We interviewed the PTM Tennis Managers of

  • Hope College
    (Jorge Capestany)

  • Methodist University
    (Scott Handback)

  • Tyler Junior College
    (Kimm Ketelsen)

  • Ferris State University
    (Derek Ameel)

We had invited Bridgewater State University but did not receive their answers back.

PTR-AdR2.jpg
TCB Extreme Banner.jpg

KINESIOLOGY DEPARTMENT

DeVos Fieldhouse
222 Fairbanks AvenueHolland, MI 49423

(616) 395-7070

From the Hope College website:

The Professional Tennis Management program is a collaboration between the kinesiology department and the United States Tennis Association (USTA).

PTM is where you get to follow your passion for tennis and combine it with an academic degree of your choice along with certification from the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR).

Our PTM program is co-directed by Adam Ford and Jorge Capestany. Jorge is also the manager of DeWitt Tennis Center and a USPTA Master Professional and PTR International Professional. Jorge is one of 10 people worldwide who has earned the Master Professional distinction with both the PTR and the USPTA.

JORGE CAPESTANY

Manager of DeWitt Tennis Center

Jorge Capestany is the manager of the Dewitt Tennis Center and founder of the Hope College Summer Tennis Academy. Jorge is a USPTA Master Professional and PTR International Professional. He is one of 10 people worldwide who has earned the Master Professional distinction with both the PTR and the USPTA.

EDUCATION

  • B.A., marketing, Grand Valley State University

  • USTA Sports Science certification

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Jorge’s programs have developed more than 180 High School State Tennis Champions in Michigan. Jorge has been the personal coach to many nationally ranked juniors in the U.S., including three national champions. His personal students have earned college scholarships totaling several million dollars.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

  • Six-time Michigan Pro of the Year and two-time Midwest Pro of the Year

  • Member of the USPTA Midwest Hall of Fame

  • TIA/PTR Commitment to the Industry Award for long-time work in the tennis industry (2015)

  • 2015 Cap Leighton Award from the Midwest Section of the USTA

We place a strong emphasis on real-life experience that is gained throughout the program when students intern at the DeWitt Tennis Center, a fully-functioning tennis center located on our campus. Students will learn first-hand what it’s like to work with club members of all ages and experience levels while gaining valuable hours learning from industry experts.

Questions for Jorge Capestany

 

TCB: Jorge, our readers are always interested in how someone started out in tennis. Tell us how old were you when you started tennis and who got you into it?

JC: I actually came to tennis quite late. My friends introduced me to tennis when I was almost 15 years old. I had no idea I was like it and basically my freshman year I went out for tennis mainly because I wanted to be with my friends. That year I made the varsity team at the very bottom of the lineup and got the bug. I started practicing in the offseason and never looked back.

 

TCB: What made you take over the Hope College PTM program as Co-Director with Adam Ford?

JC: I've been in the Tennis Industry for nearly forty years now. I've always known how difficult it is to find a quality teaching professional. I'm also a close personal friend of Scott Schultz who was in charge of USTA-U and invented the concept of the PTM program when he was at Ferris State. Hope college is unique in that we own a fully functioning Tennis Center. Besides serving as the home of Hope College tennis, we also have more than 500 members from our local town and we offer all sorts of programs from little kids, to cardio tennis, to USTA teams. Since we had all that going on already, I thought we would be a good fit because we could have our PTM students actually working in our classes with real students instead of just learning about it in the classroom.

TCB: What's the history of the PTM program at Hope?

JC: We are fairly new. We're just about to start our third year and things are going well. We expect to have 11 students this fall. That is up from 8 last year. One thing for sure, the need for summer interns is immense. We typically get about 30 to 40 requests from clubs that want a PTM student to work for them in the summer, but will usually only have three to four that are going to do it because, after their freshman year at Hope, their first internship has to be with us here at the Hope College summer tennis academy.

 

TCB: How many students do you typically have in PTM (pre-Pandemic)?

JC: In our first year we had 3 students, in the second year we had 8, and this coming year which is the third we will have 11.

 

TCB: Are you planning to restart PTM this fall? How many students have signed up for it?

