SMT Announces Sudden Passing of Pioneering Tennis Statistician and Director of Sports Analytics, Leo Levin

Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 30, 2020 – SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology), the leading innovator in real-time data delivery,

graphics presentation and video enhancement solutions for the sports and entertainment industries, is saddened

to announce the death of longtime employee Leo Levin, Director of Sports Analytics. Levin suffered a fatal heart

attack on Dec. 19 at his home in Jacksonville, Fla. He was 62.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Leo Levin, a well-known and much-loved pillar of SMT,”

Gerard J. Hall, founder and CEO of SMT, said. “Although it is impossible to properly account for the positive

contributions that Leo made to SMT over his 33-year service to the company, I can say that Leo was an industry-

recognized Titan in the tennis world, having provided analytical insights and in-person broadcast support at

well over 120 Grand Slam events.

“On a personal front, Leo’s infectious sense of humor, good nature, intelligence, analytical acumen, and

encyclopedic knowledge of tennis were his trademark, as was his reputation for baking and generously sharing

around the globe, always with a twinkle in his eye, the world’s greatest – and likely heaviest – brownies. Leo

famously once quipped, “On a scale of 1 to 10, I am a Levin.’ How appropriate that Leo provided us with such an

insightful, succinct, and humorous account of who he was in just 12 syllables.”

Levin’s love of tennis sprouted in Davis, Calif., where he was a ranked junior player in Northern California and a

member of Foothill College’s California State Championship team. It was in 1982 at Foothills College when Levin

began to chart his teammates’ matches and provide statistical analyses that helped them triumph over higher

ranked opponents. While tracking these statistics, Levin conceived the concept of forced vs. unforced errors, terms

widely used in most sports today.

In 1983, Levin was hired by Palo Alto-based CompuTennis to help develop the first computerized statistical system.

The quantitative tennis coaching tool was initially used by top junior coaches, college teams and the USTA to chart

matches for the four national junior teams. Soon, broadcasters at virtually every major tournament began relying

on the system’s printouts to convey constantly updated statistics to television audiences.

Levin was soon a familiar face in the TV booth at major tennis events, sharing insights with sportscasters including

Cliff Drysdale, Fred Stolle, Dick Enberg, Bud Collins, Tony Trabert, John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Mary Carillo.

In 1987, Levin joined IDS (Information and Display Systems), the first hire for the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company

that became known for developing the first electronic on-court graphic display boards in tennis. Named Director of

Product Development for the analytics and displays company, Levin traveled the world, providing scoring,

statistical and administrative services to every Grand Slam and major tennis event. In 2012, IDS was acquired by

SMT and Levin was named Director of Sports Analytics.

SMT’s tennis portfolio grew to include data integration, virtual insertion technology, and a wider offering of displays,

including ribbon boards and “superwall” displays.

“Leo was passionate about tennis and desired to be the very best at his profession, and he clearly achieved this

distinction,” said Rallis Pappas, co-founder of IDS and SMT Corporate Vice President. “Leo was able to provide

unmatched perspectives and analysis that made him one of the utmost respected authorities in the sport. He was

a key part of our history as a company and was critically involved in helping SMT deliver the best products and

services. More importantly, Leo was a terrific human being and fostered meaningful relationships with everyone

he interacted with the world over. Leo taught us many lessons and demonstrated valued leadership through his

humor and generosity.”

Levin worked onsite at more than 120 tennis majors, and was universally respected and liked by players, coaches,

commentators, writers, producers and executives. He played an integral role in the development of SMT’s

statistical, tennis information and multi-media products and services, including serve speed systems and the

creation of the ATP Tour MatchFacts System.

“Leo belonged to a special class of sport experts who can define a style of play, analyze a performance, define a

strategy, describe a tactic, and put it all together in a very simplistic perspective for anyone to understand,” said

longtime coworker and friend Olivier Lorin, SMT Director of Business Development. “He had a unique gift that he

gave freely to the world of tennis for almost 40 years. Leo was happiest on a tennis court, hitting balls with one of the

rackets in his ’80s-era collection. I cherish my 28 years of working, joking, laughing, playing and sharing with Leo.”

It was sportscaster, former tennis professional and friend Carillo who nicknamed Levin “the Doctor,” a moniker

that Levin joked made his mom proud, as she always wanted him to be a doctor. Carillo and Levin shared the

booth at the U.S. Open and other major tennis events.

Since his death, tributes from Levin’s colleagues in the tennis universe have described him as “a true champion” of

tennis, “generous with his research,” and a “trailblazer.”

“Leo Levin was a true champion of our sport,” Billie Jean King wrote on Twitter. “He worked tirelessly behind the

scenes, always had the answers and made others look good. Our conversations at Wimbledon with Mary Carillo

are some of my fondest memories.”

Chris Evert wrote: “No one loved the sport as much as he did, no one was as generous with his research as he was.

I will miss his humor, his wit, and his smile.”

“Heartbreaking news,” Tracy Austin added. “Leo was THE trailblazer for stats in the tennis world. Leo’s

understanding of the game made him invaluable to TV networks and commentators. Brilliant, kind – RIP, Leo.”

Levin is survived by his wife, Terri Coleman; his daughter, Anna; his mother, Marilyn Wells; his sister, Maureen

Julin, her husband, Doug, and their son, Jeremy. Services were held Dec. 24 at New Center Memorial Park

Cemetery in Jacksonville, Fla.

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