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ABOUT BILL

Bill Rompf was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1950. At age 8, when he and his brother, Jon, found their father’s old, all-wood tennis racquet in their attic, the family started to play at the neighborhood public courts and began a lifetime tennis journey, including the Rompf Family being named and presented with the USLTA Tennis Family of the Year award in 1966.

 

Bill and his brother, Jon, were both ranked #1 in Iowa in all junior age divisions (singles and doubles); in the top 5 in the MVTA section in singles and as high as #1 in doubles.  Bill was also nationally ranked in the juniors as high as #14. He attended The Choate School where he played #1 and #2 singles and #1 doubles.  He captained the Choate team both his junior and senior years (1967 and 1968) competing against the nation’s top private preparatory schools and Ivy League freshman collegiate teams.  Bill and his brother won the New England Interscholastic Championships in doubles in 1967. In 1966, the Rompf Family was separately awarded the Iowa, MVTA, and USLTA Tennis Family of the Year, presented during the U.S. Open men’s final at Forest Hills.

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After graduate school, Bill played professional tennis in South America.  While in Cali, Colombia in 1975, he was appointed by the Colombian Tennis Federation as the Technical Director (Tournament Director) of the Colombia - Mexico Davis Cup in Cali and then the Colombia - USA Davis Cup in Bogota.

Bill played tennis for Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with three degrees. He received a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago. During Rompf’s collegiate summer months he taught tennis in Des Moines and established and operated the Des Moines Junior Racquet Club, one of the first junior academies to both train and travel/coach juniors at state and sectional tournaments. In the men’s play, Rompf ranked as high as #1 in Iowa in singles and doubles, and the top five in singles and as high as #2 in doubles (in men's and father/spn) in the MVTA section.

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In 1973, the Mears family (close friends from Iowa tennis days who had relocated to Oklahoma City) invited Bill back to be the Head Pro at Tennis America (on Portland) and then OKC’s first indoor facility, The Courts (on Santa Fe). He set up the first OKC junior tennis academy initially at the Oklahoma City Tennis Club and then created the Rompf/Summerfield Tennis Academy at the Summerfield Racquet Club.

 

In 1984, with a group of Academy student parents and local supporters, he founded the Oklahoma City Tennis Patrons to help bring the sport of tennis to OKC youth who could not otherwise afford to learn or further their tennis play.  Arthur Ashe attended and headlined the opening of this foundation in Oklahoma City.  He, as well as Dr. James E Loehr, and several other tennis dignitaries were frequent visitors to his academy.  During the mid 1970’s through the 1980’s, Rompf and his professional staff trained and developed thousands of Oklahoma State and Oklahoma High School players; and over 100 MVTA Sectional and more than 45 USTA National junior champions.  His junior students played both nationally and internationally and ranked as high as #1 in the US, in both singles and doubles. His students also won 7 USTA national and over 10 MVTA sectional sportsmanship awards. In college play, several of his students captained their teams and were NCAA National champions and All Americans.  Rompf Academy players included Mary Norwood/Rompf, Brian Devening, Meredith Geiger/Walton, Fritz Bissel, Barry Richards and Krunch Kloberdanz. 

During this period in Oklahoma City, Rompf was also very active administratively, consistently serving on Committees and in Board of Director positions regionally in Oklahoma, Heart of America, and Connecticut; sectionally, in the MVTA and NELTA; and nationally with the USTA.

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In 1989, Rompf was appointed the Executive Director of Sports Psychology at the IMG/NBTA Tennis Academy in Bradenton, FL. In 1990, he was appointed Executive Director and Vice President of the NBTA (today, IMG Tennis Academies), in charge of business, marketing/advertising and brand development. He wrote two books and hundreds of tennis articles appearing nationally and worldwide (under the Nick Bollettieri name); helped to developed a universal teaching system (System 5; adopted as the USPTA official teaching system); and participated in the management of such players as Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Monica Seles, Mary Pierce, the Williams sisters, Tommy Haas, Anna Kournikova, Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg, and several others.

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In 1998, Rompf was appointed the Director of Tennis at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI managing and directing club operations, and operating selected national and international tennis events. In 2002, he was named a Vice President of the ITHOF. At the ITHOF, Rompf was a USTA National Tournament Director and USTA Industry award winner for club management and operations.

Bill is a 50 plus year member and USPTA P-1 since 1972, a PTR Level 1 professional, and a lifetime USTA member since 1958. He has been inducted into four Tennis Hall of Fames: 2002, the Missouri Valley Tennis Association Hall of Fame; 2004, the Oklahoma District Tennis Hall of Fame; 2012, the Choate School Athletic Hall of Fame; and 2014, the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame.

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In 2020, a group of Rompf’s former students initaited the Bill Rompf Junior Tennis Foundation, providing financial assistance to OKC junior players and to help them achieve their tennis dreams. In this same year, Rompf also began to personally give back to Oklahoma tennis by seeding, initiating and completing the construction and dedication of a full-size bronze statue of OK Tennis volunteer and coach, Francis Baxter (as the “Father of Oklahoma Tennis”), and then the Francis and Jean Baxter Scholarship, fostering tournament play for young Oklahoma juniors tennis players.

 

Today, Bill is retired and lives in Sarasota, Florida. He is still involved in several tennis projects - the most important of which is the Bill Rompf Junior Tennis Foundation. He is currently working with the Sarasota/Bradenton Airport to design and install a full wall display in memory of and honoring tennis legend Nick Bollettieri, a lifelong friend, business associate and mentor. He continues to follow (and, find immense pride in) his many students – both on and off the court – and their many and varied successes in life.

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