MEET THE INSTRUCTORS

ROD ZERNI

Director of Tennis

Rod has been the Tennis Director and a teaching professional at Woodside the last 19 years. He has been a professional tennis instructor for 25 years. He holds a USPTA Elite Professional certification and is currently serving as Vice President on the USPTA Missouri Valley Board.

Rod played college tennis at Division 1 Missouri State University where he was a 4 year conference winner in singles and doubles. He also played on the ITF and ATP Tour. Rod has coached over 40 players who have gone on to receive college tennis scholarships and his players have won at every level of competition – district level – Heart of America; sectional level – Missouri Valley and National level. He was named 2002 and 2006 High Performance Coach of the Year for the USTA Heart of America.

Rod also enjoys working with adults through lessons, clinics and mixers. Rod has served 12 years as USTA Heart of America board member – Vice President. In 2008 he was awarded the USTA Heart of America Distinguished Service Award.

DEON BOTHA

Tennis Professional

Deon has 20 years teaching and coaching experience as he was Director of Tennis at Rockhill Tennis Club before coming to Woodside.

He holds a USPTA Elite certification. He has been an alternate for Kansas City Explorer’s World Team Tennis.

He is a Missouri Valley Men’s Singles and Doubles Champion and Kansas City Open Men’s Singles and Doubles Champion.

Deon played NCAA Division I Tennis at Oklahoma State University – All-Big 8 Conference Player in Singles and Doubles and competitor at the NCAA Division I Men’s National Championships. Deon also played on the ATP Tour. 

MARY SPENCER

Junior Development Coordinator

Mary is Woodside’s Junior Development Coordinator and holds a USPTA Elite certification.

Mary played 4 years of varsity high school tennis at Bishop Leblond High school in St. Joseph, Missouri and was a state contender.

From 2003-2007 she played number one singles and doubles on scholarship at Missouri Western State University.

From 2003 and 2007 she spent her summers working as a tennis director at Lake Bryn Mawr in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. She graduated in 2007 with a degree in Elementary Education and taught 2 years with the Saint Joseph School District before coming to Woodside. 

BRIAN DOUGHERTY

Adult League Coordinator/Tennis Professional

Brian began teaching youth sports in 2012, heading the 5th grade lacrosse team in Prairie Village, then instructing 5-12 year-olds in tennis at the Paul Henson YMCA.

He began playing tennis at the age of 10, and at 18 started participating in USTA Missouri Valley events.  

Brian was a walk-on on to the Johnson County Community College tennis team in 2010. He is currently a student at UMKC, studying for a BBA degree in marketing and expecting to graduate in the spring of 2015.