Pretorius leaves court for computers
When Warren Pretorius took the position as head tennis pro at the Park City Racquet Club 14 years ago, he had a vision. He pictured a place that had the programs and amenities of a private tennis club, yet was accessible to the entire community.
Under Pretorius’ watchful eye the Racquet Club has put air structures (bubbles) over the outdoor courts for year-round tennis. He has brought numerous national tournaments and coaching conventions to the area, led the Park City High School boys tennis team to national prominence and developed a tennis program, so popular it has literally outgrown the space available at the Racquet Club.
"We’ve seen a real cross section," Pretorius said. "From millionaires to those bussing tables are playing tennis."
Now, Pretorius is ready to move on to the next step in his life. A few years ago, he began consulting with Dartfish, a performance analysis software company that works closely with the United Sates Olympic Committee and many U.S. sport governing bodies. Recently, the company asked Pretorius to join them, and he felt it was an offer he could not refuse. Pretorius says that he will be working primarily with tennis-related programs, but plans to work with other sports as well.
"It wasn’t an easy decision to make. I never actively sought another job," Pretorius said.
Pretorius announced his resignation to city members including Recreation Department director Ken Fisher, City Manager Tom Bakaly and Mayor Dana Williams at a staff meeting on Monday, March 6. He plans to stay in his position as head pro until an appropriate transition can be made. He also hopes to stay on as a part of tennis in the city, but it not sure what that will be.
Pretorius said that one of the highlights of the position for him was how much Park City welcomed and embraced his tennis programs.
"People in the community have always been supportive of tennis," Pretorius said.
He said that he developed a personal attachment to all facets of his position during his 14 years including the national tournaments, the local development programs, the club members and patrons and the staff.
"There are so many parts I will miss," Pretorius said. "But I decided this was the time."
Pretorius will stay on as the head coach of the nationally ranked Miners tennis team. With the addition of freshmen Hunter Nicholas, a United States Tennis Association sectionally ranked player, Tyson Smith and Blake Barcus, Pretorius expects this year’s squad to be the strongest he has ever coached.
"I’m hoping the freshmen will step up to the plate," Pretorius said.
The Park City boys tennis team start their season on March 16 against Lone Peak at 3 p.m. at the Park City Racquet Club.
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Sales-tax collections in Park City in July beat City Hall projections by a wide margin, providing a key data point that illustrates a nascent economic comeback of sorts from the spring business shutdowns.