UD Alumna and Current Tennis Head Coach Laura Travis Chosen for USTA Middle States Hall of Fame Induction
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. – University of Delaware alumna and current tennis head coach Laura Travis was recently announced as one of four chosen to be inducted into the USTA Middle States Hall of Fame.Travis will join Jay Lapidus, Leslie Pixley, and Scott Tharp as the Class of 2014 for the 21st annual Middle States Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Auction, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 17 at Deerfield Country Club in Newark, Del.
Established in 1994, the prestigious Hall boasts 95 prior inductees, including tennis legend and women’s rights pioneer Billie Jean King, and former USTA Presidents Jane Brown Grimes, Merv Heller, Judy Levering, and Martin Tressel. The event provides an opportunity for all who love the game of tennis to celebrate the past and support the future.
“It’s hard to verbalize what an honor it is to have been selected for this year’s USTA/MS Hall of Fame class and to join the likes of Billie Jean King along with all of the members of this accomplished group of passionate tennis advocates,” exclaimed Travis.
Travis continued, “I’m thrilled that the event will be held in Delaware this year, that it will take place on UD Homecoming weekend, and that proceeds will help to grow junior tennis in the Middle States and in particular, Delaware.
“It’s a small world as Scott [Tharp] was the former owner of Elkton Indoor Tennis Club, which is currently the home to UD indoor tennis,” stated Travis. “Leslie [Pixley] use to run me around the court like a puppet master when we competed – I couldn’t wait for the first time that we could play on the same side of the net! And I am extremely excited to meet and compare collegiate tennis notes with Jay [Lapidus], who is the winningest coach in Duke women’s tennis history.”
A Wilmington, Del. native, the former Laura LeRoy began setting tennis records as a high school player at Tower Hill School in her home state and hasn’t slowed down since. A 1989 University of Delaware honors graduate in physical education, Travis was one of the all-time great tennis players in Blue Hens history during her career. She also earned a master’s degree in physical education with an emphasis in sports psychology from UD in 1998.
Travis set school records for singles and doubles wins and was a four-time East Coast Conference champion in both singles and doubles. She also led the Hens to two ECC titles, was a four-time team MVP, and was named the 1988-89 ECC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s tennis. Travis was inducted into the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame in November, 2001.
Travis has served as a head coach for her alma mater for over 20 years after taking over the women’s reigns from B.J. Ferguson in 1992-93 and the men’s head position from UD Hall of Fame member Dr. C. Roy Rylander in 1993-94. She is the first woman to coach a men’s team at Delaware and has been named conference Coach of the Year five times (twice in men’s and three times in women’s).
Early in her career, Travis taught physical education tennis classes at UD in addition to helping start the Delaware Club Tennis Team. She continues to serve as a liaison for the Club team. Travis also hosted summer tennis camps for juniors and adults.
In the community, Travis is an active volunteer, having served in the past as President of the USTA Middle States Delaware District and the Delaware Tennis Foundation. Travis also served on the Board of the USPTA/DD as its secretary and has earned numerous awards for her commitment to tennis and growing the game including the ITA National Campus Recreation Award.
“Having grown up and stayed in the small, but mighty, state of Delaware, everyone in the Delaware tennis community has played a part of this recognition," said Travis. "So here’s to you and thank you for all of the opportunities."
The USTA Middle States Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Auction is an annual event. Silent and live auctions before dinner raise money for the Middle States Tennis Patrons Foundation, which supports junior tennis programs and furthers tennis education objectives in Middle States. Proceeds from the evening will be utilized to grow junior tennis in Middle States, with 25 percent of that being distributed specifically in the Delaware District.