Home About The ITA ITA Board of Directors

ITA Board of Directors

Board Leadership

Jon Vegosen

Chairman of the Board

Timothy Russell

President & CEO

Neel Grover

Vice President

Harold Edwards


Judy Van Horn


Shaheen Ladhani

Investment Committee Chair

Jill Fonte

Class of 2023

Leslie Allen

Ray Anderson

Mike Fried

Jennifer Hyde

Craig Morris

Billy Pate

Kate Ruckert

Gordon Uehling

Vince Westbrook

Eve Zimmerman Short

Class of 2024

Clarisse Baca

Harold Edwards

Jill Fonte

Neel Grover

Rodney Harmon

Shaheen Ladhani

Timothy Russell

Judy Van Horn

Jon Vegosen

Special Advisors

Shabbi S. Khan

Dr. Mark Kovacs

Board Leadership

Jon VegosenJon Vegosen, of Chicago, Illinois, Chairman of the Board of the ITA. Vegosen is a founding member of 41-year-old Chicago corporate and litigation law firm, Funkhouser Vegosen Liebman & Dunn Ltd. A long-time volunteer, leader, advocate, fundraiser and connector for tennis at all levels, Vegosen served as the 2011-2012 Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of the United States Tennis Association, and Chairman of the US Open. He has served on other tennis boards, including the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and the USTA Foundation. Vegosen has a passion for collegiate tennis and education. During his USTA Presidency, he created the Tennis and Higher Education Task Force to promote the importance of every American youngster obtaining a college education – and that tennis is the sport of opportunity for achieving this goal. Vegosen played tennis at Northwestern University. He was captain his junior and senior years, selected to the All Big-Ten Team, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Vegosen attended Northwestern University School of Law, graduating Cum Laude. He has been inducted into the following Halls of Fame: ITA Men’s Collegiate, Northwestern University Athletics, USTA/Midwest Section, and Chicago Tennis.

Timothy Russell, of Chandler, Arizona, President and Chief Executive Officer of the ITA. Russell spent three decades as a distinguished educator at two major Division I schools (as Professor at Arizona State University and formerly at The Ohio State University), as well as at the University of Rochester, a leading Division III institution. In addition to his academic achievements, Russell has also been a highly successful entrepreneur, with a leadership role in the development of two renowned American non-profit institutions. Russell is also well known in the tennis world, including for his work as a long-time USTA volunteer. He has been inducted into the following tennis Halls of Fame: ITA Men’s Collegiate, USTA Southwest, and USTA Central Arizona.

ITA Member Coaches

Clarisse BacaClarisse Baca is the Academy of Art University Women’s tennis head coach and Business Professor at Santa Rosa Junior College. After arriving in 2018, Baca led the Urban Knights to their first NCAA national appearance, a national ranking as high as No. 6, three ITA All-Americans, and multiple ITA and Conference. awards. Before ART U, Baca was the acting head coach at her alma mater, Sacramento State, from 2016-2017. As a Hornet, Baca led Sacramento State women’s tennis to four straight Big Sky regular season and tournament championships as well as four berths in the NCAA Tournament. A top 30 nationally ranked team, she was undefeated in Big Sky dual play, contributing to the program’s 112-match unbeaten streak against Big Sky opponents. In 2020, Baca joined the All-Decade team by holding the all-time best doubles record and second ranking in most career singles wins. In 2019, she co-founded Latina Tennis Coach, which is an organization that recruits, educates and promotes Latinas in the sport. In addition, Baca is the ITA National Ranking and Awards Chair and sits on two national boards, Latina Professionals and SF Tennis Coalition.

