Dec. 6, 2013
SKILLMAN, N.J. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association and United States Tennis Association have named head coaches Francie Barragan and Dwayne Hultquist as recipients of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award, one of college tennis’ most esteemed awards.
Barragan, of Methodist University, and Hultquist, of Florida State University, both receive a travel stipend to attend the 2013 ITA Coaches Convention at the Waldorf Astoria in Naples, Florida, where they will be presented with their awards during the ITA Membership and Awards Banquet on Sunday, December 15.
The USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award is presented this year to one men’s and one women’s college coach who provide a leadership role in increasing tennis participation throughout his or her community, both on and off campus. Among the USTA/ITA partner programs available to assist coaches in giving back are Campus Kids’ Days, Kids 10 and Under, Campus Showdowns and Tennis On Campus.
Hultquist has seen a great deal of success on and off the tennis courts. At the helm of Florida State men’s tennis for 15 years, Dwayne Hultquist has turned the Seminoles into one of the top programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the nation. His 183 career wins are a school record and he’s led his team to 11 straight trips to the NCAA Championships.
Hultquist has brought his program to the forefront of 10 and Under Tennis initiatives by hosting events during Florida State University tennis matches this past spring, running several after-school programs for kids as part of its Seminole High Performance Tennis programs and working with 500 students from Robert’s Elementary School in an event with the Florida State University tennis team.
He said exposing young kids to tennis is key, which is why he sees value in activities such as taking his team to a local elementary school. “Our guys invested one morning in what typically what would have been practice, and we turned it into reaching out to 500 kids. There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm and our team really embraced that and they did a great job. Hopefully some of those kids will take it up because we came out there,” he said.
On campus, the team further supports the growth of tennis by holding Florida State University tennis club clinics and a free tennis day with Florida State University students, when 25 participating students got the chance to hit with Florida State University tennis players.
“I have a passion for the Florida State University tennis club. I want to see them be successful and improve their games. At the same time, those are the people that are coming out and watching our matches,” Hultquist said. “By giving back and helping the club in turn we’re building relationships that people want to follow us too. The Florida State University club now has 70 members, and we want tennis on campus to grow and more people to play as it will help us elevate our program as well.”
For the past two years, Hultquist has teamed up with the USTA to host the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational, a tournament that showcases both top college and junior players. This year’s tournament was expanded to include both men and women, and Hultquist said he wants to grow it into one of the country’s elite tournaments. This year, he even helped secure 10 hours of live coverage on ESPN3.
“Every year we have to do something better,” he said. “Getting college tennis more exposed is a really good thing, so the exposure of being on ESPN is a big deal.”
On being awarded the 2013 USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award, Hultquist says community outreach is something he strongly believes in. “I always try to involve the community. As coaches we want to win, and win at the highest level, but we need to be good role models and inspire other people and encourage them to take part in tennis,” he said.
Barragan and Hultquist were selected from a group of USTA Sectional winners that included coaches of teams from different divisions. Award applications are open each year to ITA member varsity coaches from NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, NAIA and Junior & Community Colleges.