JC: Hope College will be starting classes a little bit earlier than normal. Our first day will be Monday, August 17th with the plan to release students for the semester by Thanksgiving. Then they won't come back until mid-January. Our PTM program will have 11 students this year in they both choose between 10 tennis center labs that they will be a part of.

 

TCB: What is the racial and gender makeup of your students?

JC: Nine of the 11 students are Caucasian with 2 that are Hispanic. We have a mix of 7 men and 4 women

StonesNet-032020.jpg

TCB: How do you rate the acceptance of your graduates in the industry?

JC: We've actually only graduated one so far and she had multiple job offers. The great news for PTM students is that 70% of them have a job offer before they even graduate. Historically, PTM students have a nearly 100% job placement rate. That is assuming that they want to stay in the tennis center for you once they graduate.

 

TCB: Reading that you guarantee placement, where are your graduates typically placed in the industry?

JC: Their placement depends greatly on what their specific interest is. The entire time they are here at Hope we are trying to help them find their niche in the tennis industry. Some of them love working with little kids, some love being at a resort with beautiful facilities, others want to work with high-performance players at an Academy. As they go through their four years at Hope, we steer them in the right direction and so that when the time comes to get a job, they know what type of job to accept.

 

TCB: In light of the fact that Tyler Junior College's PTM program is being discontinued, what trend are you seeing as far as PTM registrations at Hope are concerned? Is the program stable?

JC: It's pretty early in our history, but I would say that I expect our program to keep growing. Our school is fairly expensive so I don't think we're ever going to have 100 PTM students, but I do think that when the dust settles we could have anywhere from 16 to 25 students once we get through our first for your cycle.

 

TCB: How do you see the future of American tennis in light of a decade of no growth?
JC: Like you, I am optimistic that the USTA will be recommitting itself growing the game. I'm hopeful that their new CEO Michael Dowse understands the importance of throwing the game and not just high-performance players. I'm cautiously optimistic. On the pro tour side of things, I don't really see any changes coming soon in terms of more American professionals dominating the tour. Too many reasons to go into here, but I just don't feel like that's something that will be happening anytime soon.

 

TCB: Any plans to add Pickleball to your curriculum?

JC: We definitely are trying to find a way to add pickleball to our facility. We are an indoor facility and we don't have a lot of room so if we did something we would have to put pickleball courts on top of our existing tennis courts. I know that we will not paint permanent lines because that is an ITA issue. We also want our PTM students to have a good knowledge and understanding of pickleball because there's a great possibility that the club they end up working for, will have pickleball and it would be an advantage for them if they knew how to program and run a successful pickleball program.

 

TCB: Do you still play tennis (or Pickleball)?

JC: Unfortunately, I do not play much anymore. Both of my knees are in rough shape and I've been told that they both have to be replaced eventually. I can teach tennis without pain but even then I don't spend a lot of time at the court these days. I spend my time managing the DeWitt Tennis Center at Hope and also creating online content for my websites at www.capestanytennis.com

 

TCB: What is your tennis racquet of choice?

JC: I've been a Wilson man for several years now and my racquet of choice is the Blade 104.

TCB: Thank you, Jorge.

TCB: What's the history of the PTM program at MU?

SH: The Methodist University PTM program is one of the original three programs in the industry along with Tyler Junior College and Ferris State. The program started in the 1980s and was led by Pete Petersen for many years.

 

TCB: How many students do you typically have in PTM (pre-Pandemic)?

SH: The Methodist PTM program is currently the largest program in the country with 48 students for this fall, which is two more than this past spring. 

TCB: What is the racial and gender makeup of your program?

SH: Last fall we had 11 females in our freshman class of 16, which now puts our program at roughly 45% females. The racial makeup is diverse and representative of our institution.

TCB: How do you rate the acceptance of your graduates in the industry?

SH: This summer our 38 PTM students who were looking for internships had 182 internship opportunities to consider.

 

TCB: Reading that you guarantee placement, where are your graduates typically placed in the industry?

SH: Each of our eight graduates from this spring also had numerous job offers for their first position after graduation. The job type and location was dependent upon where our graduates wanted to live after graduation. Some are in North Carolina, but others decided to move to Maryland, Vermont, and other locations.

