2022 Community Champions: Burke family named Ralph W. Westcott Family of the Year
On March 20, six advocates for the sport of tennis at the grassroots and local levels were honored as Community Champions at the 2022 USTA Annual Meeting and Conference. The “Celebration of Community Champions” luncheon was held at the Disney Beach and Yacht Club in Orlando, Fla.
WATCH: The Burke family wins the 2022 Ralph W. Westcott Family of the Year award
The Burke family of Raleigh, N.C. was honored as the USTA's Ralph W. Westcott Family of the Year at the 2022 USTA Annual Meeting and Conference in celebration of their more than 40 years of service to the sport in their community.
The Ralph W. Westcott Family of the Year award, created by the USTA in 1965, is given annually to a family that volunteers its time to promote amateur tennis, emphasizing the theme that tennis is a family game.
Kathy Burke is a longtime tennis coach in the Raleigh area. She is USPTA Elite-certified and a certified specialist in high-performance, competitive player development by both the USPTA and USTA. Most recently the director of tennis at the Henderson Country Club from 2016-20, she also worked with the JV boys’ tennis team at St. David’s School and as the associate director of athletics and head coach of the women’s varsity tennis team at Saint Mary’s School from 1998-2011. During her tenure at Saint Mary’s, she coached the varsity girl’s tennis team to a top-four state ranking eight times and won the conference title seven times. She amassed a varsity coaching record of 178-57, and in 2004, she was recognized nationally by the USTA as the High School Coach of the Year.
Her oldest daughter, Jessica, is a USTA League player at the 4.5 level. Certified as a USPTA teaching pro in 2005, she participated in the Professional Tennis Management program for two years at Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C. and played Division III tennis there. She transferred to Queens University of Charlotte to finish out her degree in business marketing and played Division II tennis at Queens.
Jessica’s husband, David, is also an avid 4.0 tennis player. He enjoys playing local tournaments, an occasional league and hitting with friends. Jessica and David now find their passion for tennis through their three kids: Regan (10), Conor (8), and Quinn (5). They love playing on the weekends together as a family, as well as an occasional inter-family mixed doubles match, and in tournaments.
During the summer of 2021, Jessica noticed a lack of playing opportunities for under-10 junior players in the Raleigh/Cary area and decided to take it upon herself to help implement events. She partnered with a local CTA, the Western Wake Tennis Association, to run a series of USTA Jr. Circuit events, and their success was a family affair. Jessica ran the tournament desk and kept everyone organized, while Regan assisted at the desk with scores and handing out balls. David was an on-court monitor, as was Kathy often, too, while Conor could also be found on court playing. Quinn was their biggest supporter and cheerleader.
Kathy’s younger daughter, Blair Burke, is a 4.5-level player and graduated from the PTM program at Methodist University in 2018. She is currently an assistant tennis professional at Prestonwood Country Club, and has been a certified USPTA teaching pro since 2017. She is a Cardio Tennis authorized provider and a Net Generation-trained coach. Prior to her work at Prestonwood, Blair was a teaching pro at North Hills Club in Raleigh and worked a few years with Tennisbloc.
“The USTA is proud to honor the Burke family for their dedication to the sport and their vast impact upon the tennis community,” said Craig Morris, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “This is a family that lives and breathes tennis and their endless contributions to the sport and passion for helping others makes them deserving of this award.”
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