February 22nd, 2018
Former USTA Men’s Tennis Head, Floridian Rodney Harmon Named PTR President
Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) today announced Rodney Harmon as the new president of the teaching professionals and coaches certifying organization.
In Florida Harmon served as the men’s tennis coach for the Miami Hurricanes, then as the director of men’s tennis for the former USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, and as the director of tennis at Deerwood Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla., before in 2012 moving on to coach the Georgia Tech women’s team. He remains at Georgia Tech, where the women’s team is ranked No. 7 in the nation.
“We are thrilled to have someone as respected, talented and experienced as Rodney to serve as PTR’s new president,” said PTR CEO Dan Santorum. “Rodney is the first African American male to become president of a major tennis organization in the United States, and he will further solidify PTR’s commitment to diversity in tennis. Rodney will be a tremendous leader who will help PTR continue to educate, certify and service tennis coaches around the world.”
Originally from Richmond, Va., Harmon grew up a protege of the legendary Arthur Ashe. He played collegiately at Tennessee and SMU, teaming with Mel Purcell at Tennessee to win the NCAA doubles title in 1980. He was inducted into the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010.
Harmon advanced to the quarterfinals at the 1982 US Open as a college student, defeating 1980 Australian Open champion Brian Teacher before falling to eventual champion Jimmy Connors. He eventually rose to a career-high No. 56 on the ATP rankings.
Coming off the pro tour, Harmon started with the USTA at the former Princeton office working for legendary community tennis organizer Eve Kraft, where he ran the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference. He then spent four years as a USTA national coach working with future pros such as Todd Martin, MaliVai Washington and Alex O’Brien.
“I am humbled and honored to serve as PTR president, following such tennis pioneers as Dennis Van der Meer, Jean Mills, Jorge Andrew and Roy Barth,” Harmon said. “I look forward to further raising the profile of our profession, while attracting a young, passionate and diverse group of coaches to our industry.”
For more info go to www.ptrtennis.org.