2018 Professional Award Winner
The All Sports Association proudly welcomes tennis great Wil Spencer as our
2018 Professional Award winner. Wil was born in Santa Rosa Beach and cultivated his early love for sports into a successful tennis career, which included reaching a Top 500 singles ranking in the world as a professional.
Sports were always a large part of Wil’s life as a kid. After trying many, he was introduced to tennis at the age of six. His enjoyable family tennis outings played a large part in his desire to pursue tennis as a sport. As his older sister improved her game and began beating him more frequently, Wil was spurred to become better. At the age of ten, he began private lessons which saw him progress with almost instant success. Against the toughest competition, Wil soon earned his way to the top-ranked “14-&-under” junior in the nation. Attending Texas A&M, he was ranked as high as No. 8 in the country his sophomore year. After transferring to the University of Georgia, the Florida native continued his court dominance. He was voted All-SEC First Team his junior year and was named the Southeast Region Osuna Award recipient for sportsmanship and leadership characteristics. A two-time All-American, he was ranked as high as No. 3 in singles and No. 7 in doubles as a senior, completing his collegiate career with 2012 SEC Team Tournament Champion title and a combined 104-49 record.
Wil embarked on a full-time pro career which has coupled moments of remarkable achievement with the moments of injuries, self-evaluation, and growth. He entered the 2014 Bluewater Bay $10,000 ITF showcase unranked. He went undefeated in five qualifying matches and earned a difficult draw. The right-hander proceeded to knock off his next three accomplished opponents before defeating the seventh-seed in the tournament finale. He won 10 matches in 11 days to the delight of the local crowd. He traveled the country playing professional tennis with his career culminating in two professional singles titles and two professional doubles titles. Wil reached No. 478 in the ATP world rankings and the Top 30 in the American ranks.
Today, Wil has steered his tennis prowess into the next phase of his career: coaching. “Coaching offers a different angle to approach the sport I have played for most of my life. It has forced me to evaluate what and how I’ve learned to help my students develop. One of the greatest joys of coaching is seeing someone improve and helping facilitate that growth is immensely gratifying.” Wil believes knowing how to communicate, motivate, and guide, are all hallmarks of a good coach. But most of all, a good coach cares for his players.
He is blessed to have had good coaches throughout his life and gives thanks to his coaches. “Coach Martin, Wolf, Brett, Manny, and Will” demonstrated a passion for people, for tennis and for caring about Wil as a person and not just a player. He is grateful to his parents for their sacrifices not only financially, but also of their time and energy in traveling to tournaments and lessons, organizing a foundation, scheduling, booking trips—all while running their own business. Most importantly, Wil gives thanks to God for his family, for the friends and coaches that He has placed in his life, and for choosing to have a personal relationship with him–his most treasured possession and greatest honor.