Hilton Head Island, SC - - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) presented its annual awards last week during the 2014 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which includes 40-plus on court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a trade show and tournament, was held February 20-23 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Jaime Kaplan, of Macon, Georgia, has been named PTR Jim Verdieck High School Coach of the Year. Kaplan is Head Tennis Coach at Stratford Academy, the high school from which she graduated in 1979. She started playing tennis at age nine, and went on to reach junior rankings as high as #1 in the State, #2 in the South, and #18 in the United States. At Stratford, she had an undefeated record of 156-0 in Singles and Doubles, and won five State titles. After playing college tennis, Kaplan competed on the WTA Tour for six years, breaking the Top 100 in Doubles. She played Wimbledon five times, the US Open four times, the French Open four times, and the Australian Open once. A knee injury forced Kaplan to retire in 1989, and she settled in back home in Macon, Georgia.
She had always been very involved in her community, and raised more than $3.5 million for various charities. Kaplan currently serves or has served on more than a dozen non-profit boards, and recently filled a spot on Macon’s City Council. She returned to her alma mater as Coach in 2004.
In 2010, Kaplan was diagnosed with a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia. After a year, three rounds of chemo, and a bone marrow transplant, she returned as Head Tennis Coach and Major Gifts Coordinator at Stratford Academy. Kaplan’s individual players and teams have won 40 Region titles and 13 State titles.
If you ask Kaplan her greatest accomplishment, she will tell you that it’s not being inducted into the Stratford Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, or the Macon Sports Hall of Fame, or even the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. It’s not receiving PTR’s High School Coach of the Year either. She will tell you that it’s the many lives she has touched through her charity work and through her journey with cancer.
PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 14,600 members in 121 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.