Billie Jean King and World TeamTennis established the “Delaine Mast Award” in the year 2000 for Community Tennis Associations run by volunteer boards of men and women. These associations contribute to the growth of tennis and WTT and take a leading role in their local tennis community.
As the National Director of WTT Community Tennis and inner city high school boys’ and girls’ tennis coach since 1986, Mast has become a household name within the tennis community and embodies the slogan “growing the game of tennis.” Delaine is the founder and executive director of the Junior Tennis Corporation of America, a non-profit organization that raises money to provide free tennis lessons to more than 10,000 youth in 14 cities across the country.
As a result of her love for the game and heavy involvement in different organizations, Mast was elected in 1998 to a two year term as President of USTA Middle States, then served as a Delegate and was later appointed the USTA National Chair of the USA Tennis 1-2-3 Committee. In 2010, she was elected to the USTA Board of Directors and was the Vice Chair of the Strategic Planning and Creative Opportunities Committee.
As an active member of the PTR and USPTA National Tennis Teachers Organizations, Mast has received the PTR Pennsylvania Pro of the Year Award; the Norman Bromall Service Award; and her family was recognized with the 2004 USTA Family of the Year Award and the 2003 Middle States Family of the Year Award. In 2013 Mast was inducted into the USTA Middle States Tennis Hall of Fame.
Jesus “Jay” Diaz of San Diego, Calif., is the 2018 recipient of the Delaine Mast Award, which was established in 1998 by World TeamTennis co-founder Billie Jean King to recognize a League Director who contributes to the growth of tennis and WTT, and acts as a leader and role model in their local tennis community. The award is named after longtime WTT Community Tennis National Director Delaine Mast.
Diaz, who took up the sport at age 12, has been an integral part of the San Diego tennis scene for decades. He played competitively as a junior before turning pro at age 19. Diaz left the pro circuit at age 26 and two years later began teaching private lessons which reignited his passion for the sport. Diaz soon joined Helix Charter High School in 2005 as the assistant coach of the girl’s team and boys head coach. In his 12th season with the team, Diaz coached Helix Charter High to the 2017 CIF San Diego Section Division II Girls championship. In October 2018, Diaz was also recognized by the San Diego High School Sports Associations for his squad’s 2017 success.
Diaz is president of Team Diaz Tennis USA, a non-profit venture based in La Mesa, Calif., which includes a high-performance tournament training summer camp. Diaz was one of the first coaches to introduce High School World TeamTennis in southern California, growing the coed program from 10 to 24 schools since 2012. His work with Team Diaz and the San Diego area tennis community earned him the 2016 Eugene Jung Multicultural Award from the USTA Southern California Tennis Association.
Diaz, a USPTA-certified instructor, has organized and coached high-school age teams at the WTT Junior Nationals for several years. Diaz also works as the Volunteer Coordinator for the San Diego Aviators and also coordinates special events for the team including High School Volleys Against Violence, and theme nights to honor police, fire and military members.
“If you want something done in tennis in the San Diego area, you call Jay,” said Mast. “He loves the sport and he knows how to bring everyone together to create more opportunities for players at all levels. We’re fortunate to have someone like him in tennis.”
Although Diaz has been on the receiving end of numerous accolades from the tennis industry over the past few years, his focus remains on giving back to the sport he loves. “I have been so blessed to be a part of the world of tennis,” said Diaz.
Diaz and his wife Maria have two sons, Patrick and Jesus “J.R.”.
Nominations for the Delaine Mast Award are based on the following criteria:
- Current World TeamTennis League Director (league start date: August 2000 – present)
- Overall contribution to the growth of tennis
- Contribution to the growth of World TeamTennis (local promotions and exposure of WTT)
- Leader and role model in local tennis community
For more information or to make a nomination, call 866-PLAY-WTT.