Wilson ITA Coach of the Year
Chance Joost | William Woods University
Chance Joost from William Woods University has been named the 2023 Wilson ITA Head Coach of the Year. With Coach Joost at the head of the William Woods Men’s Tennis team, the program jumped from No. 18 in the country to No. 5 this season. During this past year, the team had three players ranked in the Top 50 in the country, as well as two doubles teams ranked in the Top 25 in the country. The William Woods team won the conference championship, placing all but one player on the All-Conference teams. They had an overall record of 20-4.
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year
Megane Bianco | Keiser University
Megane Bianco from Keiser University has been named the 2023 ITA Assistant Coach of the Year. Since taking over as assistant coach three years ago, the men’s program has only continued to go to new levels, with this season proving to this point to be one of the best. This past year, the Keiser Men’s Tennis team did something no team has been able to do in beating No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett to snap their 173-match winning streak. They did so in the NAIA Indoor National Championship match giving Keiser the first NAIA Indoor National Championship title. From then, the men went the entire season ranked No. 1 in the nation and had 16 wins over nationally ranked opponents on the season. The men also captured their 8th straight Sun Conference Championship this past year going 19-5.
ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship
Jered Wilson | Xavier University of Louisiana
Jered Wilson from Xavier University of Louisiana has been named the 2023 ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership Award winner. Wilson enrolled at Xavier in August 2020, but did not attend during 2021-22 because he was in working in Los Angeles as a research lab assistant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. While there, Wilson participated in Alzheimer’s disease research focusing on retinal pathology and the effect of Alzheimer’s on the retina. Back home in Texas, he and church members helped feed the homeless at a tent city. In 2022-23, Wilson helped Xavier earn a No. 7 national ranking and an automatic bid to NAIA nationals. This spring he was named a first-team Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar.
ITA Rookie of the Year
Shaheed Alam | Keiser University
Shaheed Alam from Keiser University has been named the 2023 ITA Rookie of the Year. During the season, Alam was ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation in singles and No. 11 in nation in doubles. He was named Sun Conference Freshman of the Year. He was also twice named the NAIA National Player of the Week. Alam had a strong freshman year on and off the court, having maintained a 3.89 GPA. Season accomplishments for Alam include the Sun Conference Freshman of the Year, ITA Florida Regional Doubles Champion, ITA Florida Regional Singles Runner Up. He was also ranked Top Ten in the nation in singles and doubles during the season.
ITA Most Improved Senior
Luca Struffi | Midland University
Luca Struffi from Midland University has been named the 2023 ITA Most Improved Senior. Luca is originally from Italy but went to high school in Nebraska, where he won the state tournament in doubles. After high school, Luca decided to start his collegiate career at Midland University. During his collegiate career, he won three conference tournaments, made it to nationals, and has won many conference awards. This past season, Luca compiled a singles record of 11-8 and a doubles record of 16-4 while maintaining over a 3.5 GPA.
ITA Senior Player of the Year
Oscar Gabriel Ortiz | Tennessee Wesleyan University
Oscar Gabriel Ortiz from Tennessee Wesleyan University has been named the 2023 ITA Senior Player of the Year. During the past season, Ortiz was ranked as high as the No. 1 player in the NAIA. He was undefeated during the spring, posting wins versus top teams in the NAIA. Ortiz is a two-time NAIA/ITA All American, three-time AAC Player of the year, AAC Freshman of the year and this year, was elected as the Male Player of the Year for Tennessee Wesleyan University along with being the AAC Player of the Year.