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Jim Dempsey Named Director of Tennis at the Family Circle Tennis Center

June 17, 2003 03:55 PM

Since the Family Circle Tennis Center opened in the spring of 2001, the Tennis Center has been home to one of the most successful events in women's professional tennis, the Family Circle Cup. As a City of Charleston public tennis facility, the Tennis Center's mission has always been to focus on quality tennis programming. To continue on that focus and to take the facility to another level, the Family Circle Tennis Center announced today that Jim Dempsey has been named Director of Tennis. With over 17 years experience in the tennis industry, Dempsey brings a wealth of tennis industry expertise to the Charleston community.

As Director of Tennis, Dempsey will play a key role in helping to grow the facility not only locally but also regionally and nationally as well. One of his major responsibilities will be to create and implement all aspects of the center's tennis programming which includes developing instructional programs for all age groups and skill levels from children to senior citizens. He will also take a lead role in marketing and promoting the facility in the Charleston community and across the country.

"This was a very important decision and we wanted to explore all our options in the search for the right individual to hire as our Director of Tennis," commented Frankie Whelan, Executive Director of the Family Circle Tennis Center. "It was imperative for us to find an individual who fits with our mission on growing the sport of tennis and this facility, someone who has outstanding teaching, coaching and training skills. Jim is the perfect choice for us and for the City of Charleston."

Dempsey's tennis career started in 1983 at Francis Marion College in Florence, South Carolina where he earned a college scholarship in tennis. While at Francis Marion for three years he played No. 1 on the school's tennis team in both singles and doubles. After his two years at Francis Marion he played pro tennis on the men's tour for a couple of years. His coaching career in tennis started at the prestigious Harry Hopman Academy in Saddlebrook, Florida in 1986. A year later he accepted a position at the Vitas Gerulaitis International Tennis Academy in Delray Beach, Florida where he managed staff and coordinated junior programs, charity events and adult tennis programs. After graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in Biology in 1992, he found his way back to the Harry Hopman International Tennis Academy where he served as a top instructor and Coordinator for Touring Professionals. It was during this time that he made a significant entry into the professional tennis arena working with some of the touring pros visiting the academy. Dempsey helped coordinate the pros training schedules and worked with many of them on a one-to-one basis. In this position he also coordinated the training and scheduling of tournaments for some of the USTA National junior players.

By April of 1994 Dempsey was asked to coach on the WTA Tour and over the course of the next six years he coached some of the top ranked players in the game including International Hall of Famer Pam Shriver, Lori McNeil and Lisa Raymond. While coaching on the women's pro tour, he was asked by the WTA Tour to assist them in developing the WTA Tour's Coaches Registration program. The Coaches Registration program, which was launched in 2000, is an important part of the WTA Tour's Player Development Program and was created to foster the highest standards in coaching. Dempsey has also authored articles for "The Coaches Corner" on the WTA Tour's official website.

Dempsey is a certified member of the USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) since 1994 and for the last ten years has been a Prince Tennis Touring Professional. For the last couple of years he has served as Director of Tennis for Isleworth Country Club in Orlando, Florida home to some of the most recognizable athletes in the world including Tiger Woods, Mark O'Meara, Todd Woodbridge, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Shaquille O'Neal.

"As home to one of the premier events in women's tennis, the Family Circle Tennis Center is in a league of its own and I am excited to be a part of it," said Dempsey. "This organization has one of the finest reputations in the tennis industry and I look forward to working with this incredible staff. As Director of Tennis I want to help create a facility that will make Charleston one of the major tennis markets in the country."

The Family Circle Tennis Center, home of the Family Circle Cup, is a public facility operated by Family Circle Magazine. The Center features seventeen tennis courts and a full service racquet club featuring locker room facilities, a fitness center and massage therapy. With one of the finest professional tennis staffs in the southeast, the Family Circle Tennis Center offers the most comprehensive array of social and instructional tennis programs for adults and juniors in the Charleston community. For information on the various tennis programs or to receive a brochure outlining all the programs please visit them online at www.familycircletenniscenter.com or call the Family Circle Tennis Pro Shop at (843) 849-5300.




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