Rollins College tennis legend Beverly Buckley has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 ITA Meritorious Service Award, presented by ConantLeadership.
The ITA Meritorious Service Award is given annually in recognition of an ITA coach who has gone “above and beyond” in their commitment and contributions to the ITA and college tennis in general. As part of receiving the Meritorious Service Award, Buckley, courtesy of the ITA and ConantLeadership, will attend the 2021 ITA Leadership Weekend in New York City, where she will be recognized with other ITA Award winners the weekend before the start of the 2021 U.S. Open – barring any changes due to health and safety precautions.
“I first met Bev when I became CEO of the ITA,” Dr. Timothy Russell recalled. “She was a member of the Board of Directors of the ITA and coupled a passion for our sport and Association with joyous commitment to her school and division, always contributing with thoughtful grace. She continues to contribute today with her work on her operating committee and our ITA Operating Council. I thank Bev for her many contributions and know that her colleagues celebrate with us.”
Buckley is synonymous with elite tennis at Rollins College. The coming 2020-21 season will mark Buckley’s 34th season as head coach of the Rollins’ women’s tennis program. Since taking over the program in 1986, Buckley has compiled a 502-267 dual match record which makes her the winningest coach in Rollins tennis history. Buckley currently sits at No. 7 in all-time wins in Division II tennis.
Under Buckley’s lead, the Tars have consistently positioned themselves as national title contenders. During the 2013-14 season, the Tars made their 20th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Her teams have produced over 20 ITA All-Americans.
“I am flattered to be joining the outstanding list of the past recipients of the ITA Meritorious Service Award,” Coach Buckley said. “ It is quite humbling to have been selected for this prestigious award. Tennis has been my passion since I picked up a racquet at age 11. Being in a position to give back to the sport that I love was an opportunity that I could not pass up!”
Buckley began coaching at her alma mater after stints at Southwestern College in California and the Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa. Before getting into coaching, Buckley competed on the tour for five years – making appearances at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the French Open.
While Buckley was a student-athlete at Rollins, she won two Florida state collegiate doubles titles and one state singles title. Buckley is a member of the Rollins College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Buckley has also been inducted into the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame and the Missouri Valley USTA Section Hall of Fame.
Previous winners of the award are Chris Davis (2019), Bill Richards (2018), Peter Wright (2017), Shelia McInerney (2016), Ann Lebedeff (2015), and Dave Fish (2014).