Tennis Channel has named the five male and five female finalists in its inaugural America's Hottest Coach contest. Now it is up to online voters to determine the winners. Visitors to Tennis Channel's Web site can read about the 10 finalists and vote for the male and female coaches that they think should win this year's contest. The poll will remain open through Wednesday, July 25, with an instantly updated percentage meter that allows voters to see where their favorite coach stands. One male and one female coach will be announced in August and receive prize packages that include trips to New York and appearances in their own Tennis Channel instructional segments. Among the finalists is New York City's own Tumeka Harris of Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club.
Tennis Channel launched the America's Hottest Coach contest in late May, opening it to tennis coaches nationwide who are physically fit, promote healthy lifestyles, and motivate and inspire the players they instruct. A panel of judges, which included USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) pro and Tennis View Magazine editorial representatives, selected the finalists from close to 500 essay submissions. The wide-ranging field of nominations was a case study in the sport's all-encompassing, cradle-to-grave nature, with everyone from young adults to senior citizens of all backgrounds represented.
America's Hottest Coach Finalists
►Otis Sadler, Houston (Junior Development Director at Houston Racquet Club)
►Pablo Schurig, Lafayette, Calif. (Head Tennis Pro at Lafayette Tennis Club)
►Chris Ojakian, Beverly Hills, Calif. (President of Ojakian Tennis Inc.)
►Andy Fitzell, Santa Ana, Calif. (Director at The Vic Braden Tennis College)
►Jorge Andres Gonzales, Bradenton, Fla. (Coach, IMG Academies, Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy)
►Tumeka Harris, New York City (Pro at Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club)
►MoeMoe Myinttun, Los Angeles (Teacher, Beverly Hills Country Club)
►Wendy Caragher, Coronado, Calif. (Instructor, Coronado Tennis Center)
►Natasha Pospich Mucci, Westlake Village, Calif. (Teacher, Top Seed Tennis Academy)
►Angela Leong, Tualatin, Ore. (Co-Academy Director and Performance Coach at Leong Tennis Academy)