Wilson ITA Coach of the Year

Dash Connell | Tyler Junior College

Dash Connell has been the head coach of Tyler Junior College tennis for over ten years and has never failed to create competitive, nationally recognized teams year after year. During his time at TJC, he has accumulated multiple national titles on both the men’s and women’s teams. Connell led the TJC men’s team to three consecutive championships in 2018, 2019 and 2021. Last year, the TJC men’s team finished second in the nation. This season, Dash Connell has coached his men’s team through a competitive schedule, and they have risen to the challenge. In addition to his coaching responsibilities at TJC, Connell volunteers time on NJCAA and ITA boards, as well as tennis events in the Tyler community. Currently, he serves as the NJCAA Men’s Tennis Coaches’ Association President, one of the two Junior College Chairs on the ITA Coaches Operating Committee, and a member of the Ethics Committee.

ITA Assistant Coach of the Year

Chris Singer | Tyler Junior College

Prior to joining the team this year, Chris Singer was a local pro in the area and had been around Tyler Junior College for over a decade. With his love of coaching and building strong relationships with players, the impact of Singer’s coaching has seen immediate effects. Due to his welcoming nature and open communication, players trust Singer’s coaching style. Singer holds great moral character both on and off the court. Through his example, Singer continually shows his players that being of high standards is one of the most fundamental and important aspects to learn in college.

ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship

Dawson Do | Jones College

During the 2023 season, Do posted a 15-8 record at the #6 Singles spot 15-8 and a 16-8 record at the #3 Doubles spot. This season, Do moved up to the No. 4 singles position and went 13-3. Do nearly went undefeated for the year, collecting a 14-1 record. Outside of yielding impressive results on the court, Do is the team captain, an ITA Scholar-Athlete, was named to the NJCAA All-Academic First Team and was on the Jones College President’s List.

ITA Rookie of the Year

Jean-Baptiste Badon | Glendale Community College

Jean-Baptiste Badon’s performance in the 2023-24 season was truly exceptional, both on and off the court. His remarkable singles record of 22-2 and doubles record of 11-4 reflected his consistency and skill as a tennis player. As the first player in Glendale College history, Badon won the singles title at the 2023 ITA Regional Small College Championships. He also reached the finals in doubles. Badon would go into the regular season undefeated in singles, co-first team at No. 1 singles and co-first MVP for league. Badon helped the team finish the regular season with a 16-3 record. Badon would also win the conference singles draw making him the first player from Glendale College to win it since 2019. What also makes Badon an impressive player is his sportsmanship on the court and off. A humble giant, Badon will work with both the highest level players on the team to the lower level players. As a team captain, he brings everyone together as a unit, stressing the importance of hard work and commitment to the team.

ITA Most Improved Sophomore

Dan Persson | Tyler Junior College

Dan Persson finished his first year with a national singles ranking of 33 and a doubles ranking of 4. In the fall of his sophomore year he finished 4th in singles at the ITA Cup and finished 2nd in doubles. With Persson’s hard work and dedication, it is evident the big jump he made in his game from the spring of 2023 to the fall. 

ITA Sophomore Player of the Year

Hugo Car | Eastern Florida State College

This season, Hugo Car took home both the ITA Regional singles and doubles titles. Car also made an impressive run at the ITA Cup for Junior Colleges, making it to the singles final. Overall on the spring season, Car went 12-2 in singles and 8-6 in doubles. Car went undefeated in singles at the Tyler Junior College Invite with wins over Tyler, Pratt, Collin, Cowley and Mississippi Gulf Coast. Currently, Car is ranked No. 1 in the nation. Maturing and improving his game over the past year, the future is bright for Car as he continues to build on his success this past year.

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