Angel Lopez, a USPTA Master Professional and a top tour coach, has not rested on his laurels since being honored as 1995 International USPTA Professional of the Year.
Lopez serves as director of tennis operations at the San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club, where he has taught since December 1979. In March 1997 he began operating the Angel Lopez Tennis Academy at the San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club, where he supervises five assistant professionals who are all USPTA certified.
Of Oscar Wegner Angel recalls, “I met Oscar in 1989 when I was coaching Zina Garrison. Love his stuff!”
Below is a full recap of Angel’s impressive career in the tennis world:
Angel was inducted to the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011. He was selected in the categories of Tennis Teaching Professional, Coaching, Community Service, and Senior Playing Success. Also in 2011, Angel was honored at the WTA Mercury Insurance Open held at the La Costa Resort and Spa during Latin Night for his 31 years of service to the San Diego County Tennis Community and those in the Latino Community appreciate the sport and love of Tennis.
In addition to being honored as USPTA Professional of the Year, Lopez was named the 1994 World TeamTennis Professional Coach of the Year. In 1999, he was the United States Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year and received a Specialist in Competitive Player Development Certification by the USPTA and USTA Tennis Player Development. Lopez also directed the USTA competition training center for San Diego, Calif., from 1996-2007. In 2005 Angel was awarded International Professional of the Year by the Professional Tennis Registry.
In 2015 Angel was selected Professional Tennis Registry California Member of the Year.
Angel was named 2015 U~T San Diego Latino Champions Awards “Coach of The Year”. The event was held at Loews Coronado Bay Resort on April 2, 2015. The Award was presented by “Televisa”.
In 2014 Angel was U~T San Diego Latino Champion Awards Finalist.
2015 – 2016 Angel was appointed to USTA National Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and USTA HISPANIC Advisory Group by USTA President Katrina Adams.
On February 10, 2014 Angel was awarded the Diversity and Inclusion Volunteer Award by the Southern California Tennis Association at their Awards dinner at UCLA. The Award was named after Eugene (Gene) Jung.
Angel received the 2012 USPTA Diversity Award at the USPTA World Conference on Tennis. He was chosen for all he has done to bring tennis to those in San Diego who might of not otherwise have the opportunity to try the sport, including sponsoring programs at several predominately low income high schools in the San Diego area.
Angel was recognized on September 10, 2012 by the Consulate General of Mexico in San Diego, Ca as a “Remarkable Mexican”. This was in an effort to raise awareness of the contributions the Latino community have made in the region. Angel has made a significant contribution in promoting tennis in Southern California. The ceremony was to commemorate the 202 Anniversary of Mexican Independence, and the 133 Anniversary of the Mexican Consulate of San Diego.
Angel received the “Carlos Quintana President Award” at the Barrio Station 42nd Benefit Dinner held on March 8, 2012. Quintana was the Barrio Station President from 1970 – 2010. The Plaque read “To Angel Lopez, First Mexican American Inducted Into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame”. “We honor your life achievements in the sport of professional tennis, and your selfless services that benefit needy youth of San Diego and Imperial Counties”. “You earned the many position titles you have held throughout your career and your prestigious induction in the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame. Thank you for your generous assistance to the youth”.
The United States Professional Tennis Association’s San Diego Division awarded Angel Lopez the 2011 Community Service Award at their Awards Dinner, recognizing him for his many contributions to the San Diego tennis community. Lopez was honored by Wilson Racquet Sports at the 2010 USPTA World Conference. He was presented with a plaque that read, “In recognition of your outstanding contribution to the San Diego Community and Wilson Sporting Goods Co.” The County of San Diego, California honored Angel Lopez and the San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club on Aug. 3, 2010 by proclaiming it Angel Lopez and San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club Day. The proclamation stated it was for 30 years of outstanding service to San Diego County.
Angel was selected to the USTA Southern California Coaches Commission.
Lopez was named to the 2005 and 2006 USA Tennis High Performance Committee and the USTA National Hispanic Participation Task Force Committee. He was also named to the national USTA Player Development Committee, headed by Billie Jean King. He previously served on the Player Development Committee from 1997-1998.
Lopez was appointed to serve on the National USTA Tennis in the Public Parks Committee for the 2007-2008 term. He was appointed by President Jane Brown Grimes, and the committee is chaired by Billie Jean King. For the 2009-2010 term, he was selected to the USTA National Diversity Committee by USTA President Lucy S. Garvin. For the 2011-2012 term, Angel was again appointed, this time by USTA President Jon Vegosian, to the USTA National Diversity and Inclusion Committee. For the 2013-2014 term, USTA President David Haggerty appointed Angel to the National Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
He was regional vice president for the USPTA San Diego Division from 1997 to ’98 and was president of this division from 1993 to 1996.
