believe the HRCA has always supported outreach programs and diversity. It has really strong community ethics.
We have programs for 5-year-olds to seniors, including our special needs population and wheelchair participants. The kids and adults in Highlands Ranch have been very supportive of the things I am passionate about. At Northridge Recreation Center, we do Special Olympics and provide wheelchair clinics in the winter for the Colorado Wheel Chair Tennis Foundation.
My job allows me to travel across the country teaching other people. Who else can do that without community support?
Top three accomplishments
The first is working for HRCA and creating a tennis program. Second, my involvement in underserved communities and continual involvement in wheelchair tennis, Special Olympics and minority communities. And having the support of my family and my wife, who make all of these things possible.