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Kit Byron’s remarkable coaching career spans decades and has made an impact on thousands. More than 150 juniors who went on to become Eastern, USTA and WTA-ranked players learned the fundamentals of the sport under his watch, including French Open quarterfinalists Kathleen Horvath (1983, 1984), Melissa Brown (1984) and Terry Phelps (1985). Horvath—a former world No. 10 and the only player on the WTA tour to defeat Martina Navratilova during the latter’s historic 1983 season—credits Byron directly when recalling her many tennis accomplishments.

“Although I left to train in Florida when I was 13, all my success in tennis was due to Kit’s coaching expertise and unwavering dedication,” Horvath says now. “We spent about four years together, but they were the most important years in a female tennis player’s development—those years lay the foundation for success.”

Byron, who played for the Rutgers University men’s team, actually graduated with a degree in journalism. He was “headed right to Madison Avenue,” he says, when he looked around and saw that indoor tennis was starting to take off as a business, and decided to pursue a career in the sport he’d played since childhood. That pursuit quickly paid off: In 1972, Harry Hopman, the revered former Australian Davis Cup captain-turned-tennis director at the Port Washington Tennis Academy, hired him to coach.

“Port Washington was really the center of all things tennis in those days,” Byron says of the famed institution that produced John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis. “I was lucky enough to be on the court coaching a lot of the top players of that era.”

Byron developed an instructional style that emphasized strong technique and notes that he borrowed from all the pros who taught him growing up. “In all honesty, I was a very average player,” he says. “[But] I had a lot of very good mechanical instruction from the pros. So I built my own coaching on the sound fundamentals I had received from these old wizards of tennis—the guys who wore the long, white flannel pants. They were just geniuses of stroke mechanics.”

In 1973, Byron transferred that style over to Rye Racquet Club, where he launched the Rye Tennis Academy with Australian pro Rod Brent. The program—and Byron—became renowned for producing top talent throughout the 1970s and 1980s; in addition to Horvath, Brown and Phelps, Byron taught many nationally-ranked juniors who went on to become college tennis stars, including Stanford’s Scott Moody, Harvard’s Bill Stanley and Yale’s Lynn Rosenstrach.

“I was single during that period of my life,” Byron says. “So I just threw myself into traveling and going to tournaments with the players. I felt that was a very big thing—what a player does on a teaching court and a match play court can be entirely different. In order to understand how they can develop their game and develop as match play winners, you have to be there with them, watching them.”

But he’s also quick to credit the juniors themselves. “These top players have the absolute desire to win,” he says. “Kathy Horvath, Melissa Brown…they were dedicated, absolutely dedicated. You couldn’t get them off the tennis court! They had a desire to win, a great work ethic, and packaged in there was a great degree of natural talent.”

Over the years, Byron received multiple coaching offers in Florida, but he always opted to stick with his flourishing operation in New York. A budding passion for entrepreneurship influenced that decision—he became a partner at Rye Racquet in 1985 and took over ownership of the club a decade later, and by the mid-1990s, he owned or partly owned four clubs in the region. His focus on these endeavors (and away from elite junior development) just happened to coincide with the rise of popularity in USTA Leagues. He received several requests from club members to coach their teams, which Byron at first turned down.

“When I finally said yes, I said to the women, ‘I’ll do it, but you’ll have to promise that you’ll allow me to work with this team like you’re athletes, which you are,’” he says. “I wasn’t going to coddle them. I said, ‘I’m not going to make it some hit-and-giggle type of [activity]’. We expect them to be on time, they come to practice, and they work hard.”

Byron’s approach has paid off. Over the last 30 years, more than 15 of his teams have gone on to the National League Championships in divisions 2.5 to 5.0. Three have won.

“We started it the right way, and it’s grown,” he says. “Now we’re consistently in the top of the groups.”

In addition to his exemplary coaching record—of both juniors and league players—Byron has actively worked to grow tennis in his community. Through Rye Racquet’s partnership with the USTA, the game has been introduced to over 3000 students in five local schools. And Byron is a former two-term USTA Eastern vice president who has sat on the USTA’s Junior Tennis Council. It’s all in service to a game that has undoubtedly changed his entire life.

“Tennis has taught me that you can be in a business that you really enjoy,” he says. “It has been both a pleasure as a sport and achieving as a career.”


Bid Goswami is among the winningest coaches in college tennis history. From the time he took over the Columbia University Men’s Tennis program 37 years ago to his retirement announcement this February, Goswami had led the Lions to 13 NCAA tournament appearances and 13 Ivy League championship titles, including the last five consecutively from 2014-18. The team has had seven Sweet 16 finishes: Three times at the NCAA Tournament and four times at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor Championships. Four of his athletes have received the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, six have been named Ivy League Player of the Year and Goswami himself was honored with the first-ever Ivy League Coach of the Year award. He will finish his career with more than 500 wins.

Looking back, Goswami marvels at getting the position in the first place. “I never had any college coaching experience in the States,” he says. “I played tournaments and I was a teaching pro in a club. These days if you’re not an assistant coach somewhere, there’s no way. There are a lot of people that I’m grateful to for giving me the job.”

