Cawthorn – Prior to his arrival in Rochester
in 1963, Peter's illustrious tennis career dates back to 1949
upon capturing the Australian Junior Championship; although
another stand-out career highlight took place the following
year as Peter attempted a repeat: defeating Lew Hoad in the
semis before losing a tightly contested finals to Ken Rosewall
(6-4, 4-6, 5-7). He then competed in Wimbledon in 1951-52, reaching
the second and fourth rounds (singles and doubles, respectively)
in 1951 as well as the fourth round in mixed doubles in 1952.
Soon thereafter, Cawthorne turned professional and was recruited
into Jack Kramer's touring group (which included the likes of
Frank Sedgman, Pancho Segura and Pancho Gonzales) appearing
in a number of international tournaments (including Paris, Berlin
and Moscow) throughout the 1950s. In 1963, Peter relocated to
Rochester, NY, as head pro at the Tennis Club of Rochester (1961-'72,
'76-'86) for the next twenty-three years before returning to
his native Australia.
- Buzzy honed his game on the Northwestern University tennis
team. After college, Buzzy would go on to win a silver medal
in doubles (with Alan Schwartz) in the 1977 Maccabiah Games
in Israel. In 1979, Buzzy was invited by the Swiss Tennis
Federation to compete in a series of doubles tournaments (with
Alan Schwartz) in which they won a title in Wengen, Switzerland.
In 1983, he continued his international tour by competing
in the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was
also as an organizational leader and promoter of tennis that
Buzzy made his mark. By 1968, his influence had helped convince
the Board of Directors and members to move TCR from Farrington
Place to Bushnell’s Basin. Buzzy was also instrumental
in bringing the US Amateur Championship to TCR in 1969 and
1970, serving as Tournament Chairman. In recognition of this,
Buzzy was awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the USTA
as well as the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1970,
Buzzy also served as President of the Tennis Club Rochester.
TCR has honored Buzzy by naming the circle in front of the
club “The Bernard 'Buzz' Frank Circle." In 1973,
he partnered with Alan Schwartz to open Midtown Tennis Club
in Brighton. Buzzy remained active throughout the 80’s
and early 90’s at TCR and Midtown, where many of us
were fortunate enough to play with him.
Gohagen - Linda Gohagan is entering her 17th
season as the head coach for the St. John Fisher College women’s
tennis team and her 16th year as the head coach of the St. John
Fisher College men's team. She has led the women to five New
York State Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Tournament
berths in the last six years. In the summer of 2007, Gohagan
was named as the United States Professional Tennis Association/Eastern
Division's College Coach of the Year. On the men’s side,
Gohagan has continued her success leading the Cardinals to three
appearances in the Empire 8 Championships over the last five
seasons. Linda has taught tennis at Salmon Creek, Midtown Athletic
Club, Manhattan Square Tennis Club, The University Club, the
Tennis Club of Webster and she is currently in her 17th year
as head tennis professional at Monroe Golf Club. Linda has been
a USTA member for 42 years and a USPTA Level 1 (now Elite) Pro
for 35 years. As a player, she has been ranked 13th in the Eastern
Division and a two-time Rochester District Open Singles champion
(1976 & 1978).
- Spike has been teaching tennis since 1964 when he ran classes
for Penfield Parks & Recreation. He was captain and #1 player
of Brown University's tennis team. Spike joined the Tennis Corporation
of America in its second year as an instructor at the then world’s
largest indoor tennis center, Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago.
Spike helped build TCA to be the largest owner and operator
of indoor tennis clubs in the country, with facilities from
Boston to Seattle. Spike coached numerous nationally ranked
players including Billy Nealon, whom he helped obtain the #1
ranking in the country in the boys' 14-and-under division. Along
with Alan Schwartz, Spike co-authored the NTRP rating system,
the cornerstone for league play throughout the United States.
He served three years as president of the Eastern Division of
the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). An
avid player with two-time Rochester District Open Singles titles
(1972 & 1976) as well as a multiple doubles titles, he also
was a USPTA Eastern Singles and Doubles champion (with Dave
Strebel). In 1991, Spike founded Love-15, a program that has
brought tennis to thousands of Rochester's urban community youth.
In 1995, Spike relocated to Naples, Florida, where he continues
to compete and promote the game of tennis.
Hock - As a student in Buffalo, Hock attended
a talk by Bill Tilden in 1928. This ignited a passion for the
game that would endure throughout his entire life. Hock won
the Buffalo Districts in 1939 and The Rochester Singles Districts
in 1952 while capturing his fourth doubles title that same year.
