East Coast Regional Director
US Navy Captain Dave DeLancey is a 29 year Navy veteran, still serving his country whenever asked. A fighter pilot and Special Operations field commander, recently off of (post 911) Active Duty, he also flies as a pilot for American Airlines.
As a PTR Master Professional, when he’s home, Dave teaches high performance tennis at the (fittingly named) Tennis Zone indoor facility in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Over the years he has taught at many dozens of clubs around the world, as his other jobs and locations have allowed. Dave is also a rock and roll bass player with a “sit-in with the band” collection of over 48 countries to date.
Though heavily recruited by Cedarville University in Ohio as a center striker for the soccer team, Dave also played number one singles and doubles for the Cedarville tennis team all four years. He had been a walk on. Incredibly, his dual match record during those four years was an unsurpassable 101 wins and 0 losses.
Fresh out of school in 1976, with a degree in (Sports) Psychology, he took a job as Head Pro at a Dayton, Ohio tennis facility. There, he had another young pro, named Tim Gullickson, as his assistant. Tim and his twin brother Tom, along with their tour coach Hank Jungle (and a number of other top 100 pros) soon asked Dave to become a regular practice partner. When Tim finally made the big move (coincidentally, right after Dave had beaten him in a friendly exhibition match) one of Dave’s tennis students asked him: “If Tim can go out there on tour and play like that, why can’t you?” Realistically, Dave answered with only: “because I don’t have the money.” The student said: “We’ll give you the money.” Just like that. Two weeks later Dave headed out on the road with a credit card, 5 rackets, a single wild card ATP point, and a strong will to give it a try. Unfortunately, Dave was no Tim Gullickson, but for two years he got to play, rub shoulders with the greats, and test his skills enough to generate more than a few journeyman ATP points.
Retirement from the tour was obviously not going to provide for old age. Having always wanted to become an astronaut as a kid, Dave decided on the next best occupation, fighter pilot. When it came time to say “Aye Aye, Sir” to the Navy recruiter and stand at attention with his head shaved at the Pensacola flight school, there were no regrets. Later in his career, Dave transitioned into exclusive Special Warfare work with the SEALs and other Special Ops groups. Though he’s still making them, no one can steal the memories. (For a taste of Dave’s memories, check out “Nevermore” from Approach Magazine, 2001.)
Dave, now 55 years old, is once again extremely active in the competitive game. Despite the time restraints of constant travel, he is currently ranked number 1 in the USTA PATD (Philadelphia Area Tennis District) in the 55 and over age group. He is playing national age-group tournaments and continually improving on his top 25 USTA national ranking.
Dave is actively researching and practicing Scott Ford’s visual principles, as a high performance tennis player, instructor, pilot, and Navy Special Operations leader and advisor. He has been especially instrumental in merging the mental and visual discipline requirements of “tennis in the zone” with the kinesiological and fitness demands of the modern power game.
Having lived a very exciting, eclectic life so far, Dave is very prone to “pay it forward” with students and friends, always willing to lend a hand and share relevant experiences he’s had playing, teaching, flying, and fighting around the world.
Arete Sports is proud to have Dave join the team as East Coast Regional Director.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the cell phone at (215) 932-1506.