Induction Year: 2020
Chuck Sanchelli of Sugar Land was bitten by the tennis bug at age 13 and has devoted his life to sharing his love of the sport with others at many levels of service. Early on, while a collegiate player at Purdue University, he also formed and coached a boys’ team at the high school where he graduated. After college, he played on the USTA Satellite Pro Tour.
When he decided his true calling was teaching, sharing and serving, he moved to Texas in the mid-1970s, and he’s been at it for more than 45 years. He holds professional certifications from the USPTA and PTR for all age groups and has taught at resorts, clubs and academies. He got involved with the Houston Tennis Association and not only won their premier event, the Coca-Cola Open, he served as its tournament director for several years. In addition, he was HTA president for two terms and was co-founder of the Houston Professional Tennis Association.
When Sanchelli sees a need for sharing tennis with others, he goes into action. Among other programs, he founded the Southwest Houston Junior Team Tennis League, was the founding pro for the West Houston Ladies Tennis Association, which now has more than 4,000 players, and co-founded the Houston Parks & Rec Department’s National Junior Tennis League (NJTL), now serving over 6,000 children.
One of Sanchelli's most valuable contributions to tennis has been as a volunteer. He has been the Chair and Member of numerous committees of the USTA National organization and USTA Texas, where he additionally served on their Management Committee as Treasurer and VP of Competitive Tennis. He’s been honored by all with various Community Service Awards, including the prestigious WT Caswell Award for contributing to the Growth and Development of Tennis in Texas. He’s also a USTA Official, Referee and Umpire.
Currently Sanchelli is Director of Tennis for Fort Bend Tennis Services, which he started with 24 adult and youth players and now has twelve tennis instructors providing programming to five suburban municipal parks and recreation departments involving more than 1,050 players year-round.