South Towns Teaching Pros
Join us in Welcoming Wojtek!
Wojtek Starakiewicz was born and raised in Poland and started playing tennis at the age of 6. Wojtek, has earned many accolades in his playing career.
Before coming to the US Wojtek played in 15 different countries and accumulating 30 or more professional tournaments in his career. He won the Polish Junior National Championships in the u18 in singles and doubles. Wojtek also reached 426 in the ITF Juniors, 1489 singles and 920 doubles in ATP World rankings.
After playing on the pro circuit Wojtek was recruited by Lee Nickel, the current UB Men's Head Coach. Wojtek was a top player for the Bulls between 2009 - 2012 and became the first UB player to be ranked 103 in the country.
After graduating from UB, Wojtek moved to NYC to work at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy where he ended up being the Director of 10u Tennis, Senior Assistant Director of JMTA and Regional Director of U10 for Sportime Tennis Clubs.
During his time at the Academy Wojtek completed the highest PTR Certificate of Master Tennis Junior Development. He also coached many top Sectionally and Nationally ranked juniors at the academy. Wojtek also had the opportunity to work with industry renown specialists, Mike Barrell, Ann Pankhurst, and Lawrence Kieger, (Coach of junior Wimbledon Champion Noah Rubin).
Currently, Wojtek resides in East Aurora with his wife Denise. They both are proud UB supporters and members of the Shareholders Society.
Rich Anderson - PTR Certified
Rich Anderson is a PTR Certified 10 and Under Professional and Adult Independent Teaching Instructor. Rich is a former Team Captain for the Canisius College Men’s Tennis Team where he played first singles and first doubles and was coached by Terry McMahon. He has participated in numerous area tennis tournaments over the last 30 years and recently played in the USTA 55+ 8.0 League National Championships held in Surprise, Arizona in 2014.
Rich has been one of Village Glen’s High Performance and Junior Program Coaches for the past few years. He instructs adult and junior players of all levels including an advanced-level adult drill clinic and intermediate-level junior classes as well as private lessons. Rich’s coaching experience transcends tennis as he has coached youth soccer, basketball and hockey teams for several years.
Caroline Bristol - PTR Certified
Caroline has nearly 10 years of coaching experience, having taught at Hickory Hill Swim and Tennis Club, Orchard Park Country Club, and South Towns Tennis Center. Throughout those years, she has taught a wide variety of age groups and skill levels. She excelled at introducing tennis to children aged 5-14 by creating a fun, dynamic atmosphere, developing camaraderie and acting as a positive role model. She also coached club tennis teams that won multiple league championships, conducted cardio tennis clinics, and provided private lessons.
Caroline is a former Division II tennis player at Mercyhurst University where she led the team four years at number one singles and number one doubles. In three of those years, she received All-PSAC First Team accolades at singles and doubles. She graduated in 2014 with a BA degree in Sports Business.
Caroline played varsity tennis for six years at Orchard Park High School, four of them at #1 singles. She won multiple Division and Sectional titles and qualified for the state championships five years in a row.
Jason Joseph - PTR, USPTA, USTA and Tennis Canada Certified
Jason is a performance-based development coach with nearly 20 years of experience coaching and managing performance tennis programming. He also has over 10 years experience managing structured 10 and Under tennis programs, working closely with national coaches in Canada for program development and delivery at Niagara Academy, a Tennis Canada recognized Tennis Development Centre. During his 20 years of coaching, Jason has worked with national and international caliber high performance players ranging from over 25 countries and spanning 5 continents, coaching players on the courts of both the USTA National Tennis Center (NTC), in New York as well as the Canadian NTC in Toronto. During his tenure at Niagara Academy, he was the manager of Physical-Technical Player Development helping over 100 high performance tennis players reach athletic scholoarships at top universities and colleges throughout the continental U.S. His coaching methodology closely reflects current, evidence-based sport-science training in tennis and is committed to advanced educational endeavors in the field of performance coaching throughout North America and Europe.
Jason enjoys playing from time to time as seen as by playing contributions to Buffalo’s Marsh Cup team since 2003 as well as being a Buffalo MUNY champion. In his spare time he enjoys long distance running, which showed in his top 10, age-based finish in the 2008 International Marathon.
For more biographical information on Jason or for updated information on player development and coach education, please visit the website: actionapproach.com.
Dave Kocak - USPTR Certified
Dave Kocak, USPTR certified Independent Tennis Pro, has been teaching all ages and levels for over 35 years, including Division 1 tennis and many USTA Womens league teams. He has worked internationally with top names like John Newcombe and Peter Burwash. Using his knowledge and experience, Dave authored “Tennis for the Rest of Us” which is currently in the top 50 of Amazon’s sports books. Along with his Tennis Pro and author status, Dave has also earned his way in Buffalo tennis history winning three MUNY doubles titles and an Open Singles finalist. For those who don't like reading between the lines, Dave is your guy! Dave is affectionately known for his “no-sugar-coating” teaching techniques.
