SKILLMAN, NJ – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced today the 2012 inductees for the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. The 2012 class consists of six inductees: Coaches – Chuck Kriese, Paul Scarpa, and Ron Smarr; Players – Patrick Du Pré and David Wheaton; and Contributor – Jon Vegosen. The 2012 honorees will be inducted at the 2012 ITA Men’s Collegiate Hall of Fame Enshrinement Banquet, which will be held on May 23 during the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.
In addition to the induction ceremony, there will also be a special tribute to Dan Magill in appreciation of his unique role with the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame over the past 28 years as its founder, Curator, and Chairman of the ITA Hall of Fame Committee.
Chuck Kriese, head coach of Clemson University’s men’s tennis team from 1975 to 2008, was named the ITA Coach of the Year in 1981 and the ACC Coach of the Year six times on his way to becoming the winningest coach in conference history. He amassed 685 wins and led the Tigers to 10 ACC Championships.
Paul Scarpa, head coach of Furman University’s men’s tennis team for 48 years, ended his career with more wins than any other coach in the history of Division I Men’s Tennis. He finished with an overall record of 853-542-3. Scarpa is also responsible for helping introduce the team format currently used in collegiate tennis.
Ron Smarr was the head coach at four different institutions in his 41 years of collegiate tennis coaching. He spent 15 years with Rice University, 10 years with the University of Colorado, 13 years with the University of South Carolina, and three with Wingate College, totaling 855 victories in his career. The 2010 NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year, Smarr is one of only two men’s coaches to take three different programs to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tennis Championship.
Patrick Du Pré, a 1976 graduate of Stanford University, played for the Cardinal from 1973-76. He was the NCAA Men’s Singles Finalist in 1976, earning him All- American honors. Du Pré helped Stanford win the NCAA Championship in 1973 and 1974.
David Wheaton, a 1988 graduate of Stanford University, helped the Cardinal win an NCAA Championship in 1988. He went on to have a very successful career in professional tennis, reaching a career-high singles ranking of No. 12 in 1991. Wheaton was also a member of the 1993 United States Davis Cup Team.
Harold Solomon played at Rice University from 1971-72, earning ITA All-American honors before turning pro. During his time at Rice, Solomon led the Owls to back-to-back Southwest Conference team championships, while also claiming the 1971 Southwest Conference singles title. In his professional career, Solomon was ranked as high as No. 5 in the world, won a total of 22 singles titles, and reached the finals of the 1976 French Open as well as the semifinals of the 1977 US Open. He was also a member of two winning U.S. Davis Cup teams in 1972 and 1978. He would eventually go on to coach champion players Mary Jo Fernandez, Jim Courier, Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles and Anna Kournikova, among others.
Jon Vegosen, Chairman of the Board and President of the USTA, has made countless and invaluable contributions to the ITA and our world of college tennis, beginning with his serving as Vice Chair of the College Varsity Committee in 2003, and extending through his tenure as Chair of the Varsity Committee, and in his role as liaison to the ITA in his first two years as a member of the USTA Board of Directors. Jon had an instrumental role in helping to create the ITA/USTA Advocacy Network, as well as highlighting the vital importance of the Junior/Collegiate Continuum as a key ingredient in the player development pathway, and encouraging the USTA title sponsorship of the ITA Intercollegiate Championships program. The captain of the varsity tennis team at Northwestern his junior and senior years, Vegosen was an All-Big Ten selection in 1973.