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USTA Georgia
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Awards & Achievements, June 2018

June 7, 2018 11:52 AM

Southern players and organizations are constantly making their mark in the world of tennis. Here's a list of recent awards, achievements and news in June 2018.

McGugin Kovacs, Macdonald named to ITA board


USTA Southern volunteer Bill McGugin has been named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Board of Directors.

McGugin is President and CEO of Iroquois Capital Group, Inc. He is also Chairman/President/CEO of REIT Investment Group, LLC, and President and CEO of Iroquois Captive Services, LLC, which are both portfolio companies of Iroquois Capital Group. McGugin was previously with Covenant Capital Group, a real estate private equity firm with $300 million of equity invested in apartment projects. He holds his Series 7, Series 24, Series 27, Series 63 and Series 79 licenses. In addition to his incredibly successful business career, McGugin is an active and selfless volunteer for tennis, having served as President of USTA Tennessee (2016-2017) and currently serving on the USTA's national Collegiate Varsity Committee and the USTA Southern's Budget Committee. Bill played four years of college tennis, graduating from Vanderbilt University (BA in 2000 and M.Ed in 2003) and remains an active adult competitor having won multiple USTA gold balls over the past 10 years.

Dr. Mark Kovacs, of Kennesaw, GA, is a performance physiologist, researcher, sports executive, professor, author, speaker and coach. He runs a consulting firm focused on optimizing human performance by the practical application of cutting edge science to national federations, major professional sports leagues, leading universities and start-up firms. Kovacs formerly directed the Sport Science, Strength & Conditioning and Coaching Education departments for the USTA. Kovacs was the Director of the Gatorade Sport Science Institute and an executive with PepsiCo. He serves as the Executive Director of the International Tennis Performance Association (the "iTPA"). He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, and a Certified Tennis Performance Specialist and Master Tennis Performance Specialist through the iTPA. In 2012, he was the youngest ever recipient of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award. In 2014, he received the US Olympic Committee Doc Counsilman Science Award for his innovative use of sport science application to Olympic athletes. Kovacs has worked with hundreds of elite athletes in dozens of sports providing high performance sport science services. Kovacs attended Auburn University, where he was an All-American and NCAA doubles champion. He earned his PhD from the University of Alabama.

Geoff Macdonald, Vanderbilt University's longest-tenured coach, is in his 25th season as the head coach of the women's tennis team. Vanderbilt won the 2015 Division I National Team Championship. During the previous 21 seasons, Macdonald, the three-time SEC Coach of the Year and current Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year placed the Commodores among the nation's elite programs on a consistent basis. Macdonald has earned three Coach of the Year honors, including SEC recognition for his 2001 team. As a player at the University of Virginia, Macdonald capped off a successful collegiate career by winning the ACC singles title in 1981. Macdonald was named the ACC's Most Valuable Player and won the league's Sportsmanship Award.

Townsend Takes Title in Walkover

Atlanta native Taylor Townsend won the $25K Palmetto Pro Open when Alize Lim withdrew prior to the final. The tournament was played in Sumter, S.C.

The top-seeded Townsend defeated Gail Brodsky 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinal and six-seeded Maria Mateas in the quarterfinal 6-2, 6-1. Lim was the second seed.

Hayley Carter Wins Doubles Tournament

Former University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill star Hayley Carter won the  Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships doubles title. Playing with Ena Shibahara, the Chattanooga, TN, native defeated Astra Sharma/Gabriela Talaba 6-3, 6-4 in the final. Carter was named ACC Player of the Year twice, is the winner of four USTA gold balls and lived most of her life in Columbia and Hilton Head Island, SC.