Mike FriedMike Fried is a graduate of Brown University and just completed his 10th year as the Head Men’s and Women’s Coach at Wesleyan University. He has been named ITA National Coach of the Year for men’s tennis (2017), women’s tennis (2019), and the 2022 ITA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year. He led the women’s team to their first-ever NCAA title in 2019 (the first women’s NCAA championship in any sport at Wesleyan) and the 2022 Final Four and 2021 Final. Mike has guided 37 team members to All-America honors and coached Eudice Chong to 4 NCAA singles titles, the only player in NCAA history to accomplish that feat. In 2018, she was named the NESCAC Player of the Year, the ITA Player of the Year, and the Honda DIII Athlete of the Year. Mike has led the Cardinals women’s team to 3 consecutive NESCAC titles (2019, 2021, 2022) with a 53-4 record over that time, and his men’s team has reached the NCAA Elite Eight twice (2017, 2019). Mike has been named the NESCAC Coach of the Year for both the men’s team (2013) and women’s (2019, 2022), and both teams have been Academic All-America honorees in every year of his tenure. Before Wesleyan, Mike spent 10+ years in equity trading and finance in New York and Miami. He was a top nationally ranked junior player and a 4-year starter and 2-year Captain at Brown.

Rodney HarmonRodney Harmon is a graduate of SMU and is completing his tenth year as the Head Women’s Coach at Georgia Tech. His Yellow Jacket teams have qualified for the NCAA Team Championships each year he has been in Atlanta with three appearances in the Round of 16 (2016, 2017 & 2021) and reached the semifinals in 2018. During his tenure, he has been named ACC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year twice (2016, 2017). Rodney also has mentored six All – Americans and 17 All-ACC Selections. He was also named Wilson/ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year in 2017. During his stint as the Head Men’s Coach at the University of Miami, Rodney was named Big East Coach of the Year (1996, 1997). He was inducted into the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010. During his college career, Rodney was a three time All American. He was the NCAA Doubles Champion at Tennessee with Mel Purcell (1980). After transferring to SMU, he led SMU to the NCAA Team Championship Match in 1983. Rodney was the Head Coach/Team USA for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as well as the 1993 World University Games in Buffalo, New York. He worked for the USTA for seventeen years as a coach with his last position being the Director of Men’s Tennis for the High Performance Program. As a pro, Rodney’s greatest result was reaching the Singles Quarter Finals at the 1982 US Open. He also reached the 3rd Round of Wimbledon in 1983. His highest ATP Singles Ranking was #56.

Jennifer Hyde is a Florida State alum and the head women’s tennis coach at her alma mater. Hyde just completed her 17th season at the helm of the Florida State University women’s tennis program. During her record-breaking FSU career she has twice been named ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year (2011 and 2018) and the 2007 ITA South Region Coach of the Year. Hyde continues to set new standards for the women’s program year-after-year. In 2021, she led the Seminoles to another NCAA Elite 8 appearance for the second time in the last four NCAA Championships, and has guided FSU to an NCAA appearance for the 15th time in 17 opportunities. Hyde has led the Seminole squads in back-to-back top 10 national final rankings in 2020 and 2021. Hyde coached a program-best three All-Americans in 2021 and has now coached five All-Americans in just the last two years. Those five All-Americans account for more than half of the total All-Americans in program history. Hyde is also Florida State University’s winningest coach in the programs history, amassing 324 career wins through the 2021 season. In the classroom, and under Hyde’s guidance, the Florida State Women’s Tennis team continues to be among the top academic achieving teams at FSU, regularly earning the Golden Torch Award, given to the team holding the highest GPA on campus each year. Hyde’s teams are annual recipients of the ITA All-Academic Team honors, as well as ITA Scholar Athlete and ACC All-Academic Team honors. As a student-athlete, Hyde had an impressive playing career at Florida State with the Seminoles. A four-year letter winner, Hyde was an NCAA Tournament participant in 1994 and an ACC flight champion in doubles. Hyde captained the 1994 Seminole squad whose No. 17 ranking previously stood for sixteen years as the highest year-end ranking until 2010’s No. 14 finish. Hyde earned a Master’s Degree from Florida State in Sport Management in 2011.

