SKILLMAN, N.J. – After earning their first ever Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III National Men’s Team Indoor Championship, the Trinity University men’s tennis program, led by head coach Russell McMindes, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award.
The Steve Wilkinson Team Sportmanship Award is dedicated to the memory of Steve Wilkinson, a long-time men’s head tennis coach at Gustavus Adolphus College. The award is presented to the team that displayed exceptional sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct during the ITA Division III National Men’s Indoor Championship each year.
The Tigers earned the national championship after earning victories over Gustavus Adolphus, Johns Hopkins University and Emory University. All three matches came down to the No. 5 and No. 6 singles matches, with TU’s Charlie Curtis deciding each match in the fifth line.
"They are a deserving winner," said Gustavus Adolphus head coach and former player under Steve Wilkinson, Tommy Valentini. "They compete at a very high level and do it with a great spirit of sportsmanship. They represent the combination of tennis excellence and sportsmanship that Coach believed was at the heart of Division III and the ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship. They are a great choice for the first-ever Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award."
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 20,000 college varsity student-athletes at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship.