Terry Valdez from Eastmont High School in East Wenatchee, Wash., has been named the recipient of the 2012 USTA Starfish Award. The USTA Starfish Award recognizes exceptional high school coaches who implement a "no-cut" policy, welcoming all interested students to be part of their school tennis teams. Valdez has been selected out of 10 finalists for his long-term commitment to this inclusive policy.
"The USTA is proud to name Terry Valdez the winner of the Starfish Award for enriching the lives of his players through his no-cut tennis program," said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "Ensuring that all players receive real-match playing time and treating all of them as equals is a sign of Terry’s devotion to emphasize the one-team concept."
Valdez has been coaching tennis for 30 years. This past season at Eastmont High School, he had 35 boys and 51 girls on his roster. Valdez runs one of the only no-cut programs in the region and, over the last 10 years, has grown the team to more than 80 players. For his work, he has received the Elliston President’s Award for North Central Athletics for positively impacting youth and high school tennis. Furthermore, in recognition for his effort to promote tennis in the region, Valdez was recruited to serve as a USTA/PNW Eastern Washington tennis coordinator.
There are more than 3,625 coaches nationwide implementing the no-cut initiative, and some programs have more than 100 official high school tennis team members. The coaches of these teams serve as positive role models and make a difference by spending the extra time to ensure that young players experience the fun and fulfillment of representing their high school tennis teams. To qualify for the USTA Starfish Award, coaches must be: currently implementing a no-cut policy on their tennis teams, registered with the USTA as a "no-cut coach" and have coached tennis for a minimum of five years. The winner was determined by a select panel of USTA committee members, staff, volunteers and career no-cut coaches.
The USTA Starfish Award is in its eighth year of existence and has honored 14 recipients since 2005. To register as a no-cut coach or learn more about the program, visit www.usta.com/no-cut