When Jane Goodman met officiating mentor Bob Cranor in 1982, she never imagined it would be the first step to an illustrious career as a tennis official—nor did she foresee earning the highest national honor bestowed on a USTA certified official.
When people talk about tennis, they talk about the players, which is why Goodman’s induction into the ITA Women’s Collegiate Hall of Fame may come as a surprise to some. Even Goodman herself was taken aback. “I was stunned,” she says. “Because, as officials, we’re on the other side of the line from the players and coaches. We’re the police.”
But to those who know Goodman’s career, her induction is anything but surprising. From being Chair Umpire in NCAA Division I college championships to Chief Umpire for ATP men’s professional tournaments for 17 years, Goodman’s long-lasting prowess as an official precedes her. Off the court, she’s done her fair share of training as well, including teaching national ITA clinics for USTA officials to certify them. She even helped create an ITA test for training USTA officials to work college matches. Her years of hard work culminated in 2012 when she received the McGovern Award, the highest award given to American tennis umpires.
“Every time I’m out there, someone says something that is funny, and it makes my day. That hasn’t changed since I started. It’s what keeps me coming back. Every match is a new experience,” says Goodman. “I find such joy in the game, being recognized like this is truly heartfelt. I’m very honored to represent officials everywhere.”