Angel has worked special events and clinics personally with such tennis greats as Rod Laver (10 years), Steffi Graf, Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Tom Gullikson, Allen Fox, Roy Emerson, Zina Garrison, Dennis Van der Meer, Vic Braden and Pavel Slozil. He has written articles and tennis tips that have been published Tennis magazine, ADDvantage magazine, Inside Tennis, Tennis Talk, Tennis West, and in the San Diego Union Tribune. Angel has appeared on ESPN, Univision, ABC, CBS, and NBC. He has also appeared on national and local news.
In 2004, Lopez was recognized by AeroMexico and The Pacific Life Open during the pro tournament at Indian Wells Garden for service to the Southern California community and specifically to Hispanic youth. In 2003, he was recognized as Player of the Year by the USPTA San Diego Division.
Lopez also received the 2002 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance – Ethnic Minority Council Community Service Award at the AAHPERD national convention in San Diego.
In 2001, the USPTA honored Lopez for 10 years of outstanding participation in the continuing-education program with a Decade Education Merit Award. He also ranked among the top 10 USPTA education participants for the year. In 2000, Angel was one of the first 20 coaches to earn the USTA High Performance Coaches Certification.
In 1994, Lopez was head coach of the Newport Beach Dukes of World TeamTennis, which included players Zina Garrison, Kelly Jones, Larisa Neiland, Trevor Kronemann, Tami Whitlinger-Jones, Ann Grossman and Kerri Pheubus.
Lopez’s team was the only team in WTT history to have an undefeated season at that time; they were 14-0. In 1995 he was named tour coach for Garrison. He traveled with her to the French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Lipton, Birmingham, England (where she was the tournament singles winner), Eastbourne and other events.
Lopez had coached Garrison in 1989 and 1990, when she rose to No. 4 in the world. He traveled with her to the U.S. Open, Australian Open, Virginia Slims of Chicago, Virginia Slims of Los Angeles, Great American Bank Classic in San Diego, Porsche Cup in Germany, Virginia Slims Championships in Madison Square Garden, and exhibition matches.
Another of his students, Alexandra Stevenson, won the junior doubles championship and finished in the final 16 in junior singles at the 1997 U.S. Open. Stevenson also won the USTA National 18 Doubles championship and was a semifinalist in the National 18 Singles. She was a 1998 Wimbledon singles semi-finalist. Angel gave Alexandra her first lesson at 4 years old and coached her at WTA Tour events.
Angel coached Kelly Jones from 14 years of age. He rose to No. 2 nationally in 18-and-under boys singles. He was a two-time NCAA doubles champion and four-time NCAA All-American. Jones had a No. 1 ATP doubles ranking in 1992 and was the 1994 World TeamTennis Player of the Year when Lopez coached the Newport Beach Dukes.
Brandon Wai is another longtime Lopez student, since 9 years of age. In 2006 and 2007 he played No. 1 at Yale University. He was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year. He reached No. 2 nationally in USTA boys 16-and-under singles, and he was the only high school player in San Diego to win high school singles championships in three separate years.
Lopez has taught many San Diego high school players to San Diego High School Championships. Winners in CIFSD singles include boys Kelly Jones (1981), Frank Grannis (1982 and 1984), Derek Miller (1998) and Brandon Wai (2001, 2002 and 2003). Girls include Sara Pappelbaum (1980), Alexandra Stevenson (1995, 1996 and1997), Emma Taylor (2002) and Gabrielle DeSimone (2007 and 2008). Lopez also worked with Ashley Backus (1999), Rebecca Kwan (2005) and Keegan Smith (2015, 2016).
Lopez also has traveled to Grand Slam Tournaments (U.S. Open, Wimbledon, Australian and French Open) with Kelly Jones, Angelica Gavaldon, Lupita Novelo and Tami Whitlinger-Jones.
Lopez serves on advisory staffs at New Balance and Babalot. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Tennis Association, Southern California Junior Tennis Council, San Diego Tennis Patrons (Youth Tennis San Diego) Foundation, and San Diego District Tennis Association. He is also a member of the USPTA National Diversity Committee.
Lopez’s honors include: 1985 San Diego District Tennis Writer of the Year (column in Tennis West Magazine); 1988 and 1994 Professional of the Year, USPTA San Diego Division; 1989 Coach of the Year, USPTA San Diego Division; and 1990 and 1994 Coach of the Year by the USTA, San Diego District. In 1985 he was Coach of the San Diego National Junior Boys Team. In 1999, he won the USPTA San Diego Community Service Award. Also in 1999, he was USTA/San Diego District Sponsor of the year. Angel was named one of the top tennis coaches in southern California for 5 years by Southern California Tennis and Golf magazine.
In addition, Lopez was chosen as one of the Top 100 Role Models by Mexican Heritage Foundation in 1994. In 1995 he was chosen by USTA Player Development as one of 24 coaches selected nationally for USTA High Performance Coaching Seminars.
In 2006, Angel was honored at the 2006 WTA Acura Classic after the feature match on July 31. He received the “Serving the Future Award” in recognition of outstanding contributions on court and service to the community. The award was presented by Youth Tennis San Diego.
