Paula Hale, Bill Ozaki inducted into Southern Tennis Hall of Fame
The Southern Tennis Foundation and USTA Southern announced today two tennis luminaries – Paula Hale and Bill Ozaki – have been elected to the 2023 class of the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame.
Paula Hale rose from volunteering in Wilson and Raleigh, N.C. to serving as President & CEO of USTA Southern and President of USTA North Carolina. She also served as USTA Delegate and Southern Tennis Foundation Chairman. She has been honored with 12 notable awards including the North Carolina Order of the Long Pine.
Bill Ozaki headed the USTA Southern Junior Department during his 29-year career, expanding junior tournament players from 5,000 to 48,000. The Southern Ozaki Junior Cup and the USTA Southern Ozaki-Hastings Junior Sportsmanship Award were named in his honor. Ozaki is the first inductee of Asian heritage into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame.
Hale and Ozaki were elected to the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame during a recent meeting of the Selection Committee. They will be officially inducted during the 2023 Lucy Garvin Southern Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, scheduled for Jan. 14, 2023, in Atlanta.
Established in 1977 with the induction of Bryan M. “Bitsy” Grant and Hamiton F. Richardson, the Hall of Fame has grown to 116 members. Other notable members include Stan Smith, Chanda Rubin, Roscoe Tanner, Gordon A. Smith, Linda Tuero, Gardner Mulloy, Lucy Garvin and Mike McNulty. The Southern Tennis Foundation’s website contains information on the hall, inductees and its charitable mission. The hall is located in the USTA Southern office in Peachtree Corners, Ga.
Here is a list of accomplishments of the inductees:
Paula Hale, North Carolina, 2023
- Worked for years with CTAs and helped form the Downeast Tennis Association
- President of USTA North Carolina 2000-03 and President of the North Carolina Tennis Foundation, 2004-06
- President of USTA Southern, 2015-16, and President of Southern Tennis Foundation 2017-18
- USTA Community Tennis Association Committee Chair, 2009-14
- USTA Council Chair, 2015-16, and USTA Section Delegates Chair, 2018
- USTA Coordinator, Advisory Group on Committees 2017-18 and 2021-22, USTA Nominating Committee, 2019-20
- Awards include: Racquet Sports Industry magazine Champions of Tennis - Tennis Advocate of the Year, USTA Barbara Williams Leadership Award, USTA Major Wingfield Historical Society, USTA Southern Jacobs Bowl, USTA Southern Charlie Morris Service Award, USTA Southern President’s Award, USTA North Carolina President’s Award, North Carolina Order of the Long Pine (highest honor for North Carolina citizens)
Bill Ozaki, Georgia, 2023
- 16-year career as teaching pro at Hidden Hills Country Club
- 30-year worked as USTA Southern/USTA employee
- USTA Southern reached 48,931 junior players in 2010
- Teamed with Eric Voges and Mary Lou Hambrick to establish the Southern Junior Cup team competition
- Southern Junior Cup renamed the Southern Ozaki Junior Cup in 2019
- USTA Southern Junior Sportsmanship award renamed for Bill Ozaki. Later it was changed to the USTA Southern Ozaki-Hastings Junior Sportsmanship Award –
- Inducted in the USTA Georgia Hall of Fame in 2019
- Given the USTA Georgia Ruth Lay Award in 2020