TCB: In light of the fact that Tyler Junior College's PTM program is being discontinued, what trend are you seeing as far as PTM registrations at MU are concerned? Is the program stable?

SH: The PTM program at Methodist is continuing to flourish. As you know, there are many changes coming in the industry to the certification process of tennis professionals. Beginning in 2021, certification in the tennis industry will consist of four levels: Level One - Certified Tennis Instructor, Level Two - Certified Tennis Professional,  Level Three - Specialization Certifications, and Level Four - Masters Degree in Tennis. I have been fortunate to be involved with the development of some of the curriculum for the modules the USTA, USPTA, and PTR are developing. We just received approval from the Curriculum Committee at Methodist in March to change the curriculum in our program to reflect the coming changes in the industry. 

TCB: How do you see the future of American tennis in light of a decade of no growth?

SH: There have been over 250 college athletic programs eliminated so far this year, of which 64 are college tennis programs. Unfortunately, once the decision regarding college football and college enrollment in general for this fall is settled, I am afraid we will lose upwards of 250 college tennis programs over the next year. The fact that the NCAA Division I Group of 5 colleges probably will not receive the payments from competing in games against Power 5 programs, which usually is a substantial portion of their athletic budget and the fact that many NCAA Division II and Division III institutions may not meet their enrollment goals for this fall will play into colleges and universities having to make drastic cuts to budgets across the board.

I could see a future where there are no college scholarships provided for tennis programs, or only the very top programs in the country (Power 5 programs). This would then drastically change the business model of junior player development. There is a repercussion or domino effect that will continue throughout the industry. 

TCB: Any plans to add Pickleball to your curriculum?

SH: We have added Pickleball to our curriculum starting this fall.

 

TCB: Do you still play tennis (or Pickleball)?

SH: I still play when I get a chance to. I hit with the players that I coach so that keeps me going.

 

TCB: What is your tennis racquet of choice?

SH: I use the Wilson Clash 100.

TCB: Thank you, Scott.

5400 Ramsey St.
Fayetteville, NC 28311

(910) 630-7000

From the Methodist University website:

The Professional Tennis Management (PTM) Program is an academic concentration through the nationally accredited (ACBSP) Reeves School of Business. PTM is also offered as a minor for students interested in any of the majors that Methodist offers. Finally, our PTM Program is available to college graduates as an 18 credit hour certificate program. The PTM Program allows for students interested in pursuing a career in the tennis industry to earn a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in a business-related field with a concentration in Professional Tennis Management or a B.S. or B.A. in one of the 80+ different majors offered at Methodist University with a minor in PTM.

Students are required to complete the USTA sport science level one competency exam, and must obtain a USPTA certification prior to graduation. PTR certifications and Master Racquet Technician (MRT) certifications are also components of the program. Interactive semester seminars are provided for students by national level speakers. Students are also provided with 100% internship and job placement through the PTM industry network.

We prepare our students to enter into the tennis industry to promote tennis and provide the next generation of tennis players with the appropriate skills to be successful on and off the court. PTM students are put through rigorous course curriculum and player development sessions to ensure that they will be the most qualified individuals entering into the tennis industry.

SCOTT HANDBACK

Director, PTM Program
Assistant Professor of Professional Tennis Management

A veteran of the tennis industry, Scott Handback has served as the Director of the Methodist University Professional Tennis Management (PTM) Program since early 2019. He has held many roles in the industry throughout his career: club owner, club general manager, director of tennis, and volunteer. 

A USTA High-Performance Coach, Scott has passed all levels of the USTA Sport Science Program and has earned the RacquetFit Certification for Tennis Physiological Connection and Etcheberry Certified for Strength, Conditioning and Movement in Sports. He served as a USTA National Zonals Coach and USTA National Clinician for many years and was the 2004 & 2005 USTA/Southern Junior Davis Cup coach. Scott is a USPTA Elite Professional and PTR Level Three Professional.

