Craig Bell

Craig Bell, USPTA Master Professional, is currently the Director of Tennis at Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas, Texas and has been employed at Bent Tree since February of 1997.  Craig has served as the Director of Tennis at some of the finest clubs in Texas as he has been employed at The University Club, Dallas in the Galleria (1990-1995) and Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio (1988-1990).

Craig started playing tennis at age fourteen (1974) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at Woodlake Racquet Club and has enjoyed the game ever since.  While in Oklahoma City, Craig got his first job in tennis at age fourteen, working with USPTA Professional, Roger Jack at Woodlake Racquet Club - learning the tennis business from the ground up.  After playing high school tennis at Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City (1978), he played Jr. College tennis in Oklahoma, Seminole Jr. College (1979) and Oscar Rose Jr. College (1980) and finished his collegiate career at Weber State University (1984) in Ogden, Utah.  Since his playing days, starting in 1974, Craig has won various high school; college; and USTA events in singles and doubles play.  He has been selected to All State, All Conference and All Region teams.  Craig also has the distinction of having his serve recorded at 131 mph at the Jansen Fast Serve Contest in the mid 80's.

Craig started his teaching career in Ogden, Utah with USPTA Professional, Brad Lowe at the Ogden Athletic Club and with USPTA Professional, Keith Cox at Weber State University in the early and mid 80's.  After working in Utah, Craig moved to Oklahoma City in the summer of 1984 and worked with USPTA Master Professional, Phil Lancaster at the Greens Country Club.  In 1986, Craig and his wife moved to Irving, Texas where he worked with former USPTA Professional, Zach Smith at the Four Seasons Hotel and Resort - home of the Byron Nelson Golf Classic.  Craig enjoys teaching all levels of play - everyone from beginner to advanced levels.  He has worked with numerous, state, regional and nationally ranked players throughout his over thirty-five year plus teaching career.  

Craig is also actively involved in the tennis communities that he has lived in as well.  While in San Antonio he was the President of the San Antonio Tennis Professional's Association (1989) and in Dallas has served the Dallas Professional Tennis Association, four times as President (1992, 2000, 2005, 2006) and once as Secretary (1991).  For his years of service to the Dallas tennis community, in October 2007, he was awarded the Dallas Tennis Association's "Pro Volunteer of the Year Award."  For his years of service to the state of Texas, he has been awarded the USPTA Texas Division “Professional of the Year” in 2009 and in 2014.  Most recently Craig in February 2020, was awarded the USPTA “Texas Proud” Award that recognizes a member who exemplifies integrity, respect and passion for tennis on and off the court.

Currently, Craig is currently volunteering with the USPTA Texas Division as the Regional Vice-President starting in 2020 after serving the previous two years as President.  He has held various positions within the USPTA Texas Board as Conference Chairperson (2009-2017), Treasurer (2011-2012); 1st Vice-President (2013-2014); Regional Vice-President (2015-2017 & 2020- ); and President (2018-2019).  Once again for his years of service to the Dallas tennis community, Craig was inducted to the Tut Bartzen Hall of Fame in February, 2017.  

Through Craig’s skills on and off the court he has helped raise hundreds of thousands (quite possibly millions) of dollars for charity events whether playing as a pro-am participant, generously donating to charity events or organizing and running tournaments on behalf of charitable organizations.  

In 1999, Craig started writing the DPTA E-News which he wrote, edited and published on a bi-monthly basis until 2009.  The DPTA E-News was an extremely popular newsletter that was sent to over 500 tennis teaching professionals in the southwest part of the U.S.  The DPTA E-News ultimately has turned into the very popular Tennis News You Can Almost Use which is emailed on a monthly basis to close to 5,000 tennis professionals and amateur players all across the U.S.

