The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is delighted to welcome an exceptionally talented and diverse group of individuals to its Board of Directors. Each of these persons brings a unique perspective to our sport and Association. Their new term of service will begin on July 1st of this year.
Joining the Board of Directors are Josh Goffi, Peter Hurley, Claire Pollard, Fernando Sanchez, and Paul Settles, who each bring years of knowledge and experience to the ITA Board from their time as collegiate coaches and in other roles in the tennis ecosystem. All have been elected to serve a two-year term as they join the ITA Board of Directors Class of 2025.
One current Special Advisor, Shabbi Khan, has been elected to the Board. The following five current Board members have been re-elected to continue their service on the Board: Leslie Allen, Jennifer Hyde, Craig Morris, Eve Zimmerman Short, and Vince Westbrook.
Two Special Advisors to the ITA Board of Directors have also been appointed, to serve one-year terms, as provided for in the ITA By-Laws. These are William Knestrick and Steve Weissman, who will each bring countless years of experience and knowledge to the ITA.
The following Board members, who are in the class of 2024, will be continuing their service during the 2023 term: Clarisse Baca, Harold Edwards, Jill Fonte, Neel Grover, Shaheen Ladhani, Timothy Russell, Judy Van Horn, and Jon Vegosen.
“Our Association continues to be blessed by the service of a truly committed Board of Directors,” said ITA Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Timothy Russell. “Great institutions, especially in the not-for-profit world are guided strategically by fiduciary stewards of high integrity. I know that I speak not only personally but also on behalf of our coaches, programs, student-athletes, and partners in thanking the ITA Board of Director for its dedication and ongoing leadership to our sport.”
The ITA Board of Directors was formed in 1979 to serve the needs of the coach membership and college tennis in its entirety. Comprising collegiate coaches, athletic directors, and prominent members in business, law, sport, media, and philanthropy, the ITA Board members capitalize upon their balanced and well-rounded set of viewpoints to help ensure the long-term sustainability of college tennis as one of the most vibrant college sports.
Jon Vegosen, now in his eighth year as Chairman of the ITA Board, expressed praise and gratitude to the entire current ITA Board and Special Advisors and the incoming new Board members and Special Advisors. “The ITA and college tennis are strong today. The members of the ITA Board and the Special Advisors comprise a talented team working together on behalf of the 1,260 colleges and universities, 2,000 teams, 3,000 coaches, 20,000 student-athletes, and 1,350 officials that constitute our Association. Side-by-side with the Special Advisors to the Board and the talented staff of the ITA, the Board will continue to work keenly, tirelessly, and creatively to enhance our sport.”
Earning his first college head coaching position at South Carolina in July 2010, Josh Goffi wasted little time cementing his reputation as an elite recruiter. With a solid, strategic mind and excellent player development skills, he landed a pair of top-10 signing classes in his first four seasons. In 13 seasons, he has crafted a culture that builds more than just a tennis player. Goffi’s coaching philosophies have been shaped by some of the best coaches in the world, including his father, 1991 World Coach of the Year, Carlos Goffi. The younger Goffi grew up around tennis’s elite watching his father coach the likes of John and Patrick McEnroe, Peter Fleming and Mary Carillo. Moreover, the breadth of his exposure to elite level players and coaches helped formulate the basic tenets of his program. Immediately a prominent recruiter, Goffi honed his coaching skills as an assistant at Arizona State (women’s, 2006-08) and Duke (men’s, 2008-10), earning regional ITA Assistant Coach of the Year honors at both (2008 West, 2010 Carolina). Goffi’s coaching career began after spending four years on the ATP Tour from 2001-05 where he rose to as high as No. 121 in doubles with 18 doubles titles. He rose to as high as No. 488 in the ATP singles rankings with six top-100 wins, including a straight-set victory over three-time Grand Slam Champion Stanislas Wawrinka.
