USTA NEW ENGLAND ANNOUNCES
2019 HALL OF FAME CLASS
May 8, 2019
Media Contact: James Maimonis
Manger, Media & Communications
508-366-3450 ext. 112
THREE CHOSEN AS USTANE'S HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019
WESTBOROUGH, MA- USTA New England is pleased to announce its 2019 Hall of Fame class. New England tennis legends, Lesley Sheehan, Jeff Bearup and George Ulrich, will be enshrined at a ceremony on June 8 at the International Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.
“We are extremely proud to celebrate Lesley, Jeff and George as the Class of 2019. This is the highest honor in New England tennis, and these three individuals have excelled on and off the court throughout their careers. They truly deserve to be recognized with the greats that have preceded them,” said USTA New England President and CEO, Peter Parrotta.
The USTA New England Hall of Fame exists to recognize those tennis players and non-players in New England whose achievements as sportsmen or sportswomen are worthy of the highest commendation and recognition, or whose contributions as officials or individuals in a tennis-related activity have been so outstanding over a significant period of time as to justify the highest commendation and recognition.ADVERTISEMENT
Get to know the 2019 Inductees:
Lesley Sheehan, Stoneham, MA (Hometown, Reading, MA)
Lesley Sheehan has excelled as both a coach and a player throughout her career. The current coach of the Boston University Women’s Tennis Team, Sheehan has racked up an impressive slate of awards and accomplishments over her 34 seasons. She led her teams to 26 conference titles, 17 NCAA Tournament appearances, is an eight-time conference coach of the year, is a two-time USPTA New England Coach of the Year and in 2002, she won the USA Tennis New England Coach of the Year award.
Overall, the Stoneham, MA resident has compiled a record of 396-266 and is in the Boston University Hall of Fame for her success as a coach and player.
As a junior player, Sheehan earned New England rankings from the 12s division all the way through the 18s and reached No. 1 in doubles in the 18s.
She went on to play four years at BU, where she had one of the most decorated careers in the school’s history. She was a three-time team MVP and two-time captain, and during her junior year, she became the first women’s tennis player in school history to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
During her collegiate career, she achieved a No. 1 NCAA New England ranking, No. 2 in the East and top-40 nationally. She compiled a career NCAA playing record of 54-16.
During her senior year in 1984, Sheehan received the Mildred Barnes Award, presented annually to the university’s outstanding female athlete. The same year, she also received the Scarlet Key Award, the highest honor given to a BU undergraduate.
Following graduation, Sheehan toured on the Pro Satellite Circuit, before returning to her alma mater as a coach.
Sheehan has also played in a number of USTA Leagues in her post-college career.
"It is truly an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I have lived in New England my whole life and have played the greatest sport there is. This lifelong sport is my passion and I am blessed to be among all of the great Hall of Famers in New England,” Sheehan said.
Sheehan will be presented by her sister, Annemarie Baker.
Jeff Bearup, Duxbury, MA
Jeff Bearup has built a prestigious career as a top-tier coach and tennis professional in New England. The co-founder of the New England Academy of Tennis in Natick, MA, Bearup has coached hundreds of top-ranked juniors in New England, many of whom won Sectional and National Championships.
Bearup has also volunteered with USTA New England for the past 25 years. He currently serves as the chair of the Coaches Commission and was the past chair of the High Performance Committee and the National Selection Committee. He is a USTA National Faculty Coach and is a co-founder of USTA New England’s annual Women in Tennis Together (WITT) events.
For his continued dedication to New England junior tennis, Bearup has been recognized with a number of awards and achievements: Two-time winner of USTANE’s William Freedman Award for outstanding contribution to junior tennis; USTA New England’s Gardner Ward Chase Award for lifetime achievement; USPTA’s Joseph Dietz Bowl for contribution to New England tennis; Recipient of the USPTA National Industry Excellence Award; USPTA New England Coach of the Year.
Following his retirement, Bearup co-founded Crosscourt Consulting, which helps families better understand and navigate junior and collegiate tennis systems.
“My goal in volunteering with the USTA over the past three decades was to help improve tennis in New England. The fact that I’m being inducted into the New England Hall of Fame is an unexpected honor and privilege that I am truly grateful for,” Bearup said.
Bearup will be presented by longtime friend, Tim Smith.
George Ulrich, Waterford, CT (Hometown, Elizabethtown, PA)
George Ulrich, the Director of Tennis at Lyme Shores Tennis & Conditioning Center in East Lyme, CT, has been involved in tennis for 52 years. He has played New England and national tournaments for the past 50, and he’s been a teaching pro since 1973.
Ulrich has achieved an impressive seven New England No. 1 doubles rankings, countless top 5 New England rankings in singles and doubles and reached a top ranking of 21 nationally. His best playing memories include winning his first New England singles tournament in the 35s division and winning his first national category II doubles tournament in the 65s. Ulrich also captains and plays on a men’s 4.5 USTA League team.
When Ulrich isn’t competing himself, he’s busy teaching some of the top players in New England at Lyme Shores, where he’s been for the past 26 years.
Ulrich serves on the USTA New England Adult Players Committee, and he was a founding member of the New England Senior Tennis Foundation. In 1999, he received the Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award for his outstanding contribution to New England tennis.
Prior to his successful teaching career, Ulrich played four years of varsity tennis at the University of Connecticut, where he was a two-time winner of the Yankee Conference Championship.
“Tennis has been my profession and passion for 50 years. I am tremendously honored to be recognized for my accomplishments to the sport which has been such an influential part of my life,” Ulrich said.
Ulrich will be presented by longtime friend and doubles partner, Tommie George.
In addition to the Hall of Fame Class of 2019, two special awards will also be given at the ceremony.
Alberto Garcia, teaching pro at the Weymouth Club in Weymouth, MA, will receive the Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award for his outstanding contribution to New England Tennis.
Also, Ken and Dorcas Miller will be this year’s recipients of the Irving Levine Award, which recognizes a lifetime of service and dedication to the sport of tennis.
To visit the New England Hall of Fame webpage, click here.
About USTA New England
USTA New England, one of 17 regional sections across the country that comprise the United States Tennis Association (USTA), is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting and developing the growth of tennis and increasing participation in the sport in New England by offering quality recreational and competitive programs for people of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit usta.com/newengland