Other accomplishments and experiences that Craig has been involved with throughout his life are following:  was the Secretary of the Student Body at Oscar Rose Jr. College (1981); Publisher-Co-Founder of the Oklahoma City Racquet News (1986-87); has had a Tennis Tip Published in Tennis Magazine (1988); Editor-Publisher of the San Antonio's Tennis Pro's Favorite Drill Book (1989); invented the Ball Gobbler - a device used for picking up tennis balls (1988); Coach of the USTA Area Training Center in San Antonio (1988-1989) and in Dallas (2002-2005); USTA Schools Clinician (1988-present);  Who's Who Among Rising Young Americans (1992); ran the White Rock Marathon (1993); Cubmaster of Pack 1004 (Plano, Texas) from 1997-2001; Special Olympics Tennis Coach Volunteer (1999-present); Tournament Director - Helps International Pro-Am (2001-2010); Dallas Tennis Cup Tournament Director (2005-2007); Tournament Director (2008-2010) of the Susan G. Komen’s “Think Pink Playday” held at Bent Tree Country Club – to date the largest tennis event(s) in the United States benefitting Breast Cancer Awareness; USTA Level 1 Certified Tennis Coach (2004); hiked 65 miles (2005) at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico; and rode in the Hotter N’ Hell 100 bike race (2009 & 2010) where he cycled 102 miles in one day.  In 2011-2012, Craig organized, planned, fundraised and shipped over 6,600 donated tennis items to the Victoria Tennis Academy benefitting less fortunate kids in the slums of Kisumu City, Kenya.  Craig has recently co-authored a book (2015) with Dr. Joy Macci entitled, “Baby Boomer Tennis, Legends, Lessons, Links to Win in Tennis & Life.”  Craig is also the Tournament Director and Organizer of the very popular and successful Bent Tree Country Club Late Nite Indoor Doubles Classic (started in 2003).  In 2015, he had amateur tennis matches associated with his Late Nite Indoor Doubles Classic streamed “live” online via UStream for the first time in the history of amateur tennis and has thus formed a “live” stream production company called Tex-Mex Productions that has “live streamed” all types of events besides tennis such as Pickleball tournaments, a Ninja Warrior national competition, a Dunk Ninja event, Musical groups, Award shows and Soccer matches.  Through Tex-Mex Productions, Craig’s live streaming has reached all 50 states and up to 30 countries to date with right at 500,000 views through the various events and activities that have been broadcast across UStream and Facebook Live platforms.   In the summer of 2019, Craig started co-hosting a tennis themed podcast called, “At The Net” Podcast which focuses on delivering all kinds of tennis content, on the court and off the court, to listeners in the tennis community through various podcast platforms and At The Net Podcast Facebook live page. 

Craig has been a member of the USPTA since 1985 with the designation of Master Professional (2013) – one of only 170 tennis professionals that have ever received this designation; a member of the Professional Tennis Registry since 1992 with the rating of Professional; a Master Racquet Technician with the United States Racquet Stringers Association since 1984 and a Life member of the USTA since 1985.  Craig currently serves on the Yonex Racquet Sports National Advisory Staff, as of 2012.  He formerly was on the National Advisory Staff’s of Prince Racquet Sports from 2005-2011 and with Reebok’s National Advisory Staff from 1995-2004.  

His greatest accomplishment is being married since August, 1983 to his wife Cindy whom he met while playing collegiate tennis in Utah.  Craig and Cindy currently have four children - three daughters and one son.  His son, Chris was a sectionally and nationally ranked jr. player and both dad and son have won the Cotton Bowl Tennis Tournament in the Father-Son division in 2007 and 2009.  Craig enjoys all sports, especially Australian Rules Football with his favorite team being the Carlton Blues.  He is also a 6th generation member of the Chickasaw Indian Nation with his relatives being enrolled on the original Dawes Tribal Rolls in the early 1900’s and his 5th Great Grandfather being Levi Colbert who was Chief of the Chickasaw Nation in the 1820’s to 1834 until the time of his death. 

Craig really enjoys the "Great Game of Tennis" and is appreciative of all the benefits it has afforded him on and off the court.