He would go on to capture ten more District Open Doubles titles,
bringing the total to fourteen titles. In 1964, Hock helped
raise $20,000 to finance two indoor tennis courts at the Tennis
Club of Rochester on Farrington Place. Hock is credited with
being Rochester's first certified tennis instructor. He was
also head pro at TCR, Oak Hill Country Club, Brighton Henrietta
Tennis Club, and Irondequoit Tennis Club.
- Even before relocating to Rochester in 1968, Al's list of
tennis accomplishments was already well-established. Ranked
#2 in the nation in the 15-and-unders in 1949 and #5 in 18-and-unders
in 1951, he won the Illinois State HS Championship and, a few
years later, the Big Ten Championship for Northwestern University.
During the 18 years between 1968, when he came to teach at the
University of Rochester, and 1986, when he moved away, Al was
very active on the local and regional tennis scene. For several
years, he directed the tennis program at Oak Hill Country Club
and also taught tennis at Midtown Tennis under Spike Gonzales.
He especially enjoyed practicing with younger players like Bob
Pecora, Marty Lipman, Patty Shoolman, Billy Nealon, and Mike
Mahoney. He won a number of titles, among them the Rochester
Districts (1969, 1974-75), the NY State Hard court Men's Doubles
in Utica with Jim Vaughn, the NY State 35's and the 45's and
the Sedgwick Farms Invitational in Syracuse. He had wins over
the two best players of that era, Peter Lyman and Bob Hetherington.
Lyman - When Peter enrolled at the University
of Rochester in 1943 to major in mathematics, tennis was initially
a secondary interest as he played #5 and #6 on the varsity team.
However, as a Princeton University graduate student, his passion
for the game solidified and he returned to Rochester and started
playing tennis more seriously. It did not take him long to start
dominating the local tennis scene. Peter has the record for
winning 16 consecutive Men's District Open Singles titles starting
in 1953. Peter is also a multiple year doubles champion. He
coached the men's tennis team at the University of Rochester
for 42 years. Under his leadership, either his team or individual
player was represented at the national level for 22 consecutive
years (including the National Championship doubles team of Alex
Gaeta and Bob Swarthout). Peter was the NCAA Division lll National
Coach of the Year in 1990. The outdoor Tennis Center at the
University of Rochester is named in his honor.
Nealon - Ann was the first female tennis instructor
at Midtown Tennis Club in the early 1970s and the Head Tennis
Professional for 31 years at the prestigious Oak Hill Country
Club. Competitively, Ann was a 3-time consecutive District Open
Single Champion (1966-68). As a leader, she started the women's
tennis program at RIT in 1971 and remained the head coach until
her retirement in 2005. She also coached the men's team for
nine years and compiled an 86-31 record- including two undefeated
seasons (1982-83), a New York State Womens's Collegiate Athletic
Association (NYSWCAA) championship in 1983, two Empire Athletic
Association titles (1984 and 1986), and capped her retirement
year with an Empire 8 Championship in 2005. Among her many accolades
are the Rochester Press-Radio Club Jean Giambrone Award (1984),
induction into the RIT Sports Hall of Fame (1995), NYS Division
III Women's Coach of the Year (2001), induction into the Frontier
Field Walk of Fame (2002), and the Empire 8 Division III Men's
Coach of the Year (2005).
Nealon - At age 14, Billy was the #1 ranked
junior in the US. Over the next four years, he remained in
the top-10, finishing #3 in the boys' 18 (#2 in doubles).
A two-year member of the US 18-Under Junior Davis Cup Team,
he was awarded a full athletic scholarship to top-4 ranked
USC. As an All-American, Billy was selected to the US Collegiate
Davis Cup team and attained a top-300 ATP ranking within five
months. His first win over a top-75 ranked player earned him
a main draw acceptance into the 1980 Men's US Open Singles
and Doubles (losing in 4 sets to 9th seeded Peter Fleming).