Billy PateBilly Pate is in his 27th season of his college coaching career. He just completed his ninth season as the head coach of the Princeton men’s tennis team in 2020-21. He is regarded as one of the most respected and influential leaders in college tennis, underscored by his long history of instilling character-based values to his players. Through his first nine seasons, Pate guided the Tigers to 128 dual-match victories and matched Princeton against 77 ITA-ranked opponents. During Pate’s tenure, Princeton has been ranked as high as No. 18 in March 2020, the program’s highest ranking on record since February and March 2015 when it was ranked No. 23. Pate was named the 2007 ITA South Region Coach of the Year and SEC Co-Coach of the Year after leading Alabama to a No. 9 national ranking. In 2002, he was tabbed the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year after helping Notre Dame to a No. 4 national ranking. He spent five seasons (1996-2000) as head coach at Georgia Perimeter College, winning NJCAA national championships in his final three seasons and earning National Junior College Coach of the Year and USPTA National Coach of the Year each season. He has served as co-chair of the ITA Operating Committee and ITA Executive/Budget Committee in addition to serving on the ITA Board of Directors. Pate also served on the USTA Collegiate Committee. A native of Hot Springs, Ark., Pate played collegiately at Mississippi State where the Bulldogs advanced to the SEC final in 1991 and a round of 16 appearance in the NCAA Championships. After graduating from Mississippi State University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Pate worked with the Atlanta Thunder of the World Team Tennis, earning his master’s degree in sports administration in 1995 from Georgia State University. At Georgia State, Pate served as president of the Sports Administration Club and as Graduate Assistant to the Director of Athletics. He was named to the ITA Board of Directors in 2019.

Vince WestbrookVince Westbrook is the Head Coach of the Tulsa Men’s Tennis program. Since taking over the The University of Tulsa tennis program in 1991, Vince Westbrook has turned the Golden Hurricane program into one of the most respected in the nation. In 2020-21, Westbrook entered his 30th season as head men’s tennis coach while also serving as director of tennis and senior associate athletic director. Westbrook has settled for nothing but the best in establishing a winning tradition at Tulsa in both men’s and women’s tennis. His vision and guidance have yielded national rankings, regional honors and conference merits for both Golden Hurricane teams and players. In the COVID-19 shortened 2019-20 season, the Hurricane posted a 10-7 mark and a year earlier Tulsa finished the 2018-19 season at 14-12 overall, including eight matches against nationally-ranked teams. Westbrook is Tulsa’s all-time winningest coach with a 437-330 (.569) overall men’s record. He turned over the head coaching responsibilities with the women’s team in 1998 after compiling an overall 52-64 mark, the third-most wins for a Tulsa women’s head coach. Westbrook has led the Tulsa men to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, nine conference championships and has coached 12 players to 15 All-America honors as well as coaching six Central Region Champions. He has earned three Region Coach of the Year awards and five times was named the conference coach of the year. He was named the 1997 and 1999 Region V Coach of the Year, the 2008 Wilson/ITA Central Region Coach of the Year, and the Conference USA Coach of the Year in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Athletic Directors

Ray AndersonRay Anderson is the Vice President for University Athletics and Athletics Director (AD) at Arizona State University (ASU). Anderson was named Arizona State University’s Vice President for University Athletics and Athletics Director on January 9, 2014 and has quickly redefined the collegiate athletics landscape over the course of his tenure at ASU. Anderson was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Minorities in Sports in February 2016, noting that he had “helped position the Sun Devils as one of the most innovative brands in college sports.” Highly influential in the world of collegiate athletics, Anderson is a board member of the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame. While national trends lean toward downsizing athletics departments and eliminating non-revenue generating sporting programs, Anderson has made it his mission to not only add NCAA Division I sports at Arizona State but also expand educational and scholarship opportunities for future Sun Devil student-athletes. In May 2016, Sun Devil Athletics announced the reinstatement of the men’s tennis program at Arizona State – an act made possible through a $1M lead gift from Anderson himself and his wife, Buffie. The donation came just a month after Sun Devil Athletics announced a strategic alliance with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) to leverage the resources of a research-based University to grow the sport of tennis locally, nationally, and globally. Anderson joined the Sun Devil Family after serving as the executive vice president of football operations for the National Football League (NFL) since August 2006. A Los Angeles, California native, Anderson earned a BA in political science from Stanford in 1976 and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1979. He was an all-league high school quarterback and shortstop, and a three-year football letterman and two-year baseball letterman at Stanford. Anderson co-founded the sports law practice at Heller, Ehrman, a prominent San Francisco firm, in 1980 and entered the sports agency business in 1984 when he opened the West Coast office for Sports Advisors Group. In 1987, he launched his own agency, AR Sports, specializing in the representation of NFL coaches and players and later adding Major League Baseball players. Anderson merged his agency with Octagon in 2001. From May 2002 to July 2006, Anderson served as executive vice president of administration for the Atlanta Falcons, prior to his move to the NFL headquarters in August 2006. There he served as Executive Vice President of Football Operations until moving into the AD’s role at ASU.

