“Setting the Standard for Tennis in Long Beach”
Billie Jean King & El Dorado Park Tennis Centers have been Cathy’s home for over 36 years. In 1984, she initially started teaching all levels of tennis at BJK. It was during that time when she earned her USPTA Professional 1 teaching certification. With her dedication to hard work and her passion for the game, she was promoted to Head Tennis Pro and then to Manager of the facility. In 1991 she and Billie Jean King became business partners and formed the corporation “Kings Ace’s” and she became the Director of Tennis at both facilities for the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine. Cathy feels very fortunate to have established a lifelong business relationship with Billie Jean. In 1995, Cathy established her own corporation, First Serve Tennis, Inc. and was selected by the Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine to be the exclusive operator and Director of Tennis of BJK & El Dorado Park Tennis Centers for the City of Long Beach.
Under Cathy’s inspired direction and leadership, tennis has expanded and flourished in the City of Long Beach. Currently she manages over 100 Parks & Recreation tennis classes throughout the city of Long Beach and has played a significant role in the tennis community in Southern California. First Serve is active in providing tennis courts and instructors to both the Long Beach Veterans’ Administration Wounded Warrior Wheelchair Tennis Program as well as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Educational Athletic Foundation (DhhEAF) which is a grassroots program that tries to make a difference in the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people. Cathy has also been a member of the Long Beach Tennis Patrons for over 18 years. She looks forward to introducing more and more people to this wonderful sport – a game that can be enjoyed for a lifetime!
Cathy started playing tennis at the age of 9 in Pittsburgh, PA. She took to the game quickly and was soon ranked #1 in the Allegheny Mountain Tennis Association within her age group. In 1976-1979, while playing tennis at Taylor Allderdice High School, Cathy was the City of Pittsburgh doubles champion for four consecutive years and was also the Pennsylvania State Doubles Champion for three consecutive years from 1977-1979. She also had the opportunity to participate in several National USTA invitational tennis tournaments and was selected to be a part of the National Sports Festival or Junior Olympics in Colorado. After her senior year of high school, she received a tennis scholarship to attend the University of Pittsburgh and play tennis for Coach George Diffenbach.
During her successful college career where she competed at the #1 or #2 singles and doubles position all for years, she was named team captain her junior and senior years and was named the Most Valuable Player in 1983. She maintains her ranking in the Pitt women’s tennis record books as earning the fourth (4th) highest career singles winning percentage to date. Prior to graduating from Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Physical Education she was hired as an assistant tennis coach for the Pitt’s Women’s varsity tennis team. She then moved to Southern California and began teaching tennis in Long Beach, CA at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in 1984. During those early years, she had opportunities to coach many High School Girls’ varsity tennis teams. She was hired as an assistant coach at Marina High School in Huntington Beach as well as Cypress College. In 1993-1994, she serve as Head Coach for the girls tennis team at St. Joseph’s High School in Lakewood, CA. For several years she has helped develop many players on the Long Beach Wilson High School girl’s tennis teams.
Over the last several years Cathy’s playing career and her hard work, commitment and dedication to tennis in the community have been recognized by several organizations:
1995 – Inducted into Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center’s Sports Hall of Fame
2005 – Long Beach Chapter of the NAACP Presidents Award
2005 – Wilson Racquet Sports Exclusive Retail Dealer of the Year Award
2008 – USTA Manager of the Year Award – United States Tennis Association
2009 – Selected to the SCTA Board of Directors
2009 – USPTA District 4 President – U.S. Professional Tennis Association
2010 – SCTA Member Organization of the Year Award – Southern California Tennis Association
2011 – USPTA Manager of the Year Award – U.S. Professional Tennis Association
2012 – University of Pittsburgh Varsity Letter Club Award of Distinction
2013 – Inducted into the State of Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame
2015 – Long Beach Century Club Award for the promotion of Athletics in Long Beach
2017 – Appointed as an Officer to the SCTA Executive Board.
As you can see, Cathy is dedicated to expanding the sport of tennis and to work with the City of Long Beach to accomplish their short and long-term objectives as it relates to being a successful tennis facility concessionaire. First Serve Tennis Inc. looks forward to working make Long Beach Tennis the best it can be.
Cathy currently lives in Long Beach and is married to Stan Guzy, they have two daughters, Samantha and Gabrielle.