While just-retired CSU Tennis Coach Jon Messick’s teams never won a Mountain West championship, Jon has been the champion of tennis in Fort Collins for decades.
Anyone in Fort Collins — and the entire Northern Colorado region, actually — who is an avid tennis player knows Jon. They know his easy-going manner, quiet sense of humor, unselfish attitude and his enthusiasm for enabling and spreading the joy of a healthy, inexpensive, non-contact recreation that can be played and enjoyed for a lifetime.
Matt Stephens’ fine article in the Coloradoan on Jon’s career with CSU provides an overview of his many years of overtime days, weeks and months supporting a team that received minimal resources or support from the university. But the Rams cap was just one of several tennis caps that Jon has worn. His other caps had the figurative logos of Fort Collins, the State of Colorado and the Stars & Stripes. Here are just some of the things Jon has provided to tennis beyond CSU:
Jon Messick has served as an officer/board member and/or committee member of the Fort Collins Tennis Association, USTA Colorado, and the Intermountain and United States Tennis Associations.
Jon Messick has won numerous awards for his support of the sport, including CTA’s Bud Robineau Service Award and awards from the Colorado Wheelchair Tennis Foundation.
In 2014, the ITA created the Jon Messick Leadership Award honoring regional tennis contributors.
Jon has provided untold hours during the past four decades organizing and providing court time and resources to local USTA and CTA men’s and women’s league teams of all skill levels.
Jon has helped introduce tennis to youngsters in a variety of ways, including at public schools, the Boys and Girls Club, at public courts, with the CSU players and beyond.
He’s been the organizer and administrator of local recreational-level tournaments for years, including charity tournaments that raise substantial sums. Players come from all over the area, state and region to compete and enjoy these tournaments.
More than just a few years ago, Jon was a nationally ranked junior player, college-level champion and teaching pro. But don’t let his gray hair and gray moustache fool you. With a sly smile, he can still clean your clock on the court, new hip notwithstanding.
Andy Hiller/Special to Colorado Tennis