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ITA announces 2015 Annual Awards winners

December 15, 2015 10:13 AM

USTA Intermountain announced its 2015 Annual Awards winners and 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees at an awards luncheon and ceremony held Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa in Henderson, Nevada.


2015 ITA Award Winners (back row, left to right): George Cantu (Barbara Clark Diversity and Inclusion Award); Ken and Karla Shioi, on behalf of the Shioi family (Family of the Year); Tim Blenkiron (Jon Messick Leadership Award); Gil Reyes (ITA Hall of Fame Inductee); Marty Hennessey, on behalf of the Marty Hennessey Tennis Foundation (Organization of the Year); Ken Yamada (David Freed Award); Christy Johnson (Jan Dowse Award); John Bradley (Youth Tennis Ambassador/10 and Under Award); Josh Cossitt (Developmental Coach of the Year); Mia Oliver (Nikos Ridle Award). Front row, left to right:Christa Patton, on behalf of Greg Patton (ITA Hall of Fame Inductee); Rick Draney (ITA Hall of Fame Inductee).


2015 Organization of the Year

Marty Hennessy Tennis Foundation; Las Vegas, Nevada


2015 Awards Video



Given annually to recognize the services rendered to Intermountain’s USTA members by its member organizations: Community Tennis Associations, Clubs, and Parks and Recreation Departments. Section winners are submitted to the USTA for the National Organization of the Year Award.


2015 Family of Year

Shioi Family (Ken, Karla, Aayson, Wynn); Las Vegas, Nevada


2015 Awards Video



Presented annually to a family within the USTA Intermountain Section who has exemplified the benefits of tennis as a family recreational sport and has contributed to their tennis community in a significant way. Section winners are submitted to the USTA for the National Family of the Year Award. 


2015 Barbara Clark Diversity and Inclusion Award

George Cantu; Las Vegas, Nevada


2015 Awards Video



Initiated in 2000 as the Community Service Award, this award was renamed in 2006 to honor Barbara Clark, who died in September of that year. Barbara was a longtime employee and ambassador for the Section. This award is given annually to honor an individual in the Intermountain Section who has made a significant contribution to multicultural populations and communities through tennis.


2015 Youth Tennis Ambassador (10 and Under) Award

John Bradley; Nephi, Utah


2015 Awards Video



Initiated in 2012, this award is given to recognize the outstanding individual efforts of a coach, parent, CTA or organization that is helping to build the 10 and Under Tennis program.


2015 Nikos Ridle Award

Mia Oliver; Denver, Colorado


2015 Awards Video



Presented annually to a junior tennis player within the USTA Intermountain Section who exemplifies the spirit of tennis through their activities on and off the court. This award is given in memory of Nikos Ridle, a nationally ranked junior player from Billings, Montana, who was killed in an automobile accident at age 19. Section winners are submitted to the USTA for the Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award.


2015 Jan Dowse Award

Christy Johnson; Grantsville, Utah


2015 Awards Video  



Named after Jan Dowse, former Executive Director of the Utah Tennis Association, this award is given to Intermountain’s Volunteer or Staffmember of the Year to recognize his or her outstanding contributions, personal unselfishness and devotion to the game.


2015 Developmental Coach of the Year

Josh Cossitt; Cheyenne, Wyoming


2015 Awards Video



Initiated in 2000, this award is given to recognize the outstanding efforts of a developmental coach in the USTA Intermountain Section. This coach is being honored for his or her endless dedication to developing junior tennis players at all levels through teaching, presence at tournaments and events, and positive role modeling, on and off the court.


2015 David Freed Award

Ken Yamada; Cheyenne, Wyoming


2015 Awards Video



This award is given from time to time to an individual for lifetime service to tennis within the USTA Intermountain Section. This award was first introduced in 1988 and given to David Freed of Salt Lake City, Utah. David served as Intermountain's Secretary and Treasurer for 39 years from 1936-1975.


