Tennis Memories

1977 – The First Year!!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the RMTC farewell party today, but I wanted to send my best wishes to all past, present, and future staff and members of the club. As usual, I will be in Boulder for the summer season in a few weeks.

I was fortunate to have been hired as the first head tennis pro at the Harvest House Sporting Association in the Spring of 1977. Now, 47 years later, we are saying goodbye to the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center. I was hired by the Harvest House hotel owner, Tony Siebert, Hotel General Manager Russ Stark, and Lou Smario, Vice President and General Manager of the Harvest House Sporting Association. A complete tennis facility was planned with 15 tennis courts and we built the first seven courts (Courts 9-15) for the grand opening in 1977. I had played tennis at Boulder High School, college tennis at Division 1 school, Miami (Ohio), and was attending graduate school in Psychology at CU. After my year as the HHSA head pro, I became a member of the HEAD Tennis Advisory Staff, working with Tracy Leonard, a long-time Boulder fixture in the tennis industry. As a HEAD Tennis advisory staff member, I helped design and test many Head tennis racquets and other tennis products. I was fortunate to work alongside tennis greats such as Arthur Ashe, Guillermo Vilas, Dennis Ralston, and Tom Gorman.

My wife, Edie, and I are still fortunate to be living and playing tennis with many friends and players in Boulder, some of whom have been members since my time as the first pro at the club. Tennis has been a huge part of my life and the club has been one of the most enjoyable places I’ve spent on a tennis court throughout the years.

I look forward to the next chapter in the RMTC journey and wish everyone well on the court!

Theo Mandel

This program is by invitation from the coach only.

Donna Chitambar

  • RMTC Founder, Director of Operations, Director of Marketing, RMTC Stylist!
  • High Performance Tennis Program (HPTP) Coordinator
  • 5430 Kids Tennis Foundation Founder
  • Her enthusiasm, dedication, and expertise are driving forces in the success of the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center
  • Passionate Adult 4.5 player captaining USTA League teams since 2010!
  • Management of high-end tennis clubs since 1999
  • Spa Management 1999-2006 – “Customer Service and hospitality are a must for any Club”
  • Bachelor of Science – Fashion Design, The Ohio State University
  • Kindergarten Teacher – 2 years
  • PTR certified Juniors and Adults
  • USTA Net Generation certified /verified Coach
  • Over 10 years coaching experience focusing on all levels of juniors

         “I love kids, and I love teaching them the game of tennis – Make it Fun and they love it too!”

Duke Paluch

  • RMTC Founder, Executive Director
  • Club Manager of former Harvest House Tennis since 1985
  • 5430 Kids Tennis Foundation Founder
  • Two-time collegiate All American, Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Gustavus Adolphus College Athletic Hall of Fame, 2012
  • Top-ranked junior Northern Section, nationally ranked
  • State of South Dakota – Tennis Hall of Fame inductee
  • Bachelor of Arts – Finance, Gustavus Adolphus College
  • USPTA Certified (Elite Professional)
  • PTR Master of Tennis-Performance; PTR Adult Certified
  • USTA/USPTA Wheelchair Tennis Certified Coach
  • USTA Colorado Tournament Committee Member – 20 years!
  • USTA Net Generation certified /verified Coach
  • Over 30 years coaching experience working with all levels juniors & adults

    “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!” – Muhammad Ali