Introducing Tennis Director Whitney Kraft
After an incredible 25 summers running our tennis program at Camp Walt Whitman, Dave Porter has decided it’s time to hang up his NH tennis shoes. Dave will stay home in Utah this summer and spend more time with his family than camp has allowed. It has been a pleasure having Dave at camp and watching the professional manner in which he ran his tennis program for so many years. Thousands of campers and hundreds of staff members have benefited from Dave’s tutelage on tennis and on life.
However, when one door closes another door opens- we are thrilled to welcome Whitney Kraft to the Camp Walt Whitman family. Whitney currently serves as the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Head Coach at SUNY Oneonta, following a 14-year stint as Director of Tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
At the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Whitney managed over 30 USPTA tennis professionals and support staff, supervised all camps, private events and tournaments, and was the Director of Player Operations for the U.S. Open. In 2014, he helped establish the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Tennis Lesson with 406 children from the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) and Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program (HJTEP).
Prior to working at the National Tennis Center, Whitney was the Director of Tennis for the City of Fort Lauderdale for 10 years. He oversaw the daily maintenance and upkeep of 44 courts across nine different facilities, and developed and promoted new programs, both social and competitive, to benefit all ages and levels of play.
Whitney and Dave Porter have known each other for years, and part of the draw for Whitney, who has run summer camps in Florida and NY, was hearing Dave speak about his experience at Walt Whitman. Dave shared with Whitney how much he has loved seeing our campers learn something new and the sense of accomplishment and excitement in their eyes this leads to. Dave wants to assure the Walt Whitman family that the tennis program is in great hands with Whitney. Dave told us, “I’ve known Whitney a long time and have complete confidence in his tennis knowledge, skills, and perspective toward the development of the “whole” person.”
Originally from Summit, NJ, Whitney currently lives in Manchester, Vermont with his wife, Eliza Jane, and their Bernese Mountain dog, Belle, and their cat, Theo. The father of 5 and grandfather of 6 is not just an experienced tennis pro, but is also a certified professional in platform tennis, pickleball, Padel and beach tennis. He has much to offer our campers this summer and we can’t wait for everyone to get to know him better.
*For any campers, parents, or alumni who want to reach Dave, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org