May 22nd, 2023
USTA Florida Names George T. Henry New Director of Tennis, Gainesville
Gainesville, Fla., May 22, 2023 – USTA Florida today announced the hiring of George T. Henry as the new Director of Tennis for its operations in Gainesville. Mr. Henry brings a strong background in public park management. He will directly oversee the expansion of programs and services at all four park locations that USTA Florida manages in the city. Mr. Henry currently serves as the Tennis Supervisor for the City of Palm Coast and holds a master’s degree in Organization Leadership from Bethune Cookman and a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central.
“George has both the business acumen and the experience to elevate the Play Tennis Gainesville offering to the level that the city and its residents deserve,” said Laura Bowen, Executive Director of USTA Florida. “His dedication to serving the community is second to none. Our entire team will benefit greatly from his leadership.”
“My leadership style is servant leadership. I truly believe that, to work effectively with people, one must be of the people!” Henry shared.
Mr. Henry brings a stellar background in all levels of tennis management and teaching to Gainesville. Prior to joining the Palm Coast Tennis Center, he oversaw public tennis center programs and operations in both Washington, D.C. (Southeast Tennis and Learning) and New York (Harlem Armory). He’s served previously as a high-level tennis instructor in Miami and Delray Beach and coached college programs in both Florida and Pennsylvania. He has held a USPTA P-1 Elite Teaching Professional Certification for 30 years and holds a PTR 10 and Under Certification.
Mr. Henry began his tennis career in high school in Wilmington, NC. He received a tennis scholarship to NCCU in Durham, NC. Upon completion of eligibility and graduation, Mr. Henry competed on the USTA amateur and professional circuits. While competing, he met Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena. He was hired personally by Mr. Williams and was very instrumental in aiding in the assistance of the sisters’ early development – becoming one of Mr. William’s personal advisors.
Throughout his career, Mr. Henry has been a strong advocate for making tennis more accessible and equitable for all participants. His 2022 thesis, “Increasing African-American Tennis Player Participation at Selected HBCU,” has brought much-need attention to the systemic challenges facing HCBU tennis programs and the changes needed to reinvigorate and save these programs.
Mr. Henry was recently named a “Champion of Tennis” by USTA Florida for his work on a wide range of programs that promote tennis in his region.
“I have no doubt that having George on our team will make us better as an association and expand our ability to provide equal access to tennis in Gainesville and across our Florida eco- system,” said Bowen.
Mr. Henry will begin his new role in Gainesville on June 12, 2023.
For more information on programs and activities at the tennis parks in Gainesville, visit www.PlayTennisGainesville.com.