 

Selected as the 1999 South Carolina USPTA Professional of the Year, Scott served as the Director of the Western North Carolina USTA High-Performance Competitive Training Center for eight years. He has coached 71 players who have gone on to play collegiate tennis, including 19 players ranked #1 in the state in their age division. Scott also served as the coach for two future NCAA Division I Singles Champions: Thai Kwiatkowski (Virginia, ATP Top 150) in 2017 and Mallory Cecil (Duke, WTA Top 250) in 2009.

 

Honored as the USTA/ITA Community Service Award in 2004, Scott has served in various capacities in the tennis industry including the USTA/North Carolina Board of Directors, numerous USTA/North Carolina and USTA/South Carolina committees and president of three community tennis associations (Charlotte Tennis Association, Beaufort Tennis Association, and Sea Island Tennis Association).

 

With a background in strategic planning, Scott is one of a few individuals to have been certified as a tennis professional and golf professional and then work as a general manager of private clubs. He spent over 15 years in the strategic management of private clubs and has served as a consultant for numerous golf and country clubs.  

 

Scott is in the process of obtaining his Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) from Grand Canyon University (projected 2022). He played collegiate tennis on scholarship at Queens University of Charlotte where he completed his bachelor of science (B.S.) undergraduate degree in Business Administration in 1992. Handback later obtained his Master's in Education (M.Ed.) in 2011 from American Intercontinental University.

Questions for Scott Handback

 

TCB: Scott, our readers are always interested in how someone started out in tennis. Tell us how old were you when you started tennis and who got you into it?

SH: I started playing tennis around age 10 when I took my first clinic. My parents played and I would go with them to the courts. I did not play a lot as a junior player, but ended up playing at NCAA Division II Queens University of Charlotte on a scholarship.

 

TCB: What made you sell your tennis club and taking over the PTM program at Methodist?

SH: While I enjoyed the club, having the opportunity to impact the tennis industry through the education of its future leaders was too great to pass up. Methodist does a great job of educating future professionals in the industry. I really wanted to be involved with the program and the many changes coming in the certification process of our industry.

Tyler Junior College
1327 South Baxter Avenue
Tyler, Texas 75701

(903) 510-2473

From the Tyler Junior College website:

TJC Professional Tennis Management has conducted quality Management Programs emphasizing Tennis Teaching Instruction and Management Skills since 1974. Tennis Tech offers Associates Degrees and a one-year Certificate Program in Business and Recreation Leadership.

This program provides a two-year course to train students in teaching tennis, planning programs for tennis facilities, merchandising and operating pro shops, and maintaining tennis facilities. In addition, students are trained and prepared for certification testing.

Students spend 15 hours per week on lab work, on-campus tennis clinics, and functions of team coaching. Training aids used in the tennis program are books, video and audio recorders, ball machines, and stringing machines.

For more than 20 years our tennis teaching program has attracted students from more than 35 states and 20 countries. Endorsed by the USPTA, the Tennis Tech program at TIC is dedicated to showing our students that being a professional in the tennis world involves more than playing tennis.

Professional Tennis Management Program Sunset

Tyler Junior College will discontinue offering the Professional Tennis Management program as of Spring 2021, at which time the degree will no longer be available. Current PTM students will be able to complete their degrees. To learn more about the program sunset plan, please visit the FAQ page

KIMM KETELSEN

Professor/Department Chair

Program Director Kimm Ketelsen is a certified teaching member of the United States Professional Tennis Association. Kimm has 25 years of experience as a director of tennis, is nationally ranked in top 10 in the 40s in the USA, has been the assistant coach for the University of Texas Austin's Women's Tennis Team - National Champions 1995, and is a two-time NAIA All-American. He was the National Junior College coach of the year twice. USPTA player of the year.

Questions for Kimm Ketelsen

 

TCB: Kimm, our readers are always interested in how someone started out in tennis. Tell us how old were you when you started tennis and who got you into it?
KK: I started playing tennis when I moved to Midland Texas at age 9. Two brothers across the street played. They gave me a warped racket and took me down to the high school which was three blocks away. I played junior tennis in Texas, played in high school. Played in college and was a 2 time NAIA All- American at Southeastern State College.

 

TCB: When was the Tyler Junior College PTM program established?

