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Koz to Host Bobby Curtis Celebration at USTA Florida Annual Meeting

November 30, 2009 06:00 PM

From left: Dave "Koz" Kozlowski and Bobby Curtis

Dave "Koz" Kozlowski, host and executive director of "Inside Tennis With The Koz," one of Tennis Channel's original series shows now airing on www.indietennis.com, will be serving as the master of ceremonies at the retirement of legendary Florida junior tennis organizer Bobby Curtis.  

Curtis, who has touched the lives of thousands of Florida juniors over the years, including many who went on to pro careers such as Jim Courier, Andy Roddick and Mary Joe Fernandez, will be honored upon his retirement from USTA Florida on Dec. 4-6, 2009, during the USTA Florida Annual Meeting & 60th Anniversary Celebration Weekend at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

After 30 years of service, there is virtually no aspect of junior tennis in Florida that hasn't been touched by Curtis, who helped launch what would become the USTA Jr. Team Tennis program, and the careers of numerous college, pro, and life-long recreational players.

"You can go to almost any junior tournament in the state of Florida and if you hang around for just a short time, someone -- the tournament director, a volunteer, a parent -- will mention how much Bobby Curtis has meant to that tournament or to a player in the tournament, or to Florida junior tennis as a whole," said USTA Florida President Donn Davis. "The important thing to remember when that happens is that Bobby does it all with absolutely no interest in his own personal gain. He does it all for the kids. That's what makes Bobby Curtis so special to all of us."
"When I was first hired we had no office," Curtis says with a laugh. "I worked out of my room at home, so my room was the headquarters for Florida junior tennis."

USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth, a former teaching pro himself, joined the organization soon after the first office was established and has seen the impact of Curtis' work with juniors, their families, and junior tournament personnel during his tenure.

"Bobby has been an integral part of Florida tennis for over 30 years," Booth said. "His dedication, passion and impact on tennis are immeasurable, and the support he has given to tournament directors over those years has helped provide an environment where countless junior players have excelled. Bobby Curtis and Florida tennis will always have a special bond."

Curtis until 1980 worked for the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida, where he organized junior tennis as the state coordinator. In 1987 the Florida Tennis Association took over the administration of the program that was built by the Youth Tennis Foundation and Curtis, and renamed it Jr. Team Tennis. In 1991 the USTA offered Jr. Team Tennis across the U.S., and today more than 60,000 youth participate in the league.

"I have known Bobby for decades since my three kids played their junior tennis in Florida," said Koz, the 2000 USTA Tennis Broadcaster of the Year and USPTA Tennis Professional of the Year. "He has passion, temperament, acumen, and dedication that are un-paralleled in the junior tennis arena. His influence on kids is immeasurable."

"Inside The With The Koz" will film and produce the segment that will air on www.indietennis.com starting mid-December.         





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