Administration

SCF Foundation Dedicates Tennis Courts in Honor of Benefactors

(Bradenton, Fla., January 28, 2015) — State College of Florida (SCF) Foundation named tennis courts at SCF Bradenton in honor of benefactors Betsy Nagelsen McCormack, Jim Nagelsen, Nick Bollettieri, Mary and Tom James and Penelope “Nip” Anderson McBride at a dedication ceremony at SCF Bradenton Friday, Jan. 23.

Cassandra Holmes, SCF Foundation executive director, Chris Pfahler, SCF Foundation Board of Directors president and SCF President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld, recognized each benefactor and thanked them for their generosity and support.

“We are honored to count great tennis legends and enthusiasts as friends of the SCF Foundation and benefactors of the women’s tennis initiative. Their love for tennis expands beyond the game to change lives at SCF and in our community,” Holmes said.

SCF’s Tennis Team began in 2010 when Executive Coach Betsy Nagelsen McCormack, former Grand Slam and Wimbledon doubles champion, was tapped to lead the team, bringing her skills and knowledge of the game.

Tennis legend Bollettieri, who is SCF’s neighbor at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy, has been active in the SCF Women’s Tennis Program since day one, allowing SCF players to use his courts, providing them advice and offering to help the SCF coaching staff.

“SCF’s Tennis Program does so much more than teach tennis and the love of the game. It’s about character building and leadership in tennis and in life. It’s not about how many wins you have on the tennis courts,” Bollettieri said, praising SCF for its academic excellence and McCormack for her contribution beyond the court.

Under McCormack’s leadership, the team placed runner-up in two out of the four National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournaments, and SCF tennis players have won sportsmanship awards at three national tournaments. The team also claimed the NJCCA Region 8/Florida College System Activities Association State championship for two years and was runner-up in the championship tournament one year. SCF’s Tennis team has held a consistent grade-point average of over 3.0 for the past four years.

At the ceremony, SCF Athletic Director Matt Ennis surprised McCormack and her team with state championship tournament rings.

“To share this moment with my family, friends, mentor Nick Bollettieri and SCF benefactors is overwhelming. I am grateful to be a part of SCF Women’s Tennis program and I am proud of what the team has accomplished,” McCormack said.

SCF President Carol F. Probstfeld joined SCF Trustee and SCF Foundation Board Member Ann Moore and SCF Trustee Robert Wyatt in thanking benefactors.

“Few athletic programs have accomplished as much in such a short time as our women’s tennis team. While the credit for winning the matches belongs to the ladies with the tennis rackets, the credit for building a successful program goes to the benefactors we honor today. Thank you also to the SCF Foundation and its Board of Directors for hosting this wonderful ceremony to celebrate our benefactors and student-athletes who are top academic achievers that set a positive example for our entire student body,” Probstfeld said.

Other SCF Foundation Board of Directors who also attended included Judge Ed Nicholas, Jennifer Saslaw, Vice President Cathy Kulhman, Hank Abbott and Kelly Caldwell.

Five of the six tennis courts were named in honor of each of the benefactors. One tennis court has not been named. For more information about a naming opportunity for an SCF tennis court, call the SCF Foundation at 941-752-5390 or visit www.SCFFoundation.net.

About the Benefactors

Considered the most successful tennis coach in the world, Coach Bollettieri is associated with 10 number one ranked players, including Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova. He established the first year-round live-in tennis academy, which is now part of the IMG sports empire and unparalleled within the tennis world. He has touched countless lives and is credited with putting Bradenton on the international tennis map.

Penelope “Nip” Anderson McBride captured the National Girl’s Doubles Championship for girls 18 and younger in 1919. By 1926 she was ranked 12th in the country and rose to 8th by winning the Championship of Mexico in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. In 1927, she moved up to seventh in the country when she became a member of the U.S. Wightman Cup Squad. In 1983 Nip was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. She passed away in 1993, but once her friends and neighbors heard the College was introducing a women’s tennis team and building courts for the team, they were the first ones to request that we reserve a court in Nip’s honor and began raising funds.

McCormack succeeded in becoming the world’s top-ranked female junior tennis player in 1973 early in her career. For 20 years, she competed on Women’s Tennis Association and Virginia Slims circuits, winning 25 world doubles titles, including two Grand Slams. She competed in the main draw at Wimbledon for 23 consecutive years, winning the over-35 doubles championship in 1993. McCormack also was winner of U.S. Open Senior women’s doubles title for two consecutive years. In 1997, McCormack retired from competitive tennis after the birth of her daughter. She continued using her expertise in tennis, working as an analyst for ABC Sports, ESPN, and Australia’s Channel 9. McCormack is also coauthor of two books, “In His Court” and “Fit Over Forty for Dummies.”

Former tennis coach for IMG’s Bollettieri Tennis Academy, Nagelsen generously contributed a gift in recognition of his sister, McCormack, and the new women’s tennis initiative at SCF. In addition, Jim coached the SCF Women’s Tennis Team in their inaugural year alongside McCormack.

Tom James, chairman of Raymond James Financial, and his wife, Mary, are well known philanthropists. They have endowed faculty chairs, funded several charities through their foundation and own one of the best known art collections along the west coast of Florida. Tom currently serves as the President of the Salvador Dali Museum Board of Trustees. He is also immediate past president of the Florida Council of 100. He serves on the Board of Dean’s Advisors at his alma mater, Harvard Business School, and the Board of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 

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