Meet Shellaberger's Tennis Center Staff
Rosemarie Shellaberger Tennis Center
Eric Rose, Co-Owner, Director of Tennis
Eric grew up in the Northern Virginia and fell in love with tennis at about the age of 12. From that age through high school he could most often be found at the neighborhood swim and tennis club. The miles on the court paid off as he went on to play four years of varsity tennis in High School and played for George Mason University in college. Upon graduating with an economics degree and a passion for tennis Eric had a big decision to make, he chose to follow his passion. Eric’s first full-time job in tennis was with Club Med. After enduring a year on three beautiful islands, Eric decided it was time to return to the mainland and go skiing, so he moved to Colorado. While in Colorado, Eric worked at a variety of clubs and held various positions including tennis pro, head tennis pro, tennis director, co-owner of a tennis management company, and most recently in New Mexico as the co-owner of the fabulous Shellaberger Tennis Center, which he is also the hands-on manager. The other co-owner in both situations is his good friend Sam Hitman. On a personal note, Eric is married to a beautiful Cherokee woman named Wahlesah and has an adorable child named Macy, both of whom are tennis players and will often be found on court at Shellaberger with Eric. Who knows, one day they may find the time to do some serious damage in a family division tournament, if Macy can carry the load.
Sam Hitman, Co-Owner
Sam is originally from south Jersey, where he developed his tennis game on his family's tennis court as a kid. After a very successful high school career, he went on to play tennis and basketball at Rutgers University. After graduating, he grabbed his bike, and, like Forrest Gump, put together a group to ride across the country. One of the states he crossed that caught his eye was Colorado, so he decided to move to Denver. Once there, he quickly became the co-head tennis professional at Gates Tennis Center and soon thereafter took a position as the tennis director at the JCC Tennis Center. Sam orchestrated an amazing turnaround of the JCC Tennis Center. In May 2006, Sam and Eric Rose were chosen as the management team of the at Gates Tennis Center. In 2011 Eric and Sam bought the beautiful Shellaberger Tennis Center. At home, Sam is a dedicated father to three wonderful boys and one beautiful daughter, and husband to his better half, Sara.
Warren Fulgenzi, Tennis Pro
Warren brings to Shellaberger Tennis Center the credentials of New Mexico’s foremost tennis instructor. He is also recognized as perhaps the greatest player to emerge in the professional ranks from New Mexico. He is an outstanding motivator, teacher, strategist and coach, known for individualizing his approach to every level of player. On the world pro tour, in the early ‘90s, he won enough points to place among the top 600 in singles and the top 800 in doubles. At the collegiate level, he was the first player in University of New Mexico history to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships in singles, doubles and with the team in the same year. He founded the Fulgenzi Tennis Academy in 2007. Prior to that, he spent 10 years running the tennis program at El Gancho Fitness, Swim and Racquet Club. He was earlier on the tennis staff of the Lobo Tennis Club at the University of New Mexico. He graduated from UNM with a BA degree in 1992.
Rosemarie Shellaberger Tennis Center
Klaus Dlabik, Tennis Pro
Originally from Graz, Austria, where he received a professional tennis teaching degree from the Federal Institute of Physical Education. Klaus assisted the Regional Junior Program, including the young Thomas Muster (French Open Champion) in Austria and later worked for Sport Scheck, a German company as a Head Tennis Professional for adults and juniors in Germany, Spain and Croatia. Klaus moved to the US in 1984 and managed and directed various tennis clubs in the Atlanta area and produced successful programs for players of all ages. Klaus was Director of Tennis at Summit Chase C.C., Snellville, Ga, and Rivermist, Lilburn, Ga. In 2003 I was the owner and promotor of Atlanta Tennis Classics, Atlanta, Ga. a professional event featuring tennis greats Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, Thomas Muster and others. Klaus has been ranked in the top 10 nationally with his son Fritz in father/son doubles, was ranked #2 in the south in men’s 50’s. Recently he won back to back titles 2012 and 2013 as the southern champion in 50’s doubles.
Ralph Bolton, Tennis Pro
Ralph began playing tennis in high school in Manchester, NH and then went on to play at the University of New Hampshire. He is certified through the USPTA at the organization’s highest level. He has been the tennis coach at Santa Fe Preparatory School since 1992. Ralph is also a certified fitness trainer through the American Council of Exercise and trains people at Railyard Fitness. He has taught skiing in Stowe VT, Sun Valley ID, Beaver Creek CO as well as Santa Fe. This past fall, Ralph married Breshaun Joyner and is the proud stepfather of a handsome ten year old boy, Jonas.
Nils Gould, Tennis Pro
Nils grew up in the Santa Fe area and played high school tennis at Santa Fe Prep in the early 2000's. He advanced to the 3A Individual State Tennis Tournament all four years, placing top three finishes in both singles and doubles. At the University of Oregon, Nils had the opportunity to play highly competitive tennis for the University's traveling club team. Nils returned to New Mexico to coach alongside Ralph Bolton as Ralph's assistant coach at Santa Fe Prep. While attending school in Albuquerque (Nils is currently studying for the board exam to become a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant), Nils worked at the Jeremy Dyche Tennis Academy providing private and group instructions to all ages/levels. He has enjoyed playing USTA sanctioned tournaments throughout the southwest at the 4.5/open level. Nils recently moved back to Santa Fe and is very excited to provide positive, high-intensity tennis instruction to the players in our community!
Jason Meredith, Front Desk Manager
Jason is originally from the Bay Area of Northern California, and moved to Northern New Mexico in 2006 to accept a Baseball Scholarship to New Mexico Highlands University. During his senior year, he met his future wife Laura, who was starting a Master’s program at NMHU. Jason had long since planned on moving back to California after graduation, but after meeting Laura, earning his B.A. in Exercise Science, and getting his first taste of authentic Green Chile, he decided to stay in New Mexico. Jason credits this with being one of the greatest decisions of his life. He ended up earning his graduate degree in Sports Administration in May 2013, moved to Santa Fe with Laura and their dog Daisy that August, and in October they were married. Although he never played Tennis competitively before joining the STC staff, Jason definitely considers himself an all-around sport enthusiast. And sure enough, working at Shellaberger has definitely caused Jason to catch the “Tennis bug”. He starting hitting on the ball machine regularly and hopping in on High Intensity drills to hone his skills, and is now rated a 3.5! In his free time, Jason loves to run, lift weights, and go to just about any concert/sporting event on the map.
Eddie Neese, Tennis Pro
Eddie Neese began playing tennis as a toddler at public parks with his family in Fort Myers, Florida. After beginning formal lessons at the age of ten, he started playing tournaments, slowly developing a strong serve and volley game modeled after his idol, Pete Sampras. Eddie went on to not only become one of the top players in FL, but one of the top players in the nation where he competed against players you see on tv today! After he spent his college years studying music, he returned to tennis coaching privately and leading a high school team to a district championship, earning the Coach of the Year award from the Fort Myers News Press. Eddie is combining his two passions teaching tennis here at Shellaberger, where we love having him, and a variety of instruments at Candyman Strings & Things.