KK: The PTM program at TJC was started in1973. There have been for directors. Fred Kniffen started the program. Steve Smith Paul Soliz and then myself. It was the first program in the US.

 

TCB: When did you become department Chair for the PTM program at Tyler?

KK: I started in 2001.

TCB: How did the program develop over the years leading up to the current state?

KK: The program really took off when Steve Smith became the director in the late 70’s when tennis boomed. At one point I think he had 90 students one year. Dennis Van der Meer came and visited the school and mentioned it in tennis magazine and the program took off.

TCB: Why was the program discontinued as of spring 2021 and does that mean it's done, finished?

KK: TJC decided the program did not have enough graduates. I gave notice of my retirement in January to give them time to hire a new director, they chose to sunset the program. The students will finish out with a degree then the dean hopes to change it  to a sports management program. Tennis will be a big part I am told.

TCB: What are your future plans after Tyler, assuming you'll be leaving?

KK: I am retiring looking to play some national USTA age group tennis as well as play here in Texas when the virus is over.

 

TCB: What is your tennis racquet of choice?

KK: I use a Head frame. The new Gravity.

TCB: Thank you, Kimm.

Ferris State University College of Business
119 South Street
Big Rapids, Michigan 49307
(231) 591-2420

From the Ferris State website:

Launched in 1986, “Ferris State was the first four-year Professional Tennis Management (PTM) program to receive accreditation from the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). Its high standards, innovative curriculum, and practical internships serve as a model for all other PTM programs in the country,” according to Fred Viancos, former USPTA Director of Education and current USPTA Chief Operating Officer.

DEREK AMEELManager of

Assistant Professor

Professional Tennis Management Program Director

Derek is a 1994 graduate of the Ferris Professional Tennis Management program. He has been career tennis professional for over 30 years holding positions as an Assistant Tennis Professional at the John Drew Smith Tennis Center, in Macon, Georgia, Director of Adult and Junior Tennis at the James Creek Tennis Center in Cumming, Georgia, Director of Tennis for the City of Bainbridge, Georgia, and Manager of the Ferris Racquet and Fitness Center. As the president/owner of Tennis N’ Training Inc., he consulted tennis academies, college teams, and trained state through ITF world ranked juniors. Derek served as a USTA National Zonals and Georgia Junior Davis/Fed Cup Team Coach from 1999–2006. From 1996–2009 he was the State of Georgia’s USTA Competition Training Center Coordinator and a Head Coach. Derek is particularly interested in biomechanics, exercise science and nutrition.

Questions for Derek Ameel

 

TCB: Derek, our readers are always interested in how someone started out in tennis. Tell us how old were you when you started tennis and who got you into it?

DA: My brother-in-law introduced me in the late 70s when Borg, McEnroe, and Connors were at the top of the game.  It was a great time for tennis. I stayed with my sister and brother-in-law in West Virginia during the summers and I can remember waiting for my brother-in-law to get home at midnight after working afternoons. We would go to the public courts and play tennis under the lights.

 

TCB: What made you take over the PTM Program Director at Ferris State University?

DA: In 2009, I returned to Ferris to lead the PTM program.  There were several reasons why I chose to come back after graduating in 1994. Being a student in the program was one of the best experiences in my life and certainly the best education I received in preparing me for the tennis industry. I was fortunate to have great mentors who pushed me to be the best I could be, and I wanted to do the same for others pursuing careers in the tennis industry.

 

TCB: What's the history of the PTM program at Ferris?

DA: The Ferris State PTM program was started by Scott Schultz in 1986.  It was the first four-year PTM program to be accredited by the USPTA.  Approximately 400 students have graduated from the Ferris State PTM program.  While most grads choose a career in the tennis industry, many have had successful careers in the music, real estate, and restaurant industries as well.

 

 

TCB: Are there other tennis professionals involved in the PTM program?

DA: We have an awesome staff of tennis professionals that support Tennis and PTM Program at Ferris. Both Mike Janz, PTM Assistant Director, and Mark Doren, Men’s and Women’s Varsity Tennis Coach are PTM Graduates. Lee Cornelius is our head pro and Amy Nestle, Manager of the Ferris Racquet and Fitness Center had an outstanding career at BYU Hawaii earning three national championships and serves as a USPTA certification tester.

