ONcourt Hall of Fame
ONcourt: Bob Wood never played Davis Cup, and never coached Davis Cup. Bob was a nationally ranked player and served as a national coach with some of Canada’s junior teams. Most importantly, he was instrumental in helping pave the way for Canada’s success on the world scene. ONcourt wants to recognize the work which helped create the focus and Pathway that has led to Canada’s Davis Cup win.
By Pierre Lamarche
In 1988, I was approached by Tennis Canada to participate in a new initiative championed by Sport Canada to create quadrennial plans for all national sports organizations. The time period from the late 1980s through the mid-1990 represented a critical and formative period within the Canadian tennis landscape. Tennis Canada became a model for other sports organizations on how to plan their future development. The TC group was made up initially of TC development personnel, including recently hired Bob Wood, Robert Bettauer [soon to be player development director] and myself from the private sector entity, All Canadian. We became known as the three musketeers.
It became obvious that our quadrennial plan had to be similar to their objectives to access Sport Canada funding. After two full days of deliberation, the group finally agreed on two specific goals:
- Developing players capable of Winning Olympic Gold
- Developing teams capable of winning Davis Cup and Fed Cup
The development of “Baseline to Excellence” became the road map of Canadian tennis development. Bob wood was the right wing of the equation with myself leading the progressive left wing side. Robert was the center. Bob who is an intellectual, a great musician suddenly became an ardent believer of our far fetch dream. He took our goals, refined them with the rest of the development staff, wrote position papers to convince the board of Tennis Canada on the new direction. He then proceeded with the greatest task: implementing the vision with the provincial association.
Bob became involved in writing Kids Tennis, the redesigning of Tennis Canada’s coach certification system, the editing of the Under 14, 16, 18 Club Training Programs and many more initiatives. In my mind he will always be the silent partner who made it possible to highlight the importance of a long term approach to player development and the need to make Canada a tennis power.
In 1990 qualifying for the World Group in Davis Cup, the 2000 Gold Medal in Sydney by Lareau and Nestor, the 2022 Davis Cup win are a result of a vision that was articulated in such a manner that it could become a reality. Thank you Bob for your great contribution.