tennis-staff
lisa

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 played no. 1 singles and doubles at OSU all four years, leading the team to win the Big 8 Conference (before it became Big 12) on more than one occasion. 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 coached 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 (George Lucas, Chevy Chase, Sally Field, Gladys Knight, and many more).

Her favorite student though was a runner from California, named Ron. After 3 years of commuting back and forth from Marin to Maui, Lisa finally moved here and she and Ron were married in 1989. Lisa began her career at RRC in September 1989 and is still thrilled to be here 26 years later. Having coached several thousand kids and adults, Lisa still “loves what she does.”

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 played college tennis for the University of New Mexico where he enjoyed a successful career. He was chosen for the Mountain West All-Conference Doubles team for 3 years and singles in his senior year. Conor also earned Mountain West Academic All-Conference awards. Conor is now playing in futures tournaments in the US and abroad. Hadley (19) has played nationally and internationally as well as representing the Norcal contingency at the Fed Cup and the Maze Cup. In 2013 Hadley was named one of four juniors nationally to receive the Bill Talbert Sportsmanship Award.  Hadley is a sophomore and plays tennis for the University of South Carolina, Gamecocks.  She and partner Caroline Dailey are #12 in the pre-season rankings for Div. I NCAA Doubles.

  • A member of the Wilson Advisory Staff
  • Served on the USTA Norcal Junior Tennis Council for 6 years
  • Served on the USTA Norcal High Performance Coaches Commission for 4 years (to help scout hot new Jr. players)
  • Was inducted into the Oklahoma District Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Most recently she joined the Game Face Systems coaching team and works with Kathy Toon and Jan Brogan as well as many other great women.

lberg@rafaelracquetclub.com
415-456-1837

mike

Mike Downs
Head Tennis Professional

 

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

carriez_biophoto_2015

Carrie Zarraonandia
Tennis Professional

 

Carrie was nine years old when she saw a strong, confident Billie Jean King play a tennis match. She knew then her life could be built around the game of tennis.

Carrie is a graduate of Davidson Middle School, where she was awarded the “Most Valuable Girl Athlete” award.

She followed her passion playing Varsity Tennis at San Rafael High School, The College of Marin and The University of California at Davis. As an “Aggie” Carrie was voted All American after her team won the Division III National Championship.

She battled her way to seven national titles and is most proud of her #1 35’s doubles ranking in the United States held with her sister Anne. After 45 years the “Sister Act” is still intact in the form of a weekly hit and giggle game.

Carrie thrives in a team environment:

  • Redwood High School Varsity Tennis Team-Marin County Athletic
  • League Hall of Fame Coach
  • Dominican University Women’s Varsity Tennis Team-Coach
  • USTA NorCal Red/Orange/Green/Yellow Ball Committee- Member
  • USTA NorCal Pacific Zonal 12’s and 14’s- Coach
  • USTA NorCal 10’s Player Development and Early Development Camp-Coach
  • Positive Coaching Alliance- Double Goal Coach
  • GameFace Systems-Coach
  • Wilson Advisory Staff-Member
  • USPTA Elite Professional-Member 30 years

Most Valued to Carrie is being a member of her “Home Team” here at Rafael Racquet Club:

  • Coaches Jr. Red/Orange/Green/Yellow Ball clinics, teams and camps
  • Coaches adult teams and camps
  • Coaches group and private lessons, all ages and levels

While coaching tennis for 38 years Carrie has drawn insight from her students and fellow coaches and has been inspired by her many mentors.

“Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Confucius (551-479bc)

carriezarra12@gmail.com
415-717-5431