Gould, Gullikson, Segura honored with Team USA Coaching Awards

April 5, 2016 08:25 AM

By Jackie Finn, USTA.com

Three coaching giants – Dick Gould, Tim Gullikson and Pancho Segura – were honored as Team USA Coaching Legends at the third annual Team USA Coaching Awards reception, held at the ASICS Easter Bowl junior tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.

The three men have had a major impact on U.S. tennis, combining to help develop some of America's greatest players, including legends John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, the Bryan brothers and a host of All-Americans, NCAA champions and Olympians. 

Also at the reception, Guy Fritz, father and coach of rising American teen Taylor Fritz, and Diego Moyano, coach of 2015 Grand Slam boys’ champions Tommy Paul and Reilly Opelka, were named the 2015 Team USA Developmental Coaches of the Year. Rounding out the honors, 4 Star Tennis Academy in Fairfax, Va., was named the 2015 Team USA Developmental Program of the Year, and USTA Mid-Atlantic earned the inaugural Team USA Player Development Section of the Year distinction.

The awards reception is part of USTA Player Development’s Team USA initiative to work collaboratively with developmental coaches and programs across the United States.

“Every year the roster of recipients for these awards is amazing,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman.

Gullikson is most recognized as the coach who helped turn Sampras into one of the game's best players ever. Under Gullikson's tutelage, Sampras won four Grand Slam title and reached the world No. 1 ranking. During his career, Gullikson worked with other champions including Navratilova, Mary Joe Fernandez and Aaron Krickstein.

“[Gullikson] was a great coach and a great person, epitomizing the standard of coaching character first,” Blackman said of Gullikson, who passed away in 1996 at the age of 44.

Gould is widely regarded as one of the best college tennis coaches of all time, guiding Stanford to 17 NCAA team championships from 1966 to 2004. He coached 10 NCAA singles champions, seven NCAA doubles champions, 50 All-Americans, eight Olympians and 13 different Grand Slam champions (singles, doubles and mixed), including McEnroe and Bob and Mike Bryan. Named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Coach of the Decade for the 1980s and 90s, Gould is now a member of numerous Halls of Fame and currently serves as the John L. Hinds Director of Tennis at Stanford.

“Coach Gould is a living legend,” said Blackman. “His elevation of college tennis in the 70s and 80s raised the bar for college tennis throughout the country and positioned college tennis as a pathway for American champions.”

Segura is perhaps best known as the coach who helped transform Connors into the world’s best player in the 1970s. Segura began coaching in the 1960s, following an accomplished collegiate and professional career, and during his coaching career worked with Connors, Stan Smith, Michael Chang and a myriad of Hollywood stars. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1984.

“Pancho Segura is the embodiment of hard work and perseverance,” Blackman said. “Pancho was part of the barnstorming movement in the 1950s that ushered in professional tennis, and the professional game owes him and his fellow pioneers a debt that can never be fully repaid.”

Three different American boys won a junior Grand Slam singles title in 2015. Moyano coached two of them, guiding Tommy Paul to the French Open boys’ title in June and Reilly Opelka to the Wimbledon boys’ title in July, while Fritz helped guide his son to a 2015 season in which he won the US Open boys’ singles title, reached the French Open boys’ singles final, clinched the year-end world No. 1 junior ranking and was named ITF World Junior Champion.

“Guy Fritz’s work with his son, Taylor, shows that a parent can be a great coach, and Taylor’s performance on the court and conduct off of the court shows that Taylor’s parents got it right,” Blackman said. “Diego Moyano’s work with Reilly Opelka and Tommy Paul last year shows the fruit of three years of coaching and mentoring and a passion and commitment to player-centered development.”

The 4 Star Tennis Academy, based in Fairfax, Va., owned and operated by Bob Pass, had an outstanding 2015, with successful performances at both the national and international level. Ryan Shane took home the 2015 NCAA men’s singles championship representing the University of Virginia, and 14-year old Natasha Subhash was ranked the No. 1 singles player in the country in both the girls’ 14- and 16-and-under age divisions. In addition, Subhash qualified and won her first-round match at the US Open Junior Championships as a 14-year old.

USTA Mid-Atlantic earned the inaugural Section of the Year honor both for the success of its top junior, collegiate and pro players and its commitment to developing their future successors at the grass-roots level. Both Shane and Subhash of the 4 Star Tennis Academy represent the Mid- Atlantic section, as does USTA Boys’ 18s national champion Frances Tiafoe, of College Park, Md., and Denis Kudla, of Arlington, Va., who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and ended 2015 ranked No. 69 in the world.