In addition, we have an amazing advisory board who are very involved with the students through mentoring and video conferencing calls throughout the year. Many of them, as well as other industry professionals, come to campus throughout the year to educate our students through presentations and workshops. As an example, Dave Bone (1994 Ferris PTM Graduate), Owner/Executive Director of the United States Racket Stringing Association (USRSA), conducts a yearly workshop on racquet repair and customization. 

TCB: How many students do you typically have in PTM (pre-Pandemic)?

DA: The numbers of students are typically in the 30s and 40s.

 

TCB: Are you planning to restart PTM this fall? How many students have signed up for it?

DA: Yes, we are planning face-to-face classes this fall. We will have 12 new students joining the PTM Program for fall 2020.

Ferris-Viedo.png

Ferris State PTM Promo

TCB: What is the racial and gender makeup of your students?

DA: Since the inception of the program, we have had students from 17 countries graduate from the PTM Program. This year our student body ethnicity is mostly white and will be comprised of approximately 15% female and 85% male.

TCB: How do you rate the acceptance of your graduates in the industry?

DA: We are very fortunate to have established an excellent reputation for developing some of the best entry-level tennis professionals in the tennis industry. The feedback I received from internship and full-time employers has been excellent. Approximately 50% of the students receive a job offer from a previous internship they completed.

 

TCB: Do you guarantee placement in the industry?

DA: The demand for our graduates has always been very high, with most graduates receiving multiple job offers upon graduation. We have had nearly 100% placement since 1986 and currently, the demand for tennis-teaching professionals is the highest that I’ve seen in my career. About 75% of the students receive job offers before their last semester in the program.

 

TCB: In light of the fact that Tyler Junior College's PTM program is being discontinued, what trend are you seeing as far as PTM registrations at Ferris State are concerned? Is the program stable?

DA: The Ferris PTM program is very stable with great support from the College of Business and the university.  We have a great working relationship between the racquet facility, athletics, and academic affairs.  Entry into tennis teaching will change for the better with the new tennis teaching certification requirements being developed by the USTA, USPTA, and PTR, which begins in 2021.  The emphasis on raising the bar for certification and improving education has been the hallmark of the Ferris PTM program since its inception.  With the increased support of the USTA and the businesses and organizations in the tennis industry, I believe we will see an increase in PTM enrollment over the next several years.

 

TCB: How do you see the future of PTM programs at U.S. colleges and universities?

DA: In the short term, it is difficult to predict with the COVID 19 pandemic we are all experiencing.  Those PTM programs that are just beginning may have a difficult time surviving as universities are making budget cuts across the board.

As far as the long term, the PTM programs perfectly fit the mission of the USTA-U; raising the bar of tennis-teaching professionals in the country.  With the support and backing of the governing body of tennis, colleges and universities will be able to develop certificates, minors, and concentrations much easier than in the past.  The tennis industry is experiencing a demand for more teaching professionals, so ultimately, I think economics will play a role in how many programs will be needed to supply the demand in the market.

 

TCB: Any plans to add Pickleball to your curriculum?

DA: A few years ago pickleball was added to the programming at the Ferris Racquet and Fitness Center. There is a project in the works for converting a few of our outside tennis courts into permanent pickleball courts as well. We are also looking at how we can add the pickleball certification to our curriculum.

 

TCB: Do you still play tennis (or Pickleball)?

DA: I still love to hit tennis balls, however with past rotator cuff and other injuries, I do not play competitively. I was introduced to pickleball this past year and hope to get more involved with it this coming year.

 

TCB: What is your tennis racquet of choice?

DA: Wilson.  Ferris State’s PTM program has a long tradition in partnership with Wilson Sporting Goods.  I have used Wilson racquets for a long time and currently use the Clash.

TCB: Thank you, Derek.

© 2020 by Tennis Media Group, 4324 Troost Ave, Suite 302, Studio City, CA 91604, U.S.A.  Tel 818-809-8327  info@tennismediagroup.com

  • Rich Neher Facebook
  • Rich Neher Twitter