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Jeff Gray Honored With Pride of South Award

May 29, 2007 04:19 PM
Former USTA Southern Section President, Jeff Gray, was honored with the "Pride of the South" award from the USPTA Southern Division. The award recognizes outstanding tennis professionals for their dedication to the USPTA and the teaching profession.
Jeff Gray's journey began over thirty years ago and during that time Gray has served in nearly every capacity of the USTA. After a two year stint as President of the USTA Southern Section, Jeff has been awarded the organization’s most prestigious award. To acknowledge his devotion and dedication to the game the USTA Southern Section presented him with the 2006 Jacobs Bowl Award at the 2007 USTA Southern Section Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.

Under the presidency of Jeff Gray, the USTA Southern Section has seen the best of times and the worst of times. When Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana, it devastated thousands of our tennis community members’ homes, communities and lives. In an effort to reestablish a sense of normalcy in the affected areas, President Gray spearheaded the relief and recovery efforts by working in concert with our states and the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation. The worst storm in our history brought out the best of human nature in the USTA Tennis Family and over $1,100,000 was donated to rebuild and repair damaged and/or destroyed facilities, assist displaced tennis pro’s and reestablish adult and junior USTA programs at alternate temporary sites.

An advocate for growth and development, Gray established an Ad-hoc group to initiate a multi-level league format along with other pioneer formats to increase player frequency. Gray advocated that each of the nine Southern states establish play and CTAs in communities that were currently void of organized activity. During his tenure, Gray led the Section efforts to lobby for National support to eliminate the USA Tennis as a promoted brand and create coordinated brand marketing with the USTA name.

Gray has been an avid teaching professional for nearly thirty years. He has been a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association since 1973 and the Professional Tennis Registry since 2002. He has been Director of Tennis at the Country Club of Mobile since 1981 and prior to that served as head tennis professional at Mirror Lake Racquet Club in Mobile and Pensacola Racquet Club in Pensacola, Fl.

Through the past decade, Gray has served on numerous USTA committees. He is a current member of the USTA Southern Section and USTA Alabama Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s and USTA Southern Section Patrons Board. He also served as a scout for the USTA Junior Excellence Program

He has also chaired a variety of committees for both USTA Southern and USTA Alabama, including the USTA Alabama and USTA Southern Section Junior Ranking Committee, USTA Alabama Adult Ranking Committee, USTA Alabama Nominating Committee and USTA Southern Section Grievance Committee. He was elected as President of USTA Alabama in 1979 and went on to serve on the USTA Southern Section Executive Committee as Vice President before moving to the Presidential role.

An avid player and coach, Gray captained the Alabama Senior Cup Team for four years and during his professional career has been honored with many awards including, Alabama Senior Player of the Year, Alabama Tennis Professional of the Year, and the SPTA Service Award. Gray was inducted into the Alabama Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998 and the University of West Florida Athletic Hall of Fame 1971.

Gray received a B.S. from the University of West Florida in physical education and a Masters of Education from Middle Tennessee State University.




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