Amy L. Borden - USPTR Certified
Amy, a former Division I #1 singles and doubles tennis player for the University at Buffalo, has been teaching tennis in the Buffalo area for over 15 years. She coaches at all levels and ages, including Varsity, JV and modified boys and girls tennis teams. She has been an Independent instructor at South Towns Tennis Club since 1998, and is the Head Tennis Pro at Brierwood Country Club and Assistant Tennis Pro at Eagle Ridge Club. Additionally, Amy holds a Masters Degree in Education and NYS Certification in Social Studies and has been a secondary education teacher for 8 years. She is extremely enthusiastic and enjoys working with all age & ability levels on the tennis court.
We would like to introduce and welcome Tom Harty to our staff at both Village Glen and South Towns Tennis Clubs. Tom has many years of experience coaching and playing the game at the collegiate Division 1 level.
Tom won the High School Section VI singles championship his senior year at Amherst High School. He went on to play 5th singles/3rd doubles for four years at Boston College and was team captain his senior year. During his summers at Boston College, Tom directed the tennis program at the exclusive Cherry Hill Club. After graduating Boston College Tom directed the program at Park Club and had the opportunity to coach in the Middle East for 7 months. He also coached the men's varsity tennis team at Bentley College in Boston before moving on to Dartmouth College in Hanover NH where he ran the community tennis program for 4 summers. From here, Tom went to Killington Vermont where he Directed the Cortina School’s Adult Tennis Camp for 4 years. Tom oversaw a permanent staff of 8 tennis pros during his time managing this program. Tom is married to Mary Jewett and has two children Lucas and Sarah.
Please welcome Tom as I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of him at both of our clubs! Tom is available for private lessons / group lessons. He will also be involved with clinics, junior and adult development programs.
Wayne Martin - USPTR Certified
Wayne Martin has been a teaching professional in the Buffalo area since 2003. He is certified at the highest PROFESSIONAL level by the United States Professional Tennis Registry (USPTR) and is also certified in 10 and Under tennis teaching as well. Over the years Wayne has done extensive training with the USTA and USPTR and has also trained with renowned coaches Mike Barrel, Brett Hobden, Bobby Banck and numerous others. He has thousands of hours of 10 and under, junior, adult, cardio tennis and high performance coaching experience. In addition he is an experienced tournament director having run various junior tournaments in the WNY area.
During his tenure as one of the top WNY Tennis Teaching Pros he has coached many of the top juniors in the area many of whom have gone on to compete at the collegiate level. He has always been a big supporter of USTA Junior Team Tennis and was the coach for numerous regional and sectional championship teams.
Wayne played at the University of Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State University and helped lead his high school team to the Connecticut State Championship his senior season. This wide assortment of playing and coaching experience, training and education has allowed Wayne to become one of the most respected and versatile tennis pros and coaches in Western New York Area.
James is a former Division I head coach having led the Men’s and Women’s programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. While there, James guided the Men’s team to the 2015 Northeast Conference Championship match while coaching the Northeast Conference Men’s 2015 Player of the Year.
James also has head coaching experience at Division III Elmira College in Elmira NY, having earned the Empire 8 Conference Coach of the Year for Women’s Tennis for the 2013 season. In that season James led the Women’s team to the Empire 8 Conference Tournament as the Soaring Eagles Women had their best regular season conference record ever. James also coached the 2013-2014 Elmira College Men’s team to the most wins in at least 12 seasons.
James is a 2011 graduate of Western Illinois University in Macomb Illinois, where he was the Team Captain for the 2009/2010 season, the recipient of the Art Peterson Leadership Award in 2009, and attained the Fighter First award in 2008. James also was named to the Summit League All-Academic team in 2010. Prior to transferring to Western Illinois, James also played at the University of Rhode Island where he recorded a team-best 19-10 singles record as a freshman. He also recorded 17 wins in doubles play as a sophomore.
While James now calls Buffalo home he grew up in Pittsford, NY where he was a 2006 New York First-Team All-State selection from Pittsford Sutherland High School, and a finalist in the doubles competition at the 2006 New York State High School Tennis Tournament.
Karen Peterson Schleifer - PTR Certified
Karen Peterson Schleifer has instructed tennis at South Towns Tennis Club since 1973. She is a certified teaching professional with Professional Tennis Registry. She is a three time MUNY Singles champion and has also won MUNY titles in Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. She has been ranked by the Eastern Tennis Association in Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. She has coached Varsity Girls’ Tennis at West Seneca West Senior High and Varsity Boys’ Tennis at West Seneca West and West Seneca East Senior High School. She also served as Assistant Coach to Terry McMahon for the OrchardPark Girls’ tennis team. In 2006 she was inducted into the Buffalo Tennis Hall of Fame. In 2012 she was inducted into the inaugural class of the MUNY Tennis Hall of Fame in Buffalo. She especially enjoys teaching the Ten and Under Program at STTC which utilizes smaller courts, lower nets, shorter racquets and slower balls to accelerate learning.