Paul Scarpa Scholarships Established
The Southern Tennis Foundation (STF), the charitable arm of United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern Section, announced the establishment of the Paul Scarpa Scholarships.
Scarpa was the Furman Men’s Tennis Coach for 45 years and is winningest NCAA Division I tennis coach in history with 853 victories. He was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year nine times.
Friends of Scarpa, including a number of his former players, have contributed over $60,000 to establish the initial endowments for these two scholarships, which will run in perpetuity. The scholarships will be awarded to high school graduates from the nine-state USTA Southern. One of them will begin in 2021 and the other in 2022.
Scarpa’s accomplishments include:
- Winningest NCAA Division I tennis coach in history with 853 victories
- He has been awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor
- Starting in 1967 named the Furman Men’s Tennis Coach in 1967 and continued in that position for 45 seasons, making him the longest tenured head coach in any sport in Furman and Southern Conference history
- Furman teams won 17 Southern Conference regular season titles and 14 Southern Conference tournament championships
- Named Southern Conference Coach of the Year nine times
- Inducted into seven Hall of Fames, including the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame
- Coached tennis at Florida State and the United States Naval Academy
- Raised in Charleston, S.C. where he was an outstanding junior player. Junior highlights include: No. 1 in the state and No. 4 in the South, South Carolina high school champion, first 18-and-under singles champion at the Palmetto Championships in Belton, S.C., in 1957, won the Southern Sportsmanship Award as an 18-year-old
- Attended Florida State where he played No. 1 singles and doubles
With more than 20 donors, family members and friends on a surprise video call earlier this month, Scarpa was shocked with the announcement of the scholarships.
“I am super honored. I had no idea,” Scarpa remarked. “I remember everything about tennis and those who have been around me in tennis. All of you are special. Thank y’all for the kind remarks. I’m really touched by this, believe me.”
Donors, including former players and family, surprised Paul Scarpa with the announcment of scholarships in his name. Members of the Southern Tennis Foundation and USTA Southern staff were also on the video call.
Rex Maynard, who served as USTA Southern President & CEO and STF Chairman, said, “Paul was a tireless ambassador for Furman, recruiting students and spreading the word about the university wherever he goes. He is best known for developing his players and bringing out the best of them both on and off the court.
Bobby Austell, South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation Trustee and former head coach of Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, S.C., added, "Always one to promote the game at every opportunity, when I was finishing a 40-year business career, Paul gave me over-the-top encouragement and practical help to begin a high school coaching career that lasted for 13 years."
USTA Southern Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Nancy Yeargin Furman added, “When I think of Paul Scarpa, I think of all the many lives he has impacted over the years … all ages, from right here in South Carolina to people from all over the world! There are many words to describe Paul … I think of heart, passion and opportunity!”
Furman Athletic Hall of Fame member David Ellison said, “Paul Scarpa is the personification of ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’ He conceived of and sold his idea to the NCAA for the current dual-match scoring system to shorten matches and to assure the relevance of doubles for every match.”
Each student will receive $1,000 to help offset the expenses of his or her first year of school. The awards will continue for three additional years provided the recipient remains a student in good standing, giving each of the two scholarships a total value of $4,000.
To qualify for these awards students must demonstrate financial need and must have participated in tennis for at least two of their high school years, either on a school team or through tournaments, National Junior Tennis & Learning, Junior Team Tennis or other USTA programs. The primary consideration in awarding the scholarships will be academic performance and potential, but community service and sportsmanship will also be considered.
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