2015 Jon Messick Leadership Award

Tim Blenkiron; Las Vegas, Nevada


2015 Awards Video




Initiated in 2014, this new award was created in recognition of Jon Messick, Past President of the Intermountain Tennis Association. Jon served as President of Intermountain Tennis Association during a very challenging time in the Section's history. He responded to every problem with a soothing solution; involving all stakeholders in an honest and respectful manner that put the goal of growing tennis above all else. Jon's leadership exuded a quiet sense of purpose, a vision of what needed to be accomplished, and the resolution to address critical and often difficult issues. Through it all, he never lost sight of the fact that tennis was more than just a game, but a valuable venue for teaching life lessons. His leadership skills were also demonstrated in numerous Board and volunteer roles throughout the Colorado District and the Intermountain Section, as well as in his position as head coach of the Colorado State University women's tennis team. This award is given periodically in honor of individuals who exemplify the transformational and servant leadership characterized by Jon Messick.



2015 USTA Intermountain Hall of Fame Inductees


USTA Intermountain Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to honor and encourage individuals in the Intermountain Section who have brought recognition and esteem to themselves and the section by excellence in their activities. The Hall of Fame will include both tennis players and non-players whose achievements as sportsmen or sportswomen are worthy of the highest commendation and recognition, or whose contributions as officials or individuals in a tennis-related activity have been so outstanding over a significant period of time as to justify the highest commendation and recognition. 


Gil Reyes; Las Vegas, Nevada


2015 Awards Video



Gil Reyes played an instrumental role in the history of Intermountain tennis through his work as trainer of Hall of Fame player Andre Agassi.

Reyes first met Agassi when Reyes served as a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). After an early round exit at the Australian Open in 1999, Agassi and Reyes recommitted to a unique training regime which included two hours of on-court practice, two hours of strength training, and finished with sprints up the 320-foot “Magic Mountain”. 

It was Reyes’ innovative approach to training that Agassi credits for his late career revival. According to Agassi, “Gil is the reason why I've won more Slams after the age of 29 than I did before.” In 2001, Agassi recognized Reyes’ friendship and important role in his life by naming his child Jaden Gil Agassi. Today, Reyes continues to work with tennis players and athletes of all sports through his training company “Bilt by Agassi and Reyes”.


Greg Patton; Boise, Idaho


2015 Awards Video



Greg Patton has been an instrumental force in tennis for more than 30 years. As a college coach at UC Irvine (1979-92) and Boise State (1993-1998, 2003-present), he has taken his teams to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, and won 20 conference championships. Along the way his team earned 23 All-American awards, 37 All-Conference honorees, 12 Conference Players of the Year and Greg received 19 Coach of the Year honors. His current coaching record ranks him fifth nationally for most wins by an active NCAA Division 1 Men’s Coach.

As the US National Team coach, Junior level (1984-87) Greg helped American players Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Michael Chang and David Wheaton to top five world rankings. Greg has also coached the US Collegiate National Team and led the team to two world championships and one runner-up finish. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Intermountain David Freed Award for volunteer service in the Intermountain Section, and in 2013 he played a prominent role bringing the Davis Cup to Boise, Idaho.


Rick Draney; Salt Lake City, Utah


2015 Awards Video



Rick Draney is a pioneer in the sport of wheelchair tennis. He fought for the creation of a division for athletes with disabilities and was instrumental in the introduction of the "Quad" division to both the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the USTA. In 2013, for his dedication to improving the lives of disabled tennis players and advancing the sport of wheelchair tennis, Draney received the USTA’s prestigious Brad Parks Award. 

As a quad player, Draney had a stellar career, climbing to No. 1 in the world and winning multiple US Open titles in singles and doubles. He was also a member of two World Team Cup championship teams, playing on the U.S. Quad team in 1998 and 2003. 

In addition to his tennis achievements, Draney was a gold medal-winning Paralympian for the U.S. Quad rugby team in Sydney, Australia, in 2000. Since retiring from competition, Draney continues to be involved in wheelchair tennis, as a coach, a national speaker on leadership, and as chairman of the Wheelchair US Open for 10 years.


USTA Intermountain is one of 17 sections of the United States Tennis Association. We are a nonprofit organization committed to growing the game of tennis by offering quality recreational and competitive programs for people of all ages and abilities. Intermountain has more than 39,000 individual and more than 400 organizational members in its six Districts (states); Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

For more information, contact Wendy Anderson, ITA Marketing and Communications Manager, at (303) 518-9545 or  



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