Judy Van HornJudy Van Horn Executive Associate Athletics Director for Sport and Risk Management (SWA), has been an integral part of the athletics department senior staff since January 2011. She is chair of the department’s Sport Management Group, and primary sport administrator for several intercollegiate programs including volleyball, beach volleyball, men’s tennis and women’s tennis. Van Horn serves as the Title IX Deputy Coordinator and athletics department liaison to the Office of Equal Opportunity Program. She handles multiple internal responsibilities including oversight for human resources, departmental policies and participates on various University committees such as the Sexual Assault Policy Group, President’s Athletics Community Advisory Committee and the University Athletics Advisory Committee. In her role as senior woman administrator (SWA), Van Horn participates in SEC governance. She sits on the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis and Women’s Tennis Committee. She has also served on the Executive Committee of the NCAA Committee on Institutional Performance where she chaired the Inclusion Subcommittee and lead efforts to develop new metrics to assist NCAA Division I institutions in assessing their athletics programs, including best practices. Van Horn was a member of the 2015 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Beach Volleyball Selection Committee. Van Horn came to South Carolina after a nine-year tenure at the University of Michigan. As Associate Director of Athletics/SWA, Van Horn oversaw the University’s athletics compliance program. She had a primary role addressing a major infractions case involving the football program as well as the high profile “Fab Five” men’s basketball case. She also served on the steering committee for the President’s Ethics in Public Life Initiative. Van Horn worked on various Big Ten committees including Legislative Review, Drug Testing Review, and Compliance and Reinstatement. Prior to her tenure at Michigan, Van Horn spent four years in the Department of Athletics at Michigan State University where she rose to Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance with oversight for NCAA compliance efforts and taught a course, “Ethics in Sport.” Van Horn began her athletics administration career at her alma mater, Central Michigan University, working there 8 years. Van Horn served a two-year term as President of the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC) during which she led a major restructuring of the organization. NAAC honored her with the 2010 Frank Kara Leadership Award, the premier award bestowed to a member of the compliance profession, and in 2005 the Outstanding Achievement Award. Van Horn holds a master’s degree in sport administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University. She and her husband, Dave, have three adult children and six grandchildren.

Business, Professional, Sports Media

Leslie Allen is a dynamic speaker,  life skills coach, and award-winning athlete development specialist. She is an ATA, NCAA, and WTA champion who was ranked as high as  # 17 in the world.  College tennis played a pivotal role in her  rise to the  top of the game. Late to catch the tennis bug, Leslie Allen when she finally did get serious, decided she was going to play college and pro tennis. Thanks to Title IX she became the first girl to play on a boys HS tennis team in the state of OH.  Her college career began with an academic scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University. Wanting to combine strong academics and big-time athletics she knew she had to transfer.  Allen walked on at  #1 ranked University of Southern California (USC) and played # 5 on their championship team.  She graduated with honors from USC with a degree in Speech Communications and plans to join the WTA tour. Allen knows first hand the complexities of navigating in a world that was not designed for her. As a Black female tennis pro, she redesigned the tennis world and maintained a top twenty world ranking. When Allen won the singles title at the Avon Championships of Detroit in 1981, she made history as the first African American woman to win a major pro tournament since Althea Gibson’s 1958 US Open victory.  Allen won a combined 9 WTA singles & doubles titles and was a French Open Mixed Doubles finalist. Allen is an International Tennis Hall of Fame Tennis Educational Merit Award 2010 honoree and was inducted into the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame in 2016. Off-court she has worn many hats in tennis; a WTA Tournament Director,   Television Commentator, WTA Board Player Rep (securing equal prize money for women at all Grand Slams),   Division I  Head Coach at Fordham University, and Women’s Tour Global Media Director. Joining trailblazers and personal mentors Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King, Leslie Allen broke barriers and overcame adversity when the odds were stacked against her. She believes wholeheartedly in the importance of having impeccable life skills to succeed on and off the playing field. Through Win4Life Enterprises Allen works with corporations, colleges, nonprofits, and individuals to inspire and teach the life skills needed to be a true winner in life.   For more than two decades, Allen has empowered hundreds across the country through Win4Life mentorship and training where she shares her passion to educate, empower and lead. Allen is a real estate professional and resides in Morristown NJ. She has one daughter who lives in GA and is a college volleyball coach. Leslie enjoys yoga, thrift store explorations, and nature photography.

