Meet our teaching staff. BTC's teaching crew has taught a lot of lessons and run quality junior programs over the years. Combined they amass over 100 years of teaching experience and are a group of dedicated professionals who have great passion for the game and our members and thoroughly enjoy teaching. Together they make a perfect compliment and are simply the best!
Whether you are a beginner looking to learn in a fun and relaxed atmosphere or a top quality junior with high aspirations, we will serve you an ace every time. Our pros have the ability to work with players of all levels and are available for both private and group lessons.
Michael Starke – Owner Manager
Michael has been operating the Binghamton Tennis Center since 1983. During the past 30 years, he has been a leader in the tennis community, forming the Triple Cities Tennis Association, bringing the Levene Gouldin & Thompson $50,000 Mens' Tennis Challenger to Binghamton, and coaching the Binghamton University Mens' Tennis Team from 1987-2006. He has been involved in the growth and development of the local USTA adult leagues and has conducted numerous free tennis clinics and seminars.
Michael oversees the day to day operations as well as teach private and group lessons. His enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion for tennis helps lead BTC as we continue to grow and evolve tennis in the Triple Cities. Michael resides in Binghamton with his wife, Kristen.
Billy Mendler – Head Teaching Professional
Billy began his career here in 1996 and has made BTC his home. He oversees our Special Events and Summer Adult Camp. Billy’s likable personality, teaching, and playing ability make him a favorite among both juniors and adults. Billy has guided many of our top juniors on their path to success. He has an extensive playing background that includes playing #1 singles for Kings College where he competed in the Division III NCAA Championships. His pro career includes being a 10 time participant in the $50,000 Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger and holding 3 ATP doubles points! Billy lives in Towanda Pa.
Collin Crawford – Director of Junior Development
Coming aboard in 1999, Collin has made a tremendous impact on our junior programs, spearheading our Junior Competitive Tennis Pathway, and he works with many of our top juniors. Collin’s elementary teaching background and thirst for learning the latest in techniques and drills makes him a great fit for our aspiring stars of tomorrow. Collin is innovative, studying and implementing the latest in teaching technique, drills and junior development. Thanks to Collin's leadership, we have several ranked BTC juniors and tournament competitors. Our year round Gold "Elite" Group attracts juniors from around our region. Collin is also an avid hockey competitor and lives in Vestal, now married with his long time companion, Courtney.
Clark Crawford – Sat JCTP-Tournament Director-Official Stringer
Our ever popular teaching pro, Clark’s jovial personality and technical knowledge for tennis keeps his lessons fun, yet informative. Clark runs our Saturday JCTP, summer Junior Tennis Camp, as well as our sanctioned USTA tournaments. A big fan of Quickstart Tennis, Clark is getting our new juniors playing games and ladder matches, quickly moving up the ranks. An official certified USRSA stringer, Clark has strung thousands of tennis racquets, combining your game style with the latest stringing technology to deliver a custom strung perfect playing racquet. Clark resides in Binghamton, a stones throw from BTC and has a daughter, Cendra, who is a house guest at BTC!
Bob Devente – Teaching Pro
With BTC since 1997, Bob brings equal amount of experience and energy to liven up lessons and staff alike. USPTR certified, Bob is exceptionally great with our young kids because of his boundless energy and youthful enthusiasm. Bob teaches private lessons and is a key component in our summer camps, summer Pee Wee, and Saturday Bronze program. Bob resides in Binghamton with his wife, Kris.
Ryan Cummings- Teaching Pro
In his second year at BTC, Ryan brings a wealth of tennis experience to the staff. A life long player, Ryan has been teaching private and group lessons for many years and is PTR certified. Ryan's new wave techniques and positive attitude help keep BTC current and moving forward. Ryan's philosophy embraces the physical and mental benefits of the game, and his lessons radiate his passion and commitment. Ryan runs our junior ladder and USTA play days, and he plays a key role in junior and adult programming here at BTC. Ryan is the director of Youth Tennis in the Town of Vestal, where he resides and is married to his wife, Amanda.
Trace Sladish- Office Manager
With us since 2009, Trace runs the show with charm, wit, and warm personality. Whether it's serving a member's tennis request or serving up a slice of cake and ice-cream, Trace always serves an Ace with our customers. She keeps her "desk peeps" in line and is an essential part of BTC's team and success. A strong 3.5 player, she can been seen "filling in" groups missing a 4th and more than holding her own.