JOHN WHITLINGER, a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame, is regarded as one of the leading tennis teaching professionals in the country.  As an two time All-American at Stanford University, John accomplished the rare feat of winning the NCAA Singles, Doubles, and Team titles in the same year (1974).  He was also a member of Dick Gould’s first of 17 NCAA championship teams in 1973. He played six years on the APT Professional tour with a top singles ranking at #75 and doubles ranking at #24. 

John started his teaching and coaching in 1981 as the head professional at the Racquet Club at Harper’s Point in Montgomery, Ohio.  Gould hired John as his first assistant coach at Stanford in 1986.  The Stanford Men’s team won nine NCAA championship in those 18 years with John as the assistant/ associate head coach.  He was also awarded the first ITA National Assistant Coach of the year in 1997.

Upon Gould’s retirement, John became the head coach for the next 10 years.  During that time, the Men’s team reached the NCAA postseason nine years, earned four 20 plus win seasons, and two NCAA quarterfinal appearances.  He also was honored as the 2006 Pac-10 Coach of the Year.

In addition to his Stanford Hall of Fame credentials, John was inducted into the ITA Collegiate Hall of Fame in 1999, the Fox River Valley (Wisconsin) Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998, the USTA/Midwest Section Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Wisconsin’s Neenah High School Hall of Fame in 2015.

John won four consecutive Wisconsin state high school singles championships and 109 consecutive matches from 1969-1972.  He earned 11 national junior titles including two Orange Bowl championships and the 1971 Interscholastic Championship.  

During his 28 years coaching career at Stanford University, John directed the highly successful Stanford Tennis Camps, and co-directed the Whitlinger/Sarsfield Tennis recreation program with Tom Sarsfield.  He is currently the Founder and Consultant of the Whitlinger/Sarsfield Tennis recreation program.

TOM SARSFIELD,  longtime Stanford/ USPTA Elite teaching professional, is the Managing Director and Proprietor of the Whitlinger/Sarsfield Tennis recreation program.  A graduate of San Jose State University in Physical Education, Tom began his coaching/ teaching career in 1981 with stints at the Almaden Swim & Racquet Club in San Jose and Saratoga High School. Tom taught tennis at Stanford for over 30 years covering private lessons, group lessons, camps, Adult & Junior tournaments, and University Physical Education Tennis (2004-2022) and Pickleball courses (2017-2022).

Tom was touted as the “King of Rec. Department Tennis” in the June 1999 Northern California Edition of Inside Tennis magazine.  He was nationally recognized in 2002 as a member of the first USTA All-American Team for his contributions in growing the game of tennis and has served on the Wilson Advisory Staff for over 30 years.


Our instructors are a diverse group consisting of full time and part time teaching professionals.  Many of them are certified by the United States Professional Teaching Association or the Professional Tennis Registry.  All of them are knowledgeable in the essential fundamentals of the sport and share the “FUN FIRST” philosophy of teaching tennis.

Whitlinger Sarsfield Tennis