Donnie Ellis & Keith Swindoll Scholarship Fund established

Ron Cioffi | September 01, 2022

The Southern Tennis Foundation (STF), the charitable affiliate of USTA Southern, is proud to announce the establishment of the Donnie Ellis & Keith Swindoll Scholarship Fund to provide college scholarships to deserving students in Alabama and across the South.


The coaches have been mainstays in the Alabama tennis community for decades and are Alabama Tennis Hall of Fame inductees. Ellis is pictured in the left photo below and on the right in the photo with Swindoll, while Swindoll is pictured in the right photo with his daughter, Bella, and on the left in the middle photo.


The Ellis-Swindoll scholarship will provide $1,000 per year for up to four years to deserving high school graduates. Selections will be made by the STF’s College Scholarships Committee.

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Donnie Ellis has taught and coached in Alabama for 36 years. He has been Director of Tennis at Selma Country Club for 32 years and has worked alongside Keith Swindoll as a professional at Indian Hills Country Club for 12 years in Tuscaloosa. He was inducted into the Alabama Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012, served as USTA Alabama President from 2013 to 2014 and as an STF Trustee from 2016 to 2018.


Here is a list of his many other accomplishments:

  • Alabama USPTA Professional of Year, 2010
  • Member of USPTA, PTR and Wilson Advisory Staff
  • Awarded Sportsmanship Award and Male Player of the Year by USTA Alabama
  • Represented Alabama on numerous Callen Cup teams in 45s, 55s and 65s divisions, including the 2009 winning team
  • Held the ranking of No. 1 in 40s, 45s, 50s, and 55s age divisions in Alabama
  • Served as President of USTA Alabama Board of Directors, 2014 -2016
  • Served as Vice President of USTA Alabama Board of Directors, 2013 -2014
  • Served as Regional Vice President of USTA Alabama Board of Directors, 2006 -2012
  • Instrumental in building the USTA Alabama Office and Hall of Fame Building, 2015
  • Coached Morgan Academy High School tennis team to two state championships in the 1990s
  • Captained numerous USTA League teams


Ellis said, “I'm very honored that some very fine individuals have created this scholarship in my name, and it means even more having Keith Swindoll, a lifelong and close friend on the scholarship as well. The benefits this scholarship will have on deserving college students is very gratifying. I feel very humble and honored that this scholarship has been made possible by great friends and associates at this time in my career.”



Keith Swindoll is a USPTA Master Professional and has held the position of Indian Hills Country Club Director of Tennis since 1987. He was inducted into the Alabama Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013 and has been named USTA Alabama Pro of the Year four times. He is currently Executive Vice President of USTA Alabama and Volunteer Assistant Women’s Tennis Coach at the University of Alabama since 2015.


His accomplishments include:

  • Earned B.S. in Sports Marketing, University of Alabama, 1985
  • Won 14 state championships as Head Coach of Tuscaloosa Academy boys’ and girls’ tennis teams and one with the West End Christian boys’ team
  • Indian Hills Country Club named USTA Alabama Facility of the Year, 1989
  • Named USTA Alabama Pro of the Year, 1990, 2002, 2005, 2009 and USPTA Alabama Pro of the Year, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2014
  • Served as President of Tuscaloosa Tennis Association, 1992-94
  • Received USPTA Southern President’s Award, 1994 and USPTA Southern High School Coach of the Year, 1994, 1997
  • Ranked No. 1, USTA Alabama Men’s 30 & Over Singles, 1988
  • Served as University of Alabama Women’s Tennis Volunteer Assistant Coach, 1999-2005
  • Achieved USPTA Master Professional status, 2008
  • USTA Alabama Facility of the Year, 2000, and Charity Event of the Year, 2009 
  • Keith’s Classic raised more than $160,000 for a variety of charities, 2011-2022
  • Alabama Charity Event of the Year-Will May Tournament, 2016
  • USPTA Southern Charity Events of the Year-Keith’s Classic, Will May, 2019
  • USTA Alabama Adult Tournament of the Year- Pritchett Moore Men’s City, 2020
  • USPTA Southern College Coach of the Year, 2020
  • USPTA Southern Teaching Professional of the Year, 2021
  • Volunteer Assistant Women’s Tennis Coach at the University of Alabama, since 2015

Swindoll said, “I’m very grateful to everyone who made this possible, including the students, players, and friends in my Indian Hills tennis family who were moved to donate to this scholarship.” He went on to say that he is “honored to share this with one of the best there is my buddy, Donnie Ellis. Thanks to all who made this possible.”


The STF is an independent all-volunteer 501(c)3 organization that provides needs-based scholarships, grants to assist competitive junior players, grants for youth-oriented programs, and emergency assistance to programs, pros and players. Donations are tax-exempt, and every dollar donated to the STF goes back to programs and players in the Southern states.


This scholarship is now fully endowed, but individuals can still contribute to increase the endowment, which will permit the STF to award additional Ellis-Swindoll Scholarships. To make a donation or look at other giving options, click here for the fund donation page


If you prefer, you may send your check to Southern Tennis Foundation/USTA Southern/5685 Spalding Drive/Peachtree Corners, GA 30092. If you want to make a multi-year pledge or some other special arrangement, contact USTA Southern Executive Director & COO Matt Olson.



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