Goswami learned to play on grass courts in India and was a member of the 1974 Indian Davis Cup team. He had some success as a part-time touring professional, winning the Indian National Doubles title in 1978 and then the Indian National Singles title the following year. When the Columbia job became available, he was working as the head pro and tennis director of the Westchester Country Club, a position he’d acquired in 1977 after settling in New York. (Goswami continued working for the club concurrently with the Columbia gig until 2012.) Goswami didn’t hesitate to apply to Columbia, even though it would definitively end his time on the tour. “I really saw it as an extension of my tennis career,” he says now.

Goswami describes his debut coaching year as “tough”, but it didn’t take much time at all to right the ship. In just his second season on the job, the Lions won an Ivy League Championship and went undefeated (17-0) heading into the NCAA tournament, where they ultimately lost to Pepperdine. Goswami credits a mix of strong recruitment, hard work and university support for the success. But the change can also be attributed to the young coach finding his groove. “I knew it was the job for me, and I never looked back,” Goswami says. “There was never a question of doing something else. I always thought, ‘Wow, I’ve found the thing I really love.’”

Fellow 2019 Eastern Hall of Fame inductee Nick Greenfield, who played for Lafayette College during this time, recalls crossing paths with Goswami at a match in Florida. “I saw Bid hitting with his top two players—I was supposed to play one of them later that day,” he recalls. “And I remember thinking to myself as I was watching, ‘Thank God I’m not playing Bid!’”

Over the years Goswami has evolved his coaching style, particularly as the game has become much more physical and conditioning and nutrition have become so central to success. But two tenets he’s always espoused are a fastidious work ethic and a strong belief in personal attention. “I always put in a lot of hard work,” he says. “And I tried to talk to each player individually, even though [in college] it’s a team sport. [When I started] I felt like I was a good big brother [to the athletes]. Later, more of a father. Now, probably a grandfather! That coaching part, I’m really going to miss.”

Goswami places a high value on building these relationships; he considers the over 150 players he’s coached family. It’s fitting, then, that one of those former players (and Goswami’s very first recruit), Howard Endelman, will step up to take over after Goswami retires at the end of the 2018-19 season. Endelman has served as an associate head coach since 2010, and Goswami credits him for much of the team’s recent results. “He’s a great recruiter, and he’s very passionate,” Goswami says. “We complemented each other very well.”

 With Endelman at the helm, Goswami knows Columbia men’s tennis is in good hands. He knows the team will continue to prosper, and in ways, he underscores, that extend beyond the Ws and Ls.

“I’m very proud to say all the players over the years have a 100% graduation rate,” he says. “They’re all very successful whether their doctors or lawyers or finance or even still into tennis. I think that’s the single greatest achievement as I retire after 37 years. Yes, you love it when you win. The hard work that you put in is great. But what has become of these young men is something I really cherish. I don’t think you can beat that. ”



When Nick Greenfield was just thirteen years old, he watched in abject horror as his father lost in the finals of a summer community tennis tournament. Visibly upset, tears in his eyes, Greenfield responded the way any loyal son would respond under the circumstances: He vowed revenge.

"That was the initial motivation [for playing tennis]," Greenfield says now with a laugh. "I wanted to work on my game so I could beat the man who beat my father."

Vengeance may have compelled Greenfield to pick up a racquet, but a sustained love of the sport over the years propelled the New York native to become a ranked Eastern junior and Division I college player, and later, a tennis magazine entrepreneur and USTA Eastern employee.

"I really just loved tennis," he says.

And from the very beginning of his competitive career, Greenfield had good reason to feel that way. Less than a year removed from his father's fateful loss, Greenfield took part in his first-ever tournament, the Port Washington Winter Classic, in February 1979. The freshly-turned 14-year-old beat two tournament veterans to qualify for the main draw and then, in his first main draw match, defeated a nationally-ranked player, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. He ended up falling in the second round to a young Patrick McEnroe, but the strong results right out of the gate gave Greenfield confidence and belief. By the end of the ranking year, he was the 23rd-ranked player in the East in the 14 and Under division.

Greenfield spent the next four years dedicated to and in awe of Eastern junior tennis. "I loved the culture, the atmosphere," he says. "I viewed the players ranked high as superstar celebrities. Going to a tournament where they were playing was intimidating, but exhilarating."

Greenfield next headed to Lafayette College where he played No. 1 Singles for the Division I School, winning four singles and doubles conference titles and leading his team to three team conference championships. Upon graduating with a degree in economics and concentration in computer science, Greenfield launched Eastern Roundup Magazine, a project he’d worked on as a teenager in the spring of 1980.

"Playing juniors, every match I played, if I lost to somebody, I'd want to know how they did in future matches," he explains. "Whoever you lose to, you want them to win the tournament. It was frustrating to lose a match and then I'd either have to stay to find out the results of the tournament, or I'd have to go to the next tournament and find out who won the last one. So that's where I got the seed for Eastern Roundup. If I felt this way, shouldn't other kids feel this way as well?"

