MEET THE TEAM

IT TAKES GREAT PEOPLE TO MAKE A WORLD-CLASS FACILITY. MEET THE TEAM ON-COURT, BEHIND THE DESK, & BEHIND THE SCENES!

STAFF TENNIS AND PICKLEBALL PROS

Dillon Barnard

Staff Tennis & Pickle Pro

Dillon is a proud Southern California native where played competitive tennis for 17 years. He played singles and doubles at a top D2 school Azusa Pacific University. He has been teaching tennis for 6+ years. He is passionate about fundamentals, strategy, footwork, and helping people reach their tennis goals. He loves coffee, running & fishing, which make Denver a perfect fit for him!” On top of being an excellent tennis player, Dillon also specializes in Pickleball instruction. Check our pickleball pro flyer to see his hourly rate for individuals and group lessons. $60/hour (Tennis)

Kseniia Kozlova (KK)

​  $80/hr semi-privates / $55/hr privates (Pickleball)

Staff Tennis Pro

Bio coming soon. $65/hour

Kenneth Kilgore

Staff Tennis Pro

Kenneth moved to Denver from Cincinnati, Ohio to pursue his masters degree in business administration. His specialties include tennis strategy and footwork.If you are looking for a kind, patient, goal-oriented pro, Kenneth is your guy. His hobbies include playing soccer, listening to Anderson Paak or Thundercat, and trying out new local delis. On the ATP tour, Kenneth is a big fan of Medvedev and continues to argue that his volley skills are very underrated. $60/hour

Mesa Martorell

Staff Tennis Pro

Originally from Wimberley, Texas, Mesa moved to Colorado to enjoy the awesome outdoor lifestyle and everything Denver has to offer. Before moving, Mesa played college tennis with the Guilford Quakers in Greensboro, NC. His teaching style is a mixture of technical analysis and working the implement a relaxed feel to each shot. And with his laid-back attitude, it's easy to maintain that relaxed feel for the whole lesson. Mesa likes to spend time outdoors, listen to music, and play a wide variety of sports outside of tennis. $60/hour

Gerald Davis

Staff Tennis Pro

Gerald is a New Orleans native with over 14 years of teaching experience. After helping initiate grassroots tennis programs in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina, Gerald ran one of the top junior programs in the state, coaching top state & sectional players. He brings his passion and love of the sport in every session. Gerald specializes in junior development while incorporating functional training and on-court fitness.  Say hello next time you see Gerald out on court! He's active with a variety of levels in group drill classes, so you're bound to run into him!   $60/hour

Aaron Zaderej

Staff Tennis Pro

Aaron is originally from South Bend, Indiana and recently moved to the Denver area. Aaron has been playing tennis his entire life and played competitively throughout high school. Aaron also enjoyed competing and practicing at the club level in college. He loves working on the serve and teaching tactics and strategy. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys taking advantage of recreation in the beautiful CO outdoors and watching live music. $60/hour

Rick Escobedo

Staff Tennis Pro

Rick is a junior pro specialist, starting as early as 5 years old. Originally from Roswell, New Mexico, he played high school tennis and many years in league tennis. He understands the importance of teaching kids the fundamentals of the game, along with general core beliefs of being an athlete. Rick has spent many seasons at Keystone working as a ski instructor. If you are hitting the slopes, keep your eye out for him! Consider Rick for the junior player in your family. $60/hour

Robert Leonard

Staff Pickleball Pro

Robert has been playing tennis and paddle tennis his entire life, and fell in love with the game of Pickleball as soon as he found it. He is a PPR® Certified Coach who taught privately in Southern California before moving to Denver. Among his long list of clients is the one and only Kenny Loggins! Robert pays particular attention to the serve, non-attackable balls, and the ever important Third Shot Drop. Robert explains the how and the why. Struggling with ‘bangers’ or people who refuse to dink? Let Robert show you how to punish their undisciplined play-style!

