tennis-staff
LB_18

Lisa Berg
Tennis Director

 

Lisa was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and began playing tennis at the age of 8, just a tad bit taller than the net. She was lucky enough to be a part of a small group of kids that was coached by Don Holden, AKA Mister. He learned the game by reading books and watching tapes and in just 4 years Lisa was ranked #2 in singles and #1 in doubles nationally. She loved the game as well as travelling around to the tournaments and meeting new people throughout the country.

Lisa went on to play college tennis at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. Four years as a Cowboy was a lot of fun and the team aspect was a nice change from the individuality of the sport. Lisa was selected Most Outstanding Female Athlete at OSU her senior year.

Lisa taught tennis at several tennis clubs in Tulsa in the 70’s and her first big job was that of coaching the women’s team at Oral Roberts University. She then left Tulsa and ventured off to paradise, Hawaii. She spent 3 years on the Big Island of Hawaii (in Hilo) and taught the “locals” and learned from Mister how to coach top ranked kids. Next was Maui, where Lisa got the job offer of a lifetime. Teaching tennis at the Hyatt Regency in Kaanapali, 50 yards from the beach. Lisa continued training the local kids, but also taught some exciting hotel guests (Dr J, AKA Julius Irving, Chevy Chase, Sally Field, Gladys Knight, and many more).

Lisa began her career at RRC in September 1989 and is still thrilled to be here 29 years later.

Rafael Racquet Club is like a second home to Lisa (she spends more time here than at home it seems) where her two kids grew up playing tennis. Her son Conor (27) played college tennis for the University of New Mexico where he enjoyed a successful career and received several Mountain West Conference honors. Conor is now playing in Futures tournaments in the US and abroad as well as coaching some women on the WTA tour. Hadley (22) was named one of four juniors nationally to receive the Bill Talbert Sportsmanship Award in 2013. She is in Grad School at the University of South Carolina where she played 4 years of college tennis (and became an All American by reaching the quarterfinals at the NCAA’s).

Lisa is very devoted to the game of tennis as she is a 32 year member of the USPTA, is a member of the Wilson Advisory Staff, served on the USTA Norcal Junior Tennis Council, the USTA Norcal High Performance Coaches Commission (to help scout Jr. players), and was inducted into the Oklahoma District Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.  In 2018, she was inducted into the Marin County Tennis Hall of Fame.

lberg@rafaelracquetclub.com
415-456-1837

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Mike Downs
Head Tennis Pro & League Director

 

Mike was born and raised in San Rafael.  His family home in Lucas Valley had two tennis courts right across the street, so naturally he took up tennis. Mike grew up playing tennis at RRC under the tutelage of Hal Wagner. He won his first tournament at the age of 11, and was a prominent Northern California Junior, earning a #10 ranking in boys 18 and under.  At Terra Linda High he was a four-year Varsity Letterman and helped the Trojans to two MCAL Co-Championships.

Mike was a walk-on at UC Irvine and as a freshman he earned a position as a starter in both singles and doubles.  The following year he was awarded a scholarship. In 1985 he worked as an assistant coach for the U.S. Junior Davis Cup Team. He also worked at various Adidas/Nike tennis camps throughout California.  He graduated from UCI with a degree in Economics.

After college, Mike competed in local tournaments, winning numerous Open Titles including Mixed Doubles wins at the Wagner Memorial with Lisa Barry Berg. In 1992, Mike began teaching tennis at Mt. Tam Racquet Club. It was there that he met his wife Angela, who continues to be his most loyal student! She is a personal trainer and indoor cycling instructor at Mt. Tam.  They have three children, Zoe, Bella and Luke.

Mike has coached the Men’s Team at Dominican College, as well as the San Rafael High School Girls.  The past couple of years he has run afterschool programs at Marin Primary and Middle School, Vallecito, Glenwood and Sun Valley elementary schools.  During that time he also ran the Unlimited Tennis Summer Camps at Terra Linda High School.

As you can see Mike has had a lifetime love of the game of tennis.  His experience learning and playing the game has helped shape his teaching style, blending skills, tactics and conditioning.  He is excited to bring this passion to all the members at RRC.

mdowns@rafaelracquetclub.com
415-302-7974