In 2007 Angel received the Southern California Tennis Association Service Award for his efforts in the junior player development department. The SCTA wrote to Angel, “The example you have set by virtue of your exemplary conduct, leadership and expertise, while assisting programs conducted by the Southern California Tennis Association has earned you this substantial honor. Your favorable example has enhanced the level of sportsmanship in the program and has provided today’s junior players with an environment in which they can compete and excel.”
Angel was awarded the Olive R. Pierce Award by Youth Tennis San Diego at the YTSD Annual Junior Tennis Banquet in April 2009. The award is for Outstanding Contribution to the Welfare and Development of Tennis in San Diego County.
Angel Lopez has been named 2013 USPTA Men’s 55 Doubles Player of the Year. He was selected by USPTA Awards Committee and presented at the USPTA World Conference on Tennis.
Angel is the 2012 United States Professional Tennis Association International Champion in Men’s 55 Doubles with partner, John Holladay. The event was held at Pebble Beach, CA 9/18/12.
As a player, Lopez is the 2012 ITF World Senior Mixed 55 Doubles Champion (w/Robin Harris). Lopez was the 1988 USPTA National Open Mixed Doubles champion and 1995 USPTA national men’s 40 doubles champion. He was the National ATA doubles and mixed doubles champion in 1982 and OJAI Junior College Doubles Champion in 1976. In 2003, Lopez was ranked No. 1 in men’s 45 doubles by the USTA Southern California Section. Also in 2003, he was ranked No. 5 nationally in men’s 45 singles and No. 2 nationally in men’s 45 doubles. In 2005, he was ranked No. 4 nationally by the USTA in men’s 50 singles, No. 45 in the world by the ITF in men’s 50 singles, No. 6 individually by the USTA in men’s 50 doubles and No. 4 by the USTA in men’s 45 doubles with partner Robert Delgado. He is ranked No. 2 by the USPTA in men’s 50 singles and No. 1 in men’s 50 doubles with Tommy Connell. He was ranked No. 2 by USPTA in men’s 50 doubles in 2007. Lopez was named 2006 men’s player of the year by the USTA San Diego District and the 2006 USPTA San Diego Division player of the year. In 2008, Angel attended the USPTA Player Development Conference, “The Spanish Way to Develop Players,” held at the Academia Sanchez-Casal in Naples, Fla. He also completed coaches courses at LGE and Vic Braden Tennis College in the 1990s. In 2009, Angel began the year winning men’s 50 doubles with partner Robert Delgado at the Babolat World Tennis Classic ITF and USTA National Tournament. Angel was the USPTA San Diego Division Player of the Year in 1982, 1991, 2003 and 2005. In 2012 Angel was ranked #1 Nationally in USPTA Men’s 55 Doubles with partner John Holladay.
Also in 2006, Angel was part of the World Championship USA International Fred Perry Cup team that won the gold medal and the cup in Durban, South Africa. The all-USPTA team consisted of Angel, Fred Robinson, Sal Castillo and Wendell Pierce. Team USA defeated France in the final, 3-0. They posted wins over Spain, Italy, Austria and Slovenia. Angel was undefeated in match play. This was the first time in five years the U.S. team won the cup.
Lopez played on a full tennis scholarship for the University of Arizona from 1976 to 1978, and he also played for San Diego City College from 1975-1976. He competed professionally on the American Express Eastern and Western circuits, USTA Southern Circuit, and the USTA Missouri Valley Satellite Circuit. He also played the Volvo International and Washington Star International, both ATP tour events. Lopez was coached and mentored by the legendary Pancho Segura, who is in the International Tennis Hall of Fame and a USPTA honorary member. While playing at the University of Arizona, his team won the Western Athletic Conference Championship in 1978. He also was a conference singles finalist and Las Vegas Intercollegiate singles champion, both in 1977. At San Diego City College, his team won the 1976 Southern California Junior College Championship and was No. 2 in the state of California. Angel attended Montgomery High School in San Diego, California, graduating in 1973. Angel was named first team all- metro league. Lopez began playing tennis in his senior year of high school, 1972-1973.
Lopez helps young players today by awarding the Angel Lopez Scholarship for $1,000, through Youth Tennis San Diego, to a graduating senior for the college of his or her choice. He sponsors sanctioned tournaments and satellite junior tournaments, as well as a national open at the Barnes Tennis Center. Angel also sponsors an after-school program in his old childhood neighborhood for underprivileged children, the USTA/San Diego District Adult Championships, and the USTA national girls 16 &18 championships at Barnes Tennis Center. Angel sponsors the tennis programs at Montgomery, Lincoln, Calexico, Clairemont and Hoover high schools, and also at San Diego City College. Lopez additionally sponsors the following schools: Logan Heights Elementary, Las Palmas Elementary, Memorial Middle, Saint Augustine High School, San Ysidro High School and Miramar Junior College.