Harker tennis coach Craig Pasqua was honored at the 2012 Awards Celebrating Excellence in Service (ACES) dinner in February, held by the Northern California Chapter of the United States Tennis Association. Pasqua, who has spent several years working with at-risk children on Indian reservations, was given the Trailblazer award in the Diversity category.
A graduate of Stanford University and a professional tennis coach since 2000, Pasqua was first approached to work with Native Americans in 1996, when David Gantzer of Standing Tall Tennis asked him to help out with the organization. “Being American Indian, I was able to break down some barriers and go places Dantzer was unable,” said Pasqua, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and also part Modoc. When Dantzer retired in 2006, Pasqua took over the organization and moved it to San Jose, where he has been running it ever since.
Since its inception, Standing Tall has worked with more than 10,000 people in 21 states and 40 reservations, serving about 80 tribal entities. “We have had continuing programs in the Dine, Hopi, White Mountain Apache and Potawatami Nations,” Pasqua noted.
In addition to his work with American Indians, Pasqua has been an active volunteer at other organizations. He has volunteered at the U.S. Open’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day since 2009, and serves on the board of the Santa Clara Indian Health Center. He has also been the president of the North American Indian Tennis Association.
Despite his impressive service record, Pasqua was “totally surprised to receive this award!” he exclaimed. “I’m extremely grateful and wish to thank the USTA NorCal Division and Harker for giving me the flexibility to spend some of my time away from the school.” Pasqa runs the Harker summer tennis program, too. Details are available on our summer web page.