USTA Southern announced today that Bill Ozaki, of Key Biscayne, FL will return to serve as the section’s Director of Player Development. Bill has over thirty years of experience working with junior players and programs and a vast knowledge of junior tennis in the Southern Section. His official start date will be January, 2007.
Most recently Ozaki directed the Junior and Collegiate Competition and Training Department at the USTA Player Development Headquarters in Key Biscayne. There he designed competition and training programs and structure to ensure the development of a large base of accomplished junior tennis players.
“We’re honored to have him back,” said Sandy Hastings, Director of Junior Competition. “He built this program and Southern tennis is in his blood. I truly know that great things are in store for the future of Southern tennis.”
Ozaki’s career with the USTA Southern Section began in 1989 and he served for 16 years as the Director of Player Development and Programs. During his tenure his responsibilities included Junior Competition, High Performance, Collegiate Tennis, Multicultural Participation, Wheelchair Tennis, USA Team Tennis, Tennis Professional Relations, Youth Community Programs and Community Development. In addition, Ozaki was the liaison for the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation for junior financial assistance.
“Bill Ozaki has been a key player in the success of our section's prominence within the USTA family,” said USTA Southern Section President, Jeff Gray. “Bill's return will give everyone in the USTA Southern family a feeling of well being. USTA Southern continues to put its best foot forward and Bill Ozaki's return will only enhance our efforts.”
In 2005, The Bill Ozaki Junior Achievement Award was created to honor the work and dedication put in by the longtime Director of Junior Tennis for the USTA Southern Section. This award is given to a junior player who best exemplifies the finest qualities of sportsmanship in tournament play and the finest traditions of the great sportsmen of tennis past and present.
Prior to joining the USTA Southern Section, Ozaki was a teaching professional in the Atlanta area for 16 years, working primarily in junior development. Many players in his programs attained state, sectional, and national rankings in addition to advancing to collegiate competition. A long time member of the USPTA and PTR, Ozaki and his wife Bonnie have four children and two grandchildren and were the 1990 Tennis Family of the Year for the Georgia Tennis Association.
Founded in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in this country. In addition to owning the US Open and selecting members of the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic teams, the USTA administers a variety of programs nationwide for players of all ages and ability levels and, as a not-for-profit organization, the association invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis. It is divided into 17 sections, of which the USTA Southern Section is the largest. The 168,000 USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up the USTA Southern Section, and account for approximately 25% of the total USTA membership. A professional staff housed in Norcross, GA carries out the USTA Southern Section’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a Board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by the USTA Southern Section visit www.southerntennis.com.