Peter Hurley founded Synergy, an 11-time Event Marketer “It List” Top 100 Experiential Agency of the Year. Peter’s vision was based on a simple idea and passion: to bring the sport of tennis to people everywhere. Synergy served as a Strategic Engagement Partner for top Fortune 500 Companies and activated around 25 ATP, WTA and Champions Tour tournaments and the world’s most recognizable events, including the Olympics, the Super Bowl, Wimbledon, and World Cup to name a few. Peter is currently on the board of the International Tennis Hall of Fame (“ITHF”), where he has served on the Executive, Revenue and Development, Facilities and Grounds, Sponsorship and Tournament Committees. Additionally, during his 16-year ITHF tenure, he served as Chair in key ITHF leadership roles: Customer Engagement, Special Events, Auctions and as the Vice-Chair of the Board Nominating. Peter was also the recipient of the distinguished Chairman’s Award in recognition of outstanding service by a Hall of Fame Board Member. Peter served as President of Seabright Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club (“SLT&CC”), the oldest lawn tennis and cricket club in the country, from 2018 to 2022. In August of 2022, SLT&CC proudly hosted the 100th Anniversary of the Prentice Cup, the World’s Oldest Intercollegiate Tennis Competition between the combined teams of Harvard and Yale, on the one hand, and Oxford and Cambridge on the other. At his core, Peter is a contemplative leader with a competitive spirit who sees an opportunity and is determined to make it happen. “I’m a natural connector: bringing the right people, teams and resources together to deliver value for missions that matter. If there is a will, I’ll find the way. This is the ethos I bring as ‘chief coach’ with a desire to deliver on my word.” Peter lives in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey with his wife Paula, son William, a yearling at The United States Military Academy at West Point, and daughter Laura, a rising freshman at Syracuse University.
Entering her 24th season at the helm of the Northwestern women’s tennis program, Claire Pollard has brought the ‘Cats from regular contender in the Big Ten to a national powerhouse. The Wildcats claimed 11 consecutive Big Ten championships from 1999-2009 and added a 12th regular season crown in 2012. In addition to its regular season success, Northwestern strung together 13 straight Big Ten Tournament titles between 1999-2011. Under Pollard the ‘Cats were 45-0 all-time in postseason play against conference foes (Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Championships) before falling to Purdue in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament in 2012. Pollard was the 2008 Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year and is a five-time Wilson/ITA Midwest Region Coach of the Year, most recently in 2012. Pollard is also a five-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, winning the award consecutively in 2008 and 2009. She coached NU to several program-firsts including a No. 1 national ranking in three straight years, back-to-back No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Championships and consecutive ITA National Indoor Team championships in 2009 and 2010. Pollard’s first head coaching position was at her alma mater, Mississippi State University, where she was the coach during the 1990-91 season. After a short stint with the Chris Lane Tennis Club in England, she came back to the States to take on the head coaching position at Lamar, where she led both the men’s and women’s teams. During that time, the women’s team posted a 64-49 overall record. Meanwhile, the men’s team finished 1997 with a 13-8 mark, its best since 1986. A decorated collegiate player, Pollard won the 1989 NCAA Doubles Championship as well as back-to-back Southeastern Conference Indoor and Outdoor Doubles Championships with current NU associate head coach, Jackie Holden. An All-American and Academic All-American, she was named Mississippi State’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1989. Pollard is the Bulldogs’ leader for doubles victories in one season with 39 in 1988-89 and in a career with 111 (1986-1989). She also ranks fifth in career singles wins with 67 and is tied for 10th in season singles victories (23, 1987-88). In 1989, Pollard also participated in the Wimbledon and U.S. Open Championships. Pollard graduated magna cum laude from Mississippi State with a bachelor of science in fitness management and received her master’s from Mississippi State in sports administration.
Beginning his career at the Association of Tennis Professionals (the ATP) in 2008, Fernando Sanchez has quickly risen up the ranks to the position of Senior Vice President of the ATP, in which he has served since January of 2022. Working alongside the ATP’s Chairman, CEO, and the head of the tour division, Sanchez helps shape the future of men’s professional tennis on a daily basis. Sanchez’s main responsibilities within the ATP include enhancing the player relations department, promoting the ATP, and working closely with all ATP tournaments. Prior to his role with the ATP, Sanchez spent time as an Assistant Coach at the University of Washington where he served under head coach Jill Hultquist. Sanchez jumped right into coaching after having a standout collegiate career at Virginia Commonwealth University. During his three years with the Rams, Sanchez compiled a 56-18 singles record, including a 26-3 mark during his freshman season in which he was named the CAA Rookie of the Year. Ranking as high as No. 64 in the ITA Singles Rankings, Sanchez was a two-time First Team All-CAA selection in both singles and doubles and earned a Second Team All-CAA selection in doubles his senior season. Sanchez is married to his wife, Leticia, with whom he has three children: Lucia, Sofia, and Claudia.
