El Cajon Valhalla High Tennis Coach Named To No-Cut All-Star Team

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced the 2015 No-Cut Coach All-Star Team, which includes Don Ackerly of Valhalla High School in El Cajon, Calif. The No-Cut Coach All-Star Team recognizes 12 exceptional middle and high school coaches throughout the nation who implement a “no-cut” policy which welcomes all interested students to be a part of their school’s tennis team.

The No-Cut Coach All-Star Team was established in 2013 to recognize a select group of coaches nationwide for their special achievements in offering a “No-Cut Tennis” policy.  Coaches are nominated by their respective USTA Section.

Don Ackerly

Ackerly is a resident of La Mesa and has been coaching tennis since 1979 when he started as an assistant at Santa Barbara City College. Ackerly is currently in his third stint of coaching at Valhalla having coached there in 1986, and from 1992-1997. He returned in 2004 and has been coaching there since that time. Ackerly has won multiple league titles on the boys’ and girls’ side with the 2008 girls reaching the CIF-San Diego Section finals. His boys’ team won four consecutive league titles from 2005-2008.

Helping people experience the joy and love of tennis is one of my goals. I believe that high school is the time people should be exposed to areas of study and life that peak their curiosity and intrigue. Tennis is one of those areas. As such, it is my responsibility to involve any interested young men and women in the sport. As life progresses, when a person is ready to find something to do for health, social involvement, competition, or just to pass a few hours, I want them to remember tennis. It is truly a sport for a lifetime.

“These coaches play a critical role not only in the development of student-athletes throughout the year, but the success of No-Cut Tennis and the sport of tennis as a whole,” said Glenn Arrington, Director, USTA High School Tennis. “We are extremely proud of these coaches as they foster inclusion and continue to help shape and mold today’s youth into well-rounded student athletes.”

Since 2006, more than 4,000 tennis coaches nationwide have made a commitment to offering a no-cut policy, with some programs including more than 100 team members on a high school team.  The coaches of these teams serve as positive role models and make a difference by spending the extra time and effort to ensure that young players experience the fun and fulfillment of playing tennis and participating in a school sport.

To qualify for the USTA No-Cut All-Star Team, coaches must be currently implementing a no-cut policy on their tennis teams, currently registered with the USTA as a “no-cut” coach, and coaching tennis for a minimum of five years.

The 2015 No-Cut Coach All-Star Team includes:

  • Don Ackerly – Valhalla High School, El Cajon, Calif.
  • Doug Chapman – Somerset-Berkley Regional High School, Somerset, Mass.
  • Teresa Cunningham – Winter Park High School, Winter Park, Fla.
  • Ted Dasler – Lakeland High School, Minocqua, Wis.
  • Jeanie Duncan – Lincoln High School, Lincoln, Calif.
  • Danny Espinosa – Rivera Early College High School, Brownsville, Texas
  • Debra Gable – Dallastown High School, Dallastown, Pa.
  • Suzie Heideman – East Ridge High School, Woodbury, Minn.
  • Lisa O’Hanahan – Carl Junction High School, Carl Junction, Mo.
  • Paul Seegraves – Piggott High School, Piggot, Ark.
  • Donna Swanson – Moapa Valley Empowerment High School, Overton, Nev.
  • Wendy Thomas – La Cueva High School, Albuquerque, N.M.

To register as a no-cut coach or to learn more about the program and free registration incentives, visit www.usta.com/no-cut.

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