Harold S. EdwardsHarold S. Edwards grew up playing tennis in Southern California at the Cabrillo Racquet Club with Wayne and Kathy Bryan (parents of the Bryan Brothers) and went on to play four years of tennis at Lewis & Clark College (Division 3) in Portland, Oregon. Harold has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Limoneira Company (Nasdaq: LMNR) since November 2003 and a Director of Limoneira since 2009. Previously, he was the president of Puritan Medical Products, a division of Airgas, Inc. Prior to that, he held management positions with Fisher Scientific International, Cargill, The Ralston Purina Company, and Mission Produce. Harold is currently a member of the board of directors of Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI). He is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College and the Thunderbird School of Global Management (Arizona State University) where he earned his MBA. Harold is married to Angela, and has three children, Sam 26 (played tennis for The University of Alabama and then Clemson University where he graduated), Sophia 23 (graduate of The University of South Carolina) and Blake 16 (sophomore at Villanova Preparatory School). Harold is a dedicated tennis fan and a committed supporter of junior and college tennis.

Jill Fonte enjoyed a 35 year career in the tennis industry. She was the owner/Executive Director of the United States Racquet Stringers Association – a 7,000 member world-wide trade association for tennis retailers – before divesting the organization in 2000. She is the former National Chair of the USTA’s Tennis Innovation Committee, former President of the USTA’s Middle States section, and former Chief Operating Officer of the USTA’s Eastern section. During her tenure as President, the Middle States section was named “Section of the Year” by the USTA. Likewise, during her tenure as Chief Operating Officer, the Eastern section was named “Section of the Year”. Fonte is a former member of the Tennis Industry Association’s Board of Directors, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association’s Racquet Sports Committee, and the Advisory Board for Ferris State University’s Professional Tennis Management Program. She was a successful public speaker, executive coach and organizational development consultant for ten years – training and motivating individuals and teams to reach their goals. Clients included the Human Performance Institute, Merrill Lynch, Rambus and many other organizations. Jill received her Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition from Simmons College in Boston where she played four years of varsity tennis. She also holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine. Jill is still an avid, frequent, competitive tennis player who serves her community in many ways – including as President of her Homeowner’s Association and Chair of the Disaster Preparedness Committee for Rancho La Quinta. Jill lives in La Quinta, CA with her husband Doug Fonte.

Neel GroverNeel Grover is the founder and CEO of Indi.com, Chairman of the Board Bluefly.com and The SWI Group, and the former CEO of Rakuten.com and Buy.com. Talented and seasoned e-commerce, mobile and social media entrepreneur and executive, Grover brings a highly relevant skill set to the ITA Board. Grover attended UC Irvine, where he was captain of the men’s tennis team. He received his J.D. from the University of San Diego Law School. Grover was Captain of the 2013 US National Men’s 40s National Team and participated in the World Championships in Turkey. A talented competitive tennis player, Grover has won several national championships.

Shaheen LadhaniShaheen Ladhani manages portfolios for private clients as well as for several nonprofits and foundations. He previously served as director of alumni, corporate and foundation relations at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. Ladhani enjoyed an eight-year tenure as assistant men’s tennis coach at Rice where he was named 2004 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year. Ladhani had a stint coaching several tennis players on the pro tour, while simultaneously serving as a sport psychology consultant for athletes in a variety of team and individual sports. He served as chair of the Investment Committee for The Center for Adults With Disabilities in Houston. Ladhani earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and managerial studies from Rice University while competing on the men’s tennis team before earning a master’s degree in sport psychology and an MBA from Rice University.

