The USTA has decided to follow the way of the Adidas and hire their own little guru to help with player development. In their case they've tapped Crazy Fed's sometimes-when-it's-convenient-for-him coach Jose Higueras. Higueras will serve as the Director of Coaching for the USTA Elite Player Development program.
Higueras will oversee all of the program's men's and women's coaching efforts and will work at the USTA Training Centers in Boca Raton, Fla., and Carson, Calif. as well as Palm Springs, Calif., where Higueras lives. He will report to Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, Elite Player Development.
Higueras, 55, won 16 ATP singles titles and was ranked as high as No. 6 in the world during his 16 year professional career. Following his retirement, Higueras made the transition from professional player to professional coach and began to pass on his knowledge and his passion for the game. He helped Michael Chang win a French Open title at age 17, helped Jim Courier on his way to seven Grand Slam titles and has also worked with Pete Sampras, Carlos Moya, Todd Martin, Jennifer Capriati and most recently Robby Ginepri and Roger Federer.
"Jose is one of the greatest minds in coaching today," said McEnroe. "His understanding of the sport is unrivaled, and his familiarity with American tennis makes him an invaluable asset and important addition to our staff as we continue to develop the skills of the brightest young talents in tennis."
"Jose comes to the USTA with a veteran presence, including decades of experience as a player, coach and talent evaluator," said Arlen Kantarian, CEO, Professional Tennis, USTA. "We said the USTA was committed to providing the best possible resources to develop American champions, and with Patrick McEnroe and Jose Higueras, we are acting on that commitment."
In the newly created role, Higueras will work with McEnroe to develop an overall strategic approach to best identify and develop future American champions. He will provide on-court guidance and coaching to both coaches and players, with a mission to build and maintain an Elite Player Development coaching staff at a world class level.
The new USTA Elite Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American champions by surrounding the top junior players and young pros with the resources, facilities and coaching they need to reach their maximum potential.
So does this mean he's not coaching Crazy Fed anymore? Also, isn't he kind of a clay court specialist? Kind of weird for a country that has ZERO clay courts.