Village Glen Director of Tennis
Dear Village Glen Members,
My name is Robert Gregoire. I am very excited to be named your new Director of Tennis at the the Village Glen Tennis Club. After spending 17 wonderful years in Pittsburgh, I am now returning to my home town that I love. I want to thank Jack Ruh and Mike Manzella for this amazing opportunity. After 27 years in the tennis industry as a High Performance Junior Coach, Director of Tennis, Division 1 Collegiate Coach, and Tennis Club Owner, I enthusiastically return to the club that gave me my start.
I started my career back in 1989 at the Village Glen Tennis Club as an assistant professional learning every facet of the tennis business over seven years. Tom Lapenna mentored me as a high performance junior coach and I enjoyed teaching every age and level of player during my tenure at the club. I then spent three great years at South Towns Tennis Center as Co-Director of Tennis Operations with David Todoroff. We built a thriving Junior Program and were known for our massive adult clinics. In 1999, Terry Pegula and Frank Baritot offered me an opportunity to come down to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and launch The Pennsylvania Tennis Academy. In my five years with the Academy, we built the largest and most successful junior and adult programs in Western Pa. Over the course of a decade, I was very fortunate to grow my career and tennis acumen in Pittsburgh. In 2010, I became part owner and Director of Tennis at Alpha Tennis and Fitness of Pittsburgh. In 2011, I was named USTA Pro of the year and Alpha was named Club of the year by the Allegheny Mountain District. In 2012, in addition to my club duties, I became the Head Coach of Duquesne University Men's Tennis Team. We went 16-6 and completed the most successful season in school history. A year later, I took over both the Men's and Women's program. The women improved their win total by 6 matches and are now serious contenders in the A10 conference. Things have now come full circle. With my daughter heading off to college, my future wife residing in Hamburg, and most of my family here in Buffalo, the timing could not be better to have this amazing opportunity at the Village Glen. I am so excited to join this great team.
As your new Director of Tennis, I promise a meticulous and well run facility. It will be our goal as a team to make your tennis experience second to none.
Village Glen Director of High Performance Tennis
Tom’s tireless activity and involvement over the years has greatly enriched Buffalo area tennis. His commitment to excellence will continue to benefit students, players and fans of the sport for years to come. Tom’s wife, son and daughter are all still actively playing tennis and are involved in the USTA, as well.
Tom LaPenna has been involved in tennis for over thirty years. He has promoted the sport locally by directing the Buffalo MUNY City Championships, Western New York Summer Challenge Tournament Series and formerly the Super Sixteen Men’s Round Robin events. Tom has hosted exhibitions by professional players including Roscoe Tanner, Wojak Fibak, Pat Cash, Illie Nastase and Jimmy Arias. Tom brought professional tennis to Western New York through the USTA Professional Circuit’s Futures tournament – a world class top-ranked professional tennis competition. He was voted in as an inaugural inductee into the Buffalo Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005, alongside such greats as Jimmy Arias and Bobby Banck.
LaPenna has been a premier advisory staff member for Wilson since 1982. As a Player, Tom was a three-time winner of the Western New York Open Doubles and Mixed Doubles tournaments. Other titles include thirty-five and forty-five and over singles and doubles City Championships as well as men’s doubles victories in the City Clay Courts and New York State Championships.
Tom LaPenna is a USPTA certified Professional and graduate of the USTA High Performance Coaching Program. He has been a winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award for the USTA Eastern section. He has been Eastern’s Representative/Coach for their Junior Travel teams and was a board member of the Eastern’s Jr. Competition Committee.
LaPenna’s coaching career includes seven years as Head Coach of the University of Buffalo’s Men’s Tennis Team, Head Pro at Sportsplex where he co-developed a unique High Performance Tennis Program that emphasizes mental toughness in addition to physical prowess, owner of Village Glen Tennis & Fitness Club for 25 years, Assistant Coach of Niagara University Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams and currently the Director of High Performance at Village Glen Tennis Club.