Craig MorrisCraig Morris, Chief Executive at the United States Tennis Association (USTA), oversees all aspects of Community Tennis, including adult tennis, league tennis, youth tennis, USTA tournaments, and all other areas for growing grassroots participation in the sport. Morris is also responsible for integrating Player & Coach Development into Community Tennis as the USTA moves to a service-based organization that accelerates and expands tennis participation throughout the country. Since his arrival at the USTA in November 2015, Morris created the USTA’s first-ever unified youth tennis brand – Net Generation. Net Generation launched in May 2017 and engaged 500,000+ youth players in the sport. Active in the tennis industry for more than 20 years, his expertise spans a broad spectrum of tennis and business fields. He has served as the Director of Participation for Tennis Australia, overseeing all aspects of strategy and delivery for growing the game in Australia, and held various positions in Athlete Development and Coach Development. Between 2001 and 2004, Morris coached Samantha Stosur (2011 US Open Champion) on the WTA tour as part of the TA Optus Achievers program. During this period, Morris was Stosur’s first tour coach and transitioned her into the top 100. Previously, Morris held the position of Women’s tennis coach for the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), traveling with Australia’s leading female junior athletes on the ITF junior tour. Morris has a Tennis Australia High-Performance coaching qualification, a Bachelor of Education, and a Masters of Sport Management.

Kate Ruckert is Director of Strategy and Innovation at Walmart. In her current role, Kate has led a variety of strategic initiatives focused on business transformation, revenue growth, cost saving measures, process optimization, and enhanced customer experience. She previously served as Chief of Staff for the Executive Vice President of Merchandising Operations. Kate joined the company through the E3, Strategy & Finance Rotational Program, a leadership development program. Kate received her Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Prior to business school, Kate played professional tennis on the WTA Tour. During her professional career, she captured five Singles championships and one Doubles championship and was ranked worldwide #364 in Women’s Singles and #374 in Women’s Doubles. Kate earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas, where she played on the tennis team. In her senior year, she helped lead the team to the NCAA Championship Finals. Kate currently serves on the USTA Nominating Committee and served as an Elite Athlete on the Committee for the 2019-2020 term.

Gordon Uehling, a former ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) world-ranked player both in singles and doubles, is the visionary behind the CourtSense program. Gordon was honored by the United States Olympic Committee and the United States Tennis Association for his outstanding contributions to using sports science in the game of tennis in 2013. At a young age, Gordon excelled in multiple sports which helped prepare him for his true passion for tennis. Gordon believes deeply in developing children to be fit, agile, responsible, and in their earlier pre-teen years to be trained in a variety of sports. He had long dreamed of developing a top-quality multi-faceted instructional program that integrates all of these values, a program he had often wished was available to him as a junior player. During his last three years on the tour, Gordon trained under Jose Higueras, one of the most accomplished coaches in tennis, and traveled with Coach Carlos Cano, currently Director of Player Development and Coaches at CourtSense. He also worked with Dr. James Loehr, recognized as the most influential sports psychologist in tennis, and later was a student of his work. While on tour, Gordon trained with top world-ranked players such as Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, and Todd Martin. Through these extraordinary experiences, Gordon gained extensive knowledge and a deep understanding of the game of tennis. He has been an advisor/consultant to Novak Djokovic for many years and continues to be one and was part of Christina McHale’s coaching team from 12 years old to her early 20’s (highest ranking 22 in the world WTA and the United States Olympian at the 2012 London games). In the past Gordon has worked with world-class players, Vince Spadea (formerly #19 in the world), Dmitry Tursunov (formerly #21 in the world), and Luis Flores (formerly #9 in the world in ITF Juniors), among many others. Gordon, along with GM Ogi Nikolovski and Director of Coaches Carlos Cano has worked tirelessly developing and handpicking the best coaches from around the world.