Greenfield, a fifteen-year-old at the time, partnered with two of his friends, Sven Salumaa and Philip Capell, to create a publication that produced the drawsheets of local tournaments. Greenfield's father, who worked in advertising, helped them print it. Salumaa's mother, a ranking chairman, provided the connection to the tournaments. And Capell's father, a lawyer, handled legal issues, like setting up a small corporation. Business boomed—for three months, at least, until everybody involved got busy with school and work.

Now post-college, Greenfield believed a market for Eastern Roundup still existed. He partnered with another close friend from his junior days, Mark Verebey,  and fellow Eastern Hall of Famer Nancy McShea, to make it a reality. Verebey handled much of the marketing, while Greenfield—putting that concentration in computer science to good use—developed programming that could receive tournament results and place them in draw sheets that could be printed out.

"This was before any of the computing that we have today," Greenfield notes. "I had to create special programs just to be able to print out a draw sheet—there was no way to do that back then."

The weekly publication lasted four years, and to this day, Greenfield cites that time as one of the greatest periods of his life. "It was a dream job," he says. "I got to be around tennis. We got to help a lot of kids with their colleges because we wrote profiles on them—they were able to show schools more than just a record. I think it really helped create an excitement toward Eastern tennis."


Greenfield eventually left the tennis world for the world of finance, though not before a three-year stint as a staff member of USTA Eastern, where he established their first computer network and helped bring all their publications in house. He still loves the game and plays as much as he can. And yes…Greenfield did ultimately exact “revenge” on behalf of his father… but in the end they both got something even greater out of the sport.

"My dad took me to all my matches," Greenfield says. "It was great bonding time with him."



Carole Wright was one of the most accomplished tennis players from New York in the 1950s and 1960s. Ranked No. 1 in the East for an astounding seven years—and as high as No. 16 nationally—Wright captured the New York State Championship title three times, the USTA National Indoor Championships twice, the Canadian Indoor Championships once and medaled in the Maccabiah Games.


Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., near the now-demolished Ebbets Field, Wright took up tennis because her brother insisted she learn a sport; he believed she could serve her way out of their working class circumstances. (“He would say he had the brain and I had the brawn,” she explains.) Indeed, she showed so much promise early on that the West Side Tennis Club offered her free lessons. But she didn’t become a superstar overnight.


"My first tournament, I lost 6-0, 6-0," Wright recalls now. "My opponent taught me how to keep score. And my opponent's parents taught my parents how to keep score! We were very new at this whole thing."


She figured it out soon enough. Despite that inauspicious first match, she began to dominate on the junior circuit. By the time Wright was 15, she held the No. 1 ranking in the Girls' 16-and-under and Girls' 18-and-under divisions in the East simultaneously. At 16, Wright began competing exclusively in adult tournaments.


"Was I excited about becoming No. 1? I guess for a few days," she says. "But then it was onward."


When Wright hit a slump a few years later, she began practicing at the Seventh Regiment Tennis Armory on Park Avenue and 68th Street. Several businessmen who also played there took some time to informally coach her and advise her on how to refine her game. Primarily, they suggested that Wright, who played left-handed, try serving and volleying.


The change in tactics proved transformative, as Wright not only started winning matches again, but major national tournaments. Her career really flourished during this time period, and she collected her two U.S. National Indoor Championship titles as well as the Canadian Indoor Championship title.


“Indoor courts are fast, so serve-and-volleying helped a great deal,” she notes. “Especially being a lefty.”


Wright eventually retired from competitive tennis in 1964 to get married and start a family. Many years later in the early 1980s she began giving lessons in the city at the Wall Street Racquet Club and then Crosstown Tennis, which was headquartered by the United Nations. One night, she was wining and dining at an Irish restaurant with some friends. The owner of the restaurant just happened to be by their table while Wright and her party discussed why Ireland had never produced any good tennis players. Wright speculated that Ireland probably didn’t have any indoor courts. She went home and didn’t give the conversation much further thought. It turned out that the owner of the restaurant knew a guy at the Irish airline Aer Lingus, who knew a guy at the Irish Lawn Tennis Association. They contacted Wright and asked her to fly out on a free trip to Ireland to see about building some courts.


“I mean, it was really weird,” Wright says. “This was all from drinking [at an Irish restaurant].”


But Wright did cross the pond. They ended up finding land on which to build some indoor courts, and The Irish Lawn Tennis Association Wright Tennis Center in Dublin, Ireland was born. Wright ran the facility for several years, traveling back and forth between countries on weekends, in addition to her responsibilities as a teaching pro at Crosstown.


In 1992, Wright transferred from Crosstown Tennis over to Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, where she has served as the Co-director of the All City Junior Tennis and Sports Camp and the Assistant Director of the All City Junior Tennis Program ever since. She taught both adults and children when she first started giving lessons, but found that she really enjoyed working with kids and has focused on them exclusively.


“I didn’t have to hear the problems of adults,” she explains with a laugh. “Also, children have great stories.”


Even though she maintains her brother gave her no choice in taking up tennis, Wright is grateful for the sport. “I’m proud of [the relationships],” she says. “All the people that I’ve met in my lifetime who were tennis players. I’m still friendly with some of them.” And, if nothing else, she still got that free trip to Ireland.

HOF 2019
Click to see the original 2019 program.
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