While competing against many top-15 ATP players on the pro
tour (1983-1986), Billy attained ATP ranking highs of #230
(Singles) and #156 (Doubles). Later a two-time District Singles
winner (1987-88), Billy has been TCR's Head Pro (1987-1989
and 1996-present). Since 2002, Billy's program has produced
a #1 US Junior (Marcus Fugate), seven other top-15 US Juniors
(four since 2011), and a number of other top ranked eastern
juniors. Recognized by the USTA for national excellence in
multiple years, his program and juniors have received a combined
$100,000 for training and travel. Billy was awarded the Eastern
Pro of the Year in 2007 and Eastern Clinician of the Year
Inspired by her then eleven-year old son Steve's love for
tennis and desire for more tournament competition, Marina
became an active proponent of Rochester tennis from that point
forward. "I called a couple of coaches at the University
of Rochester and asked for their help to make the draw,"
said Nudo. "We came up with a schedule and then I ran
the tournament all by myself." It was as a tournament
director that Marina got her start and she quickly developed
a passion for promoting the sport on a wider scale. With the
help of parent volunteers, she ran monthly tournaments throughout
the Rochester area for 19 years. Through her relationship
with the USTA, Marina was able to secure funding for the non-profit
Love-15 program in Rochester, NY, that helped make it possible
for many urban youths to play tennis. Marina also served as
President of the USTA/Eastern. She was elected Delegate to
the USTA three times, president of the USTA/Eastern Junior
Tennis Foundation and inducted into the USTA/Eastern Tennis
Hall of Fame in 2013.
Frank won between 200-250 tournaments between 1949-1999 including
local, regional, national and international tournaments. His
local achievements include 59 tournament wins in the Rochester
District Championships in various divisions - among them the
1950-51 Rochester District Open Singles titles and seventeen
Rochester District Open Doubles titles. Frank was the first
native of Rochester, NY ever to play in the US National Tennis
Championships at Forest Hills where he competed against Vic
Seixas. He won several senior titles in Canada and Bermuda between
1965 and 1975. His best national ranking was #5 between 1999
and 2004 in the Men's 80s Singles Division. In Mr Okey's final
tournament, he beat Gardnar Mulloy on grass in Orange, New Jersey,
- An avid player since the age of 17, Chuck was the Central
NY Singles and Doubles Champion in 1964. Chuck also established
himself as a coach and leader in Rochester's tennis community
from 1964-2009. As a coach, he led many players at Nazareth
College (1992-1997), Spencersport High School (2006), as well
as a number of junior programs at Cobb's Hill, Nazareth College
and Brighton Henrietta Tennis Club. Along with his wife, Dee,
Chuck owned and/or ran a number of tennis programs from 1967-2009
(including The Seasons, Cobbs Hill, Brighton and Irondequoit
Tennis Clubs, Tennis Heaven Pro Shop, Tennis Club of Webster,
The Country Place and Mendon Tennis Club.) He organized many
tournaments including GRAT Hard Courts and the Webster Clay
Courts. Chuck and his wife currently live in Charleston, SC
where he still lives and breathes tennis!
Strebel - Dave has been a tennis coach in Rochester
for over 40 years. He coached at Rush Henrietta High School
for thirteen years and The Harley School for several years.
Dave developed many sectional champions on the boys' and girls'
teams, including team sectional champs. Dave was Section 5 Boys'
and Girls' Chairperson and started team sectionals for boys
and girls, as well as adapting the sectionals to wider participation.
Dave was a High School Boys State Doubles finalist and played
college tennis at Cortland. Dave was a District Open Singles
Champion in 1980 and 1981 as well as multiple doubles titles.
At the national level, Dave and his partner, Bob Pecora, beat
the top ranked team in the country in 45's. Dave and Spike Gonzales
reached the quarter-finals and semi-finals at two national tournaments
in the 45's division. Dave still teaches tennis in Rochester
at The Harley School and he suns himself in the winter in San
Toporcer - With a number of Rochester District
Open Singles titles (1936, 1938-39 and 1944), Bill Toporcer
was also the one to break TCR's 22-year streak as the first
non-member to take home the district title, playing out of
the Maplewood YMCA. Bill Toporcer's tennis prowess and tenacity
was particularly well-known throughout the tennis community
and attributed to his dedication to physical fitness and attention
to detail as an astute student of strategic match play. Also
an active proponent of Rochester Tennis, Bill maintained a
weekly instructional column for the Times Union for many years.
Always eager to share and pass his knowledge and affinity
for the game, Bill coached the men's tennis team at Rochester
Institute of Technology from 1945-1970
Treash - Len was the Section V Singles Champion
in 1951 while attending Brighton High School. He played four
years of varsity tennis while attending Ohio Wesleyan University
and became team captain as a junior and senior. Through his
subsequent two-year service in the US Navy, Len went on to
compete in a number of tennis tournaments. Len and his daughter,
Debbie, also won four Father/Daughter National Championship
titles in 1998, 1999 and two in 2005. In 1990, Len partnered
with Dave Strebel and won the American Airlines National Century
Tournament in Chicago. By 1993, Len was ranked #10 in the
United States in the Men's 60s Division. Len remained active
as a senior competitor. In addition to the three gold balls
he won with his daughter, he also won many silver and bronze
balls at national tournaments.