Eve Zimmerman Short was a top Junior Player and Sacramento Tennis Hall Fame Inductee. Eve was recruited by the nearby University of Pacific where she played #1 for four years, graduating with a degree in Geology.  Still wanting to play, Eve spent the next five years traveling the world on the WTA and challenger circuit achieving rankings in both singles and doubles with a career high of 252 in singles. After leaving the tour , Eve went to work in pharmaceutical sales.  Always the competitor, Eve was top ten in the nation selling products for Bristol Meyers Squibb in the Cardiovascular division while living in Dallas. Later, Eve moved to Japan with her husband in 1998 for 4 years before moving to London for 17 years raising their son Ellis Jr. Ellis’s last four years in High School was completed in Boca Raton , Florida where her and her husband , Ellis Sr, and Ellis Jr. and herself reside now. Eve continues to play tennis, is an avid golfer ( She grew up playing golf with her dad) and enjoys Skiing every season. Eve began giving back to tennis in 2012 when she was asked to anchor a new 12 court facility at the University of the Pacific. The Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center opened in 2016. Recognizing Eve’s business and intellectual skills, Eve was elected to the University of Pacific Board of Regents in 2018. Eve is also a Fellow at Kings College Wimbledon and formally on the Board of Governors at Knightsbridge School. In addition, she helped start, write their constitution and was head of their Parents Association. Both schools are located in London, and they involved Eve in heading up many important fundraisers as well as supporting and guiding other important UK charity appeals, fundraisers and pledge campaigns. Eve continues to be an original Patron at The Queens Club, also located in London. In 2014 , Eve was asked by her former coach, Phil Cello, to help develop an annual National Junior Tournament at Stanford University. Through Eve’s funding and her hands-on involvement, this event consistently brings the best players in the country to Stanford University for four days each September. Eve has also generously supported the ATP Fairfield men’s Challenger in California for the last five years and recently added an ITA event at the Barnes Center in San Diego to the list of tournaments she supports.  Eve’s continued tournament support during the pandemic has allowed these events to stay on the calendar. Eve also joined with Ellis Jr to create a non-profit, “Shoes to Share“ , giving shoes to underserved kids around the world. To date the program has operated in 15 different countries worldwide and distributed around 2,100 pairs of shoes, 120 tennis racquets and assorted sports clothing and balls. As a tennis mom and coach, Eve helped develop her son Ellis Short Jr into a top LTA, Tennis Europe, USTA and ITF player. Ellis will be attending and playing college tennis in the fall.  

Special Advisors

Shabbi S. KhanShabbi S. Khan is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Mr. Khan focuses his practice on patent prosecution and strategic counseling in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer software including cloud and SaaS based technologies, electrical and mechanical technologies, and medical devices. He counsels some of the world’s most innovative technology companies in protecting their intellectual property, guiding them in the strategic development and management of their patent portfolios. Shabbi earned his J.D. from the UIC John Marshall Law School with a certificate in intellectual property law and received his B.S. in Electrical engineering from Northwestern University. Shabbi played collegiate tennis at Valparaiso University during his last year of eligibility. Shabbi strongly believes that tennis has taught him invaluable life lessons of accountability, persistence, teamwork, and fair play, which have played a significant contribution in his personal and professional life. Shabbi is staunchly committed to mentorship and looks forward to helping the next generation of tennis players succeed both on and off the tennis court.

Dr. Mark KovacsDr. Mark Kovacs is a performance physiologist, researcher, sports executive, professor, author, speaker and coach. He is the CEO of the Kovacs Institute which is focused on optimizing human performance by the practical application of cutting edge science and technology to major professional sports teams and leagues, leading universities and start-up firms. Kovacs formerly directed the Sport Science, Strength & Conditioning and Coaching Education departments for the USTA; was the Senior Director of Sport Science & Health for the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA); the Director of the Gatorade Sport Science Institute and an executive with PepsiCo. He serves as the Executive Director of the International Tennis Performance Association (the “iTPA”). He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and in 2012 he was the youngest ever recipient of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award. In 2014, he received the US Olympic Committee Doc Counsilman Science Award for his innovative use of sport science application to Olympic athletes. Kovacs has worked with hundreds of elite athletes in dozens of sports providing high performance sport science services. Kovacs played tennis at Auburn University, where he was an All-American and NCAA doubles champion. He earned his PhD from the University of Alabama.