In 18 seasons, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Head Coach Paul Settles has established the CMS Stags Tennis program as one of the elite at all levels of collegiate tennis. CMS has now reached five NCAA title matches in the past seven years, having earned its first NCAA title in any sport in 34 years by winning the NCAA Division III Team Championship in Mason, Ohio in May of 2015. In 2022, Settles led the Stags to a No. 5 national ranking after CMS reached the quarterfinal of the 2022 NCAA Division III Team Championships in Lake Nona, FL and extended the Stags’ conference win streak to 144, dating back to April 15, 2005. In addition to coaching the Stags, Settles has coached Team USA in the International University Challenge – leading six top collegiate American players in an eight team international competition in France – and the Southern California Maze Cup Team (Boys and Girls 16s and 18s). Settles’ outreach efforts in the Claremont community have yielded three ITA Campus and Community Outreach awards in 2018, 2011, and 2006. He continues to coach USTA Junior Team Tennis teams and serve as Tournament Director for the USTA National Family Hardcourt Championships in June. In 2013, Settles and his wife Kathy launched Tennis in Our Schools, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation bringing tennis to each of Claremont’s seven elementary schools in the form of physical education and after school programming. In 2018, the program redirected to aid high school tennis teams in need. The Settles have raised over $60,000 for Tennis in Our Schools, introducing the sport to hundreds of Claremont elementary school children and impacting local need-based high school teams. Before coming to CMS, Settles served as Director of Player Services of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the governing body of men’s professional tennis. At the ATP World Tour, Settles’s wide range of responsibilities included supervision of the Player Services Department, staff liaison for the ATP Player Council, Player Leadership Committee, and Board of Directors; and serving as founding committee member of the ATP Medical Services Committee. From 2004-2012, Settles served on the Player Services staff for the Los Angeles ATP World Tour event.
William (Bill) Knestrick is originally from Nashville, TN, currently residing in Naples, FL. He has recently retired from the construction industry, where he built a very successful commercial construction and construction management business employing over 85 people and managing up to $95M in annual revenues focusing on all sectors of the construction industry. His firm was also consistently ranked in the top 100 privately held businesses in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Currently, Bill continues to manage and grow his real estate portfolio and advance new commercial real estate developments in and around Middle Tennessee. Bill continues to play USTA and ITF tennis events throughout the year. In 2022, he was invited to participate for Team USA at the Gordon Trophy event, which is the second oldest international tennis competition in the world. This year he will also participate in the International Tennis Club event for Team USA at the Baker Bowl in Toronto, Canada. As a junior tennis player, Bill was consistently a top ranked player in singles and doubles in Tennessee and the Southern USTA section. He went on to play scholarship tennis at Auburn University where he lettered and helped the team win the 1983 SEC tennis title. Injuries cut his tennis career short, but he continued to excel in the classroom where he held many leadership positions including being elected President of his class while graduating with many other academic honors. Bill has over 20 years of experience serving on not-for-profit, academic and corporate boards, and he has an impressive fundraising track record.
Steve Weissman is an award-winning broadcaster who can be seen on a variety of national television networks. At Tennis Channel, he hosts and offers play-by-play for the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and other events throughout the year. At NFL Network, he hosted an array of programming including Total Access and NFL Now. Weissman was a play-by-play tennis commentator for NBC during the 2016 Summer Olympics. He is also the play-by-play voice of the Champions Series featuring legendary tennis icons. Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, Weissman worked for five years at ESPN, hosting Sportscenter, NFL Live, College Football Live and Outside the Lines among other shows. He also hosted and performed play-by-play for ESPN’s coverage of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open. In addition to his television work, Weissman spent time as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for Loyola Marymount University’s Women’s Tennis Team. A native of Silver Spring, MD, Weissman is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He was a ranked junior tennis player in Maryland.
About The ITA
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body and coaches association of college tennis, both an advocate and an authority for the sport and its members. Comprised of 1,260 colleges and universities, 20,000 student-athletes, 1,700 varsity programs, 3,000 coaches, and 1,350 college tennis officials, the ITA empowers college tennis coaches at all levels to deliver vibrant tennis programs that are vital to their college communities and transformational to their student-athletes. Follow the Spring 2023 college tennis season on the ITA website and ITA social channels on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.