​$80/hr semi-privates / $55/hr privates

Tanner Vann

Staff Pickleball Pro

Tanner originally hails from Chicago IL, but moved to Denver for school and snowboarding.  He picked up pickleball in 2017, and has played on the pro tour since 2019 in both singles and doubles.  He has a strong drive to help others improve their games and reach their pickleball goals.   

Playing professionally and competing with the top players in pickleball, he has a unique insider look at strategies and skills needed to improve.  This will be his third year teaching pickleball, and excels from the baseline to the NVZ.  Take a lesson with Tanner and build your pickleball IQ!

​$80/hr semi-privates / $55/hr privates

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR TENNIS PROS

Meike Babel

IC Tennis Pro

Meike is a former world-class tennis player, reaching a career high of #27 in singles and #45 in doubles in 1995 on the WTA tour. She played in 19 Grand Slams and represented her native country, Germany, in Fed Cup. After retiring from the pro tour, she was a coach for women's tennis at Tulane & Vanderbilt U. She worked as mental skills coach with the women's tennis teams at Vanderbilt & Emory Univ. Meike enjoys working with players of all ages and levels. She's known to be a tough coach, with extreme knowledge and a playful side. $100/hour

Brian Williams

IC Tennis Pro

Originally from New Jersey, Brian moved to Colorado in 2017 and began working at Gates soon thereafter. He graduated from the University of Scranton in 2014 where he played singles and doubles; earning First Team All-Conference honors. His favorite shots to win a match are his top-spin forehand and serve, although he wants to teach you ALL the shots. When not on the court, Brian enjoys skiing, traveling, and climbing a variety of Colorado 14ers as a way to simultaneously explore and get a healthy dose of outdoor exercise. A solid coach & great guy. $70/hour

Michael Towne

IC Tennis Pro

Originally hailing from Richmond, Va., Michael was crowned Virginia State "All Prep." in high school. He also played college tennis his freshman year at Hampden Sydney College. While out on court, Michael likes to focus on strategic configurations, thinking outside the box, and considering all angles of the court. He has a calming demeanor and a knack for targeting (and then correcting) the weaknesses in a player’s game. Michael also has a mediocre mid-range basketball jump shot and sub-par kickball skills (just don’t tell him that). $70/hour

Andy Booth

IC Tennis Pro

Former Director of Tennis at The Snowmass Club in Aspen, Colorado, Andy is a USPTA Elite Professional, twice elected as President of the USPTA Intermountain Division. He’s had great success in taking league players to the next level through strategic court positioning and stroke production. In addition to being a hitting partner for Johan Kriek (two-time Australian Open Champion), Andy was also on-court with Cici Bellis and Nicole Gibbs, two young up and coming American WTA Professionals. $90/hour

KB Makgale

IC Tennis Pro

Born in Botswana, Africa, KB’s favorite sports, besides tennis, are soccer and football. KB’s serve, topspin, and footwork are a few specialties, among many. KB played tennis at Metro State College of Denver. KB is a true veteran of Gates Tennis Center, having taught lessons here for over a decade. He is quite fond of court 12, but can elevate your game successfully on any given court number you may find yourself on with him. KB has a very calm and even temperament on court, allowing students to feel comfortable and progress at a fast pace.  $70/hour

Carey Brading

IC Tennis Pro

A former national junior champion,Carey represented his native country of New Zealand in international play before attending and earning a B.A. in Business Management from Colorado State University-Pueblo,where twice he was awarded All-American status and selected to represent the NAIA national team.Carey has earned many accolades, has several USTA/USPTA certifications, and has been as high as #308 in ATP rankings. When not teaching tennis, you might find Carey on the dance floor doing the Cha-cha. www.careybrading.com $70/hour

Mark Thalhofer

IC Tennis Pro

A certified USPTA P2 Professional, Mark has taught and coached tennis in the metro area for 33+ years, with all kinds of players at all kinds of facilities.  For equally as long, he coached the East High Angels boys, one of the largest and most successful programs in Colorado. He’s worked with players from four to seventy-four, from beginners to nationally ranked juniors, and uses video analysis, bad jokes, contemporary sports science and arcane philosophy with his on-court instruction. $60/hour

