The USTA announced that the University of Florida will be joining a growing list of colleges across the country to offer Professional Tennis Management (PTM) programs. UF will be adding a Racquet Sports Director Specialization to their online Master’s in Sports Management program. The program will focus not only on helping aspiring Directors of Racquet Sports to be masters of the game they teach, but also to have a firm understanding of business practices, communication, leadership and entrepreneurship.
“We are thrilled to have such a distinguished institution as the University of Florida join our roster of colleges offering PTM programs as part of their curriculum,” said Scott Schultz, Managing Director of USTA-U. “The faculty at UF shares our goal and our passion for providing first-class education, tools and resources to those looking to have a career in tennis, as well as to raising standards that will ultimately ensure a vibrant future for the sport.”
The UF Director of Racquet Sports specialization combines an in-depth knowledge of the racquet sports industry with the essential finance, communication, marketing, leadership and event management skills needed to capably run and grow a program that may encompass several racquet sports, many event forms, and a vast array of participant ages and abilities. The specialization is made up of 12 credit hours of required work plus three elective credit hours from the sport management degree program.
“Our new Racquet Sports Director Specialization is a great addition to our sports management master’s program,” said Michael Sagas, Professor and Interim Department Chair for the Department of Sports Management at UF. “We couldn’t be more excited to have Kim Bastable, former All-American UF player, as our Faculty and Director of this USTA-approved PTM program. Kim brings many years of experience, as well as the passion and knowledge necessary to implement a stellar program for those who want to have a successful career in tennis.”
Bastable has long been involved in tennis, as she was a Missouri Valley junior champion and NCAA All-America player at UF in the 1980s. A 30-year Elite-level certified USPTA professional, Bastable has successfully served multiple roles within the tennis industry in her career; including tennis club professional, park and recreation tennis program director, junior league director for KC Junior Tennis League, high school coach for Kansas City Christian School, and a collegiate coach for Kansas. Bastable graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Finance and followed that with a Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Positive Coaching from the University of Missouri.
“Leading a racquet sports program takes a broad set of skills, from finance and marketing to personnel leadership and operations behind the scenes, to the consumer-facing programs and offerings on the court,” said Bastable. “That’s exactly what this program provides, and I’m looking forward to taking what I’ve learned throughout the years and helping shape the future leaders of our sport, both during the program and after they graduate because, as we always say, “Once a Gator, always a Gator.”
No GMAT or GRE is required for admission to the UF Sport Management Master’s program, although an undergraduate degree is required. New students are admitted four times a year, with the next students starting classes in January 2021. For more information, please visit https://sm.hhp.ufl.edu/specializations/racquet-sports-director/. The program is currently offered as a Master’s program with an undergraduate certification set to roll out Fall of 2021.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 655,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, and launched the US Open Series, linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships in addition to supporting tennis and education programs nationwide to benefit under-resourced youth through the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. For more information about the USTA, go to USTA.com or follow the official accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.