Jorge Capestany, manager of the DeWitt Tennis Center at Hope College, has been named winner of the "Facility Manager of the Year" award presented by the Midwest Division of the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA).

He will receive the award during the division's annual conference, running Saturday-Monday, March 4-6, in Columbus, Ohio. As the Midwest division's winner, he is also automatically nominated for the national "Facility Manager of the Year" award, which will be announced during the USPTA national convention in Las Vegas, Nev., in September.

The award recognizes a general manager of a country club, commercial tennis facility, public tennis center, resort or similar facility. It is based on encouraging professional development of facility staff; promotion of tennis in the facility environment; support for USPTA education and professional development opportunities; hiring and supporting USPTA-certified tennis professionals; and organizational affiliations and special achievements in the tennis facility industry.

The USPTA is the world's oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals, and has more than 14,000 members worldwide. The USPTA is comprised of 17 regional divisions. The Midwest Division includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Capestany, who has managed the college's DeWitt Tennis Center since the fall of 2003, is a 24-year veteran of the tennis industry. In 1992 he became the youngest Master Professional in the history of the USPTA, and he is currently one of only 120 Master

Professionals worldwide.

For the 10 years prior to coming to Hope, he was tennis manager at the East Hills Athletic Club, Orchard Hills Swim & Sports Club, and Michigan Athletic Club. From 1985 to 1993, he was director of tennis at Ramblewood Tennis & Health Club.

He has been named "Michigan Pro of the Year" on five separate occasions and "Midwest Professional of the Year" on two separate occasions by the USPTA. Other honors include being named "Man of the Year" by the Grand Rapids Tennis Patrons and receiving the Cap Leighton Award from the Midwest section of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). He has developed many nationally ranked juniors, including three national champions.

Capestany is the author of the 1998 booklet "Tennis Strategy," and has also been published in several industry publications. He has spoken at several national and world tennis conventions, and has served as a consultant to many clubs and professionals. He is a past president of the Western Michigan USTA district and the USPTA Midwest Division.

He is a 1984 graduate of Grand Valley State University, and is USTA Sports Science level 1-certified.

The college's DeWitt Tennis Center provides six indoor tennis courts as well as men's and women's locker rooms. The center offers a variety of community memberships and instructional programs for all ages, including a nine-week Tennis Academy that hosts more than 350 young players each summer.

In addition to Capestany, the full-time staff includes Karen Page, who is assistant manager, and Nate Price, who is head tennis professional, as well as more than a dozen part-time employees. The staff offers coaching at local USTA tournaments and state high school championships, and conducts free clinics for local high school teams.

The center's work with the community takes place in addition to supporting the tennis programs at the college and being available for general use by Hope students.

Dedicated in October of 1994, the center is located near Holland Municipal Stadium on Fairbanks Avenue at 13th Street. The facility is named for the Gary and Joyce DeWitt family.