Victoria Polite

IC Tennis Pro

Victoria Polite is from Moscow, Russia. As a life long tennis player she achieved a tennis scholarship for University of Kansas. After completing an Accounting degree, she went on to pursue a Master's degree in Sport Administration at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. While studying Victoria coached the Women's tennis team that won the conference tournament and got a chance to go to NCAA tournament. As a new member of Gates Tennis Center, Victoria is excited to teach her competitive tennis experience and ideas to students. $60/hour

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Sam Hitman

General Manager / Hitman Sports Management

From South Jersey, Sam honed his tennis game in Hammonton, NJ, a rural farming town.  His first coach was his mother. Sam was #1 singles all 4 years in high school, and then played at Rutgers U.   In college, Sam organized Bike Trek USA; and did several “Across America” transcontinental bike rides with a college group. It was on bicycle when Colorado caught Sam’s eye. (probably from the top of Wolf Creek pass!)  After graduating, Sam moved to Colorado in 1993, and has been involved with Gates Tennis Center since!  (minus a 6 year hiatus from Gates, circa 2000-2005)    Starting in 1993, Sam was a Tennis Professional at Gates, when he had long hair, ran popular drill classes, and could move much faster than today! (that’s according to Sam)  He was interested in the management side of the industry, too.   Sam “took a break” from Gates for about 6 years, and was a Director at a local tennis center. He came back to Gates in 2006 as a principle in a Tennis Management company hired to operate Gates.  Today, Sam is the owner of Hitman Sports Management that operates GTC and 3 other facilities in the region.  Sam is also a part-owner of a beautiful indoor tennis center in Santa Fe, NM.  He tries to run Gates as a great community place and as a public amenity, that it was designed to be when beautifully built by the Gates Foundation and the City of Denver.  Sam is a dedicated husband and father of 4.  Beyond playing with his kids, Sam likes playing tennis with his wife in Hawaii on special occasions; and while he still roots for his Philly teams (76ers, Phillies, Eagles) first, he then roots for all the Denver teams (Nuggs, Rockies, Broncos) as a very close second. Email: samhitman25@gmail.com

Ted Bradley

Director of Tennis

As Director of Tennis, Ted teaches, manages, coordinates, and still has time for a witty one-liner. He does it all! Originally from Portage, WI, Ted grew up as the son of a basketball coach. He was an all-state tennis player during his high school days, and state champion. Ted played his college tennis at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he played #1 singles and doubles. Ted loves to teach the game, and is passionate about helping people improve their tactical and technical skills. Email: ted@gatestenniscenter.info

Katie Hardin

Front Desk Manager

Bio coming soon. Email: katie@gatestenniscenter.info

Doug Morton

Facilities Manager

Bio coming soon. Email: doug@gatestenniscenter.info

Andrew James

Marketing/Design Manager

Andrew moved to Denver in 2014 to explore the great outdoors and all the unique high altitude activities that Colorado has to offer. He was hired as part of the original Lakewood Park Tennis staff, where he wore many hats, helping to build the first iteration of their website, designing their logo, stringing, and more. He transitioned to GTC several years later and narrowed his role to marketing and design. He is now in school, pursuing a degree in Digital Design. In his spare time, he enjoys tennis, skate/snowboarding, music production, and live music. Email: andrew@gatestenniscenter.info

Position Open

Business Services Manager

We're Hiring! Please inquire with email and resume to samhitman25@gmail.com

SPECIALISTS

Dan Rosner

Certified Stringer

Bio coming soon.

Maureen Kechriotis

Tennis for Kids Coordinator

Bio coming soon. Email: maureen@gatestenniscenter.info

Melissa Harris

Customer Service Specialist

Bio coming soon.

Jared Ozga

Customer Service Specialist

Bio coming soon.

Position Open

Volunteer Coordinator

We're Hiring! Please inquire with email and resume to samhitman25@gmail.com