Behind every good USTA League team, is a captain who puts in countless hours to make sure that everything is organized and that players are getting along with one another.
For Lori Gonzalez from Navarre, Florida she has gone above and beyond expectations and is making a massive impact in the tennis community.
She has served as an USTA League captain for over 10 years, and usually finds herself leading many teams. In 2022, Gonzalez took on captain duties for three different teams and multiple people were very outspoken about Gonzalez’s character both on and off the court.
Rachelle Isakson, who has played on teams captained by Gonzalez, said she was welcomed with open arms on her team. “She accepted me on her trilevel team without ever meeting me or seeing me play,” Isakson said. “Without her acceptance, inclusion, and complete joy for the sport of tennis this would not be happening!”
Another person that spoke on Gonzalez’s mannerisms was Charlotte Stark saying that she’s an “amazing captain, uplifting, generous, compassionate, organized, and goes out of her way for others throughout the entire state of Florida.”
Many of her teams also found a lot of success on the court due to her leadership and motivation. Gonzalez said that many of her players had never met one another before and was challenged with bringing them together.
One player, Kristy Miller, talked about how Gonzalez was able to unite their team and bring them success this year. “[Gonzalez is] our leader in enthusiasm, teamwork, strategy and just having a great time with friends while playing tennis,” Miller said. “She led us through our win at Sectionals and now we’re heading to Nationals!”
While winning is important, Gonzalez is also a role model to her players and Shellie McCall pointed out how she leads by example. “She always brings her best game along with exemplary sportsmanship,” McCall said. “She has made many lifelong friends through tennis, and everyone has only great things to say about her.”
USTA Florida thanks and congratulates Lori Gonzalez as the USTA Florida Volunteer of the Month for June 2022 as a team captain organizing tennis and promoting fitness among the community in Navarre, Florida.
Birthplace: Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Family Members: My husband Buddy, and two sons Jared and Zack
Favorite Movie: King Richard
Favorite Food: Shrimp Pasta
Favorite Travel Spot: Any tropical beach area
Favorite Shot: Volley
My earliest tennis memory was… “When I was 13 and going to our local community courts and hanging out with other kids waiting for the tennis courts to open.”
If I could play tennis with three people, they would be… “Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Ashe Barty.”
When I’m not playing tennis I am… “Volunteering at Take Stock in Children, traveling and spending time with family.”
My best tennis memory is… “Winning a trip to Puerto Rico with my husband by winning the Gordon Light Tennis Tournament. My husband and I met at a tennis tournament and started playing mixed doubles together which led to marriage and two beautiful children.”
I like to volunteer in tennis because… “I like to introduce people to tennis and keep people involved in the game. If people aren’t willing to captain, many of the leagues would not happen.”
Interested in volunteering in tennis? Visit www.USTAFlorida.com/Volunteers to learn more about available opportunities.