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Duffel, Mills, Rubin Inducted Into USTA Southern Section Hall Of Fame

January 7, 2009 09:24 PM

Steve Duffel of Little Rock, Ark., Jack M. Mills of Columbia, S.C. and Chanda Rubin of Lafayettte, La., were inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday, January 17 at the Westin Perimeter Hotel in Atlanta, Ga.

The first Southern Tennis Hall of Fame class was inducted in 1977.

Steve Duffel
Steve Duffel, of Little Rock, Ark., has been a dominant figure on the tennis court and a major force at USTA Southern.

Under his leadership as captain, the Southern team has won the USTA National Intersectional Team Championships for the ten of the last eleven years. He also competed in more than half of those tournaments as a player.

Duffel played varsity tennis for the University of Arkansas from 1965-67 and went on to become a dominant tennis figure in Arkansas both on and off the court. From 1977 through the present, he has been ranked No. 1 in Arkansas and No. 1 in the Southern doubles with partner Jeff Gray of Mobile, Ala. numerous times. His USTA Southern ranking for men’s 35-and-older doubles peaked at No. 4 in 1985.

He has won several Southern Senior Championships in doubles and mixed doubles and has been on teams that have won six State and Southern League Championships. Additionally, he has won the USTA Super Senior League National Championships 9.0 as captain/player.

An active volunteer for USTA Arkansas since 1977, his involvement culminated in his induction into the Arkansas Hall of Fame in 1998. He served as president from 1981-1982. Other posts he has held include vice president, trustee of the Arkansas Tennis Patrons Foundation, chair of the Adult & Junior Rankings, Sanction & Scheduling/Tournament Management, Adult Team Tennis, Adult Rankings and Umpires Committees. Duffel continues to serve as a trustee to Arkansas and Southern Tennis Patrons Foundations. He was the tournament director and promoter of two pro tournaments and recipient of the Victor Sheshunoff Educational Merit Award.

Duffel has held many posts in USTA Southern including president from 1986-1987, executive vice president, member of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Computer Rankings & Records, the Ranking Review Board, Sponsorships and Promotions, and the Adult & Junior Rankings Committee. He was a member of numerous other committees including Information Technology, the Junior Waiver, Sanction and Scheduling, and the Organizing Committee for the 1990 Fed Cup. He was also Chairman of the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation from 1988-1990.

Major awards he has received include the President’s Award from USTA Southern and USTA Arkansas for outstanding service, as well as the Jacobs Bowl from USTA Southern in 1987.

As a volunteer on the national level, Duffel was a member of the USTA Executive, Federation Cup, Education & Research and Long-Term Strategic Planning Committees.

While spending most of his professional career in banking and finance, Duffel is now managing Markham House Suites, a hotel that caters to cancer patients and their families who are being treated at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Jack M. Mills
Jack M. Mills, of Columbia, S.C., has had a long and distinguished career as a USTA volunteer. From 1995-1996 he served as USTA vice president. He was elected USTA Southern president in 1988 and USTA South Carolina president in 1978.

Mills was the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded in his state. He was inducted into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame and was selected as one of the twenty-five most influential Sports Figures in South Carolina and among the Top 100 Sports Figures for the Millennium in South Carolina.

He was a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from 1993-2000. Presently he serves as a board member of PE4Life, a national organization.

In 1971 Mills began his service to tennis on the local level in Columbia. Four years later he was chairman of the Junior Tennis League in Columbia and then was named South Carolina Tennis Association vice president in 1975.

Mills says one of his greatest experiences started in 1992 when he served as the USTA and International Tennis Federation Representative for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. As a sports advisor to the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG), he focused on the construction of the tennis stadium and complex at Stone Mountain, Ga. while serving on the ITF Tennis Committee.

Mills was vice-chairman of the US Open Project Committee for the length of Arthur Ashe Stadium planning and construction project. As a member of the US Open Committee during this time, he was the volunteer responsible for the renovation of Louis Armstrong Stadium. In 1993 he was responsible for selecting an international security firm to improve security at the US Open.

In 2005 Mills became chairman of the USTA Public Affairs Committee and assisted in obtaining more than $700,000 in government grants along with pro-bono appearances by Donald Trump and Jeff Gordon in USTA advertising. These were the first federal funds ever granted to the USTA. The grants were distributed to many deserving organizations who applied to the USTA Tennis and Education Foundation. He was regional vice president of the USTA Board of Directors, chairman of the USTA Sanctions and Schedules Committee and also served on the USTA League and Senior Competitions Committees.

Mills was chairman of the Advisory Board for the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management at the University of South Carolina.

Chanda Rubin

Chanda Rubin, of Lafayette, La. was among the most accomplished women players the South has ever produced. She was ranked No. 6 in the world in singles – the highest ranking of any USTA Southern woman in the Open era – and No. 9 in doubles in 1996.

Additionally, Rubin has won numerous awards for her playing prowess and her volunteer contributions.

Rubin reached the semifinals of the 1996 Australian Open and the quarterfinals of the French Open three times. She captured seven singles – including Madrid, Los Angeles and Eastbourne (twice) – and ten doubles titles on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. She won a Grand Slam, having taken the 1996 Australian Open doubles title with Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario. She had wins over Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Justine Henin, Lindsay Davenport and Amelie Mauresmo, all of whom were ranked No. 1 at some point in their careers. Rubin qualified for the tour’s season-ending Championships four times.

After splitting sets with Jana Novotna in the 1995 French Open, Rubin staged one of the great comebacks in recent tennis history. In the third set, she was down 0-5, 0-40 but willed herself to an 8-6 third-set victory.

Known as someone who kept her life in balance, she decided to skip competing at the French Open in favor of attending her high school prom. She was a long-time volunteer for USTA Southern and the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation. With the support of the foundation, Rubin designated funds from her Fed Cup play to support the International Tennis Foundation (ITF) Circuit of tournaments throughout the South. She founded the Chanda Rubin Tennis and Scholarship Foundation that has conducted annual clinics in New Orleans.

She was named 1998 Most Caring Athlete by USA Weekend for her humanitarian efforts in working with disabled and disadvantaged children. She received the 1997 Arthur Ashe Leadership Award for her commitment to community involvement and children’s programs. Other awards include the Louisiana Special Olympic Celebrity Award, the 2002 Hormel Foods/Family Circle Player Who Makes A Difference Award, the 1996 U.S. Olympic Committee Female Athlete of the Year award and the 2003 USTA Service Bowl Award.

Other awards include the 2008 International Lawn Tennis Danzig Trophy, the 2008 Gene Scott Renaissance Award, the 1995 WTA Most Improved Player Award and the 1995 American Tennis Association Athlete of the Year.

Her volunteer contributions have included serving as Wheelchair Tennis spokeswoman in 1993, working with the Children’s Museum, American Heart Association, Special Olympics, the Breast Cancer Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation and the United Negro College Fund.

 

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