N.D. Tennis Hall of Fame
Geatz, Paukert Make Up Class of '17
USTA Northern | May 31, 2017
David Geatz, originally of Grand Forks, N.D., and Terry Paukert, also of Grand Forks, N.D., make up the 2017 class of the North Dakota Tennis Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies are Saturday, June 24, at Choice Health & Fitness in Grand Forks as part of the China Garden Open. The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For more information about the festivities, please contact Kevin Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geatz, who is currently the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania, was born and raised in Grand Forks. He played tennis at Red River High School from 1972-75, where he was a member of the state championship team in 1973. He also won the state doubles title with partner Rich Dahlen that year and was the North Dakota state singles champion in 1974 and 1975. ADVERTISEMENT He finished his high school career with a 104-3 record, with the three losses coming his freshman season. The next three years, he won 90 straight matches and was named to Sports Illustrated’s Faces in The Crowd in 1975. He was later inducted into the Grand Forks Red River High School Athletics Hall of Fame.
He went on to play college tennis at the University of New Mexico where he earned all-conference honors in 1979, and won the conference doubles title with partner Jess Bec-Mueller that same year. After college, he played professionally in Europe where he won eight tournaments.
After earning his degree in University Studies from New Mexico in 1981, Geatz returned to his alma mater as the head men’s tennis coach from 1983-88, leading his team to a Top 20 ranking and earning Western Athletic Conference and NCAA Regional Coach of the Year honors.
Geatz then served as head coach of the University of Minnesota men’s program from 1988-2006. During his tenure, the Gophers won five Big Ten championships and compiled a 45-match winning streak in conference play. He was a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year and earned NCAA Regional Coach of the Year accolades once. His teams appeared in 12 straight NCAA Championships, and were ranked as high as #10 nationally. He also coached All-American Harsh Mankad, who was ranked #1 in the nation in singles.
After leaving the Gophers, Geatz served as the Director of Tennis at the Hong Kong Country Club in Hong Kong, before returning to the collegiate ranks as the Associate Head Coach at Ohio State in 2007-08. He was then hired as the men’s head coach at Cornell in 2008, and in 2009, coached both the men’s and women’s teams at Cornell until being hired as the Albert G. Molloy Head Coach of Men’s Tennis at Penn in 2011.
A USTA League and tournament player throughout his career, Geatz was a member of the USTA Northern 5.5 National Championship team in 2004.
“Dave Geatz is arguably the best tennis player and tennis coach the state of North Dakota has ever produced,” current University of North Dakota head tennis coach and North Dakota Tennis Hall of Fame member Tom Wynne said. “As a player, he has had success at the state, section and national level as a player and is one of the top collegiate tennis coaches in the nation. Though he spent a great deal of time in Minnesota and other parts of the country, he still identifies himself with North Dakota.”
“I am very honored to be inducted into the North Dakota Tennis Hall of Fame,” Geatz said. “I have always been proud to consider North Dakota my home. I grew up with a lot of special people including the Wynnes, Terry Paukert and Jerry Caulfield, who are all members of the Hall of Fame. It is a special moment for me to join them.”
Also a native of Grand Forks, Paukert played both high school and college tennis in North Dakota - at Grand Forks Central and the University of North Dakota, respectively, where he was the doubles partner of fellow North Dakota Tennis Hall of Famer Tim Wynne.
After college, he began his long and storied career as a high school tennis coach which spans over 40 years including time at East Grand Forks (1978-97, 2004, 2006 and 2012-13), Grand Forks Central (1999-2008) and Grand Forks Red River (2011, 2015-current). He has been part of two North Dakota team championships, coached two doubles champions and four singles titlists, including two wins by his son, Charlie, at Grand Forks Central in 2003 and 2004.
Paukert has coached both boys and girls in his illustrious career. He served as a board member of the Community Tennis Association which built the Register Tennis Complex in Grand Forks. Throughout his career, he has organized free tennis programs in the city for all high school students to grow their tennis knowledge and skills, while offering free individual lessons and racquet stringing to those who would not otherwise be able to play tennis.
He was named the Minnesota State High School Coach of the Year in 1992, and was honored in 2006 with the Ward C. Burton Junior Development Award presented to an individual or organization who has promoted the growth of tennis for juniors and served the junior tennis community in USTA Northern. In 2013, he was inducted into the Grand Forks Central High School Athletics Hall of Fame, and in 2016, received the Thomas J. Clifford Award given to an University of North Dakota alum who serve as an athletics coach at the high school or collegiate level and has been notably successful in their respective sport.
“Throughout his career, Terry has kindled and grown the love for tennis in the Grand Forks community,” nominator Ryan McGuigan said. “While speaking to Terry, he said, ‘Tennis is a money sport, but it doesn’t have to be.’ This is what led him to give free instruction, drills and supplies to many kids over the years, giving those the opportunity to play tennis who may not have otherwise had that chance.”
“Receiving this honor is humbling because I am not looking for recognition and I really enjoy what I do,” Paukert said. “It is a way to keep me connected and in the game. All I am looking for is a smile and a thank you. I know most of the people in the Hall of Fame and am very honored to have my name mentioned with theirs.”