USTA announces winners of 2021 officiating awards
The USTA has named Doug Rice, Lynda Hinshaw, Scotty Moore and Beverly 'Kris' Jaeger-Helton as the 2021 winners of the association's four national awards for excellence and service to officiating: the Nicholas E. Powell Award, Woodie Walker C.A.R.E. Award, Jr. McGovern Award and John T. McGovern Award, respectively.
Typically held in Flushing Meadows each year at the US Open, the USTA's annual umpire awards ceremony was held virtually Friday and can be viewed in its entirety in the video below. Each award-winner was presented her or her award by another official who is a member of one of the awards' voting committees.
“We are fortunate to have talented and dedicated officials such as Doug, Lynda, Scotty and Beverly, who are truly making an impact in growing tennis at the grassroots level,”said Sean Cary, USTA Managing Director, Competition Operations. “Their leadership, work ethic and passion for the game are just a few of the reasons why they’re so deserving of this recognition.”
Nicholas E. Powel Award: Doug Rice (Sandusky, Ohio)
This award, given since 1990, honors excellence in grassroots officiating. The award is given to officials who work primarily at sectional and/or amateur events, have a supportive attitude towards grassroots programs and are positive role models.
With more than 10 years of officiating experience, Rice (pictured, left) is a well-known, knowledgeable and respected official throughout the Midwest section. Twice named the Northwest Ohio Umpire of the Year, Rice has added to his resume with selection for the US Open each year since 2014, has been a site referee for the junior Orange Bowl, and was named Umpire of the Year at the USTA Boys' National Championships in 2015.
In his own words: "Community [tennis] is the spine of what we do. We all got our start in community [tennis]. You can't get away from your backbone or your spine, and that's part of why I make community [tennis] part of my schedule every year."
Woodie Walker C.A.R.E Award: Lynda Hinshaw (Richmond, Ind.)
Presented since 2017 and named for longtime US Open chief umpire Phyllis "Woodie" Walker, this award is given to an official who displays characteristics that Walker exemplified in her career: commitment, accountability, respectability and excellence.
Hinshaw's career as a tennis official began in the Midwest section and spanned all the way up to overseeing US Open finals as a silver badge chair umpire. Instrumental in developing the classroom cirriculum that's trained USTA umpires for decades, Hinshaw has served in a variety of leadership roles off the court over her 40-plus years as an umpire: from the vice-chair of the USTA's national officiating committee to a national trainer and evaluator of younger umpires.
In her own words: "I know what Woodie's meant to tennis officiating over the years and to so many, and to receive this award in her name is truly an honor. She became my role model. I wanted to do things the 'Woodie way,' and I've tried to do that. I have many joys in my life, and one of the biggest ones is when someone I've helped, in any small way, achieves and grows."
Jr. McGovern Award: Scotty Moore (Wilmington, N.C.)
Presented when applicable, this award celebrates a relatively new official who shows talent and potential, recognizing the service of younger officials. This award is not awarded annually; instead, it is awarded when the Jr. McGovern Award committee, composed of previous John T. McGovern Award winners, receives a nominee deemed worthy of selection.
Moore has been pursuing a full-time career as a tennis official since 2018 and is certified as a bronze badge chair umpire, working professionally on the ATP and WTA tours as well as at Grand Slams. He's also certified as a white badge referee. Moore was recognized with this award for both his outstanding career to date and commitment to improvement.
In his own words: "When I look back on all the people who've won this award, it really gives me a sense of honor because there are a lot of good people on that list. I was always a player, and when I knew my playing career wasn't going anywhere, I found umpiring. There are so many more places, people and tournaments to go and see, and the end goal is to see as many of those as I can."
John T. McGovern Award: Beverly 'Kris' Jaeger-Helton (Boston, Mass.)
Given to an official with at least 10 years of service, the John. T. McGovern Award honors those who have made exceptional contributions to the profession. The award dates back to 1949, when McGovern himself presented a gold-plated trophy to the official who had contributed the most to umpiring that year. Awarded in perpetuity in his name, it is the USTA's highest officiating honor today.
A bronze badge chair umpire, Jaeger-Helton has worked at all four Grand Slams, three Olympics, the Tokyo Paralympics and ATP, WTA and USTA Pro Circuit events as a chair umpire, line umpire and review official over her 20-plus years. A national trainer of chair umpires, she's also a member of Northeastern University's engineering faculty, where she's been voted “Professor of the Year” by students 15 times.
Read more in our Officating Spotlight: Beverly 'Kris' Jaeger-Helton
In her own words: "I've made so many amazing, wonderful friends and had some incredible experiences around the world. We've traveled together, we've laughed together, we've sat in supportive silence together. I've stayed at their homes around the globe, and been at weddings, celebrated births, grieved losses with them. There aren't enough words to describe this... and to receive this award, it's an honor all around."
Watch the entire 2021 Umpire Awards ceremony below.