May 11th, 2021
Florida’s Bohannon, Richards Named America’s Top Coach
Sarasota’s Jackie Bohannon and Orlando’s John A. Richards III have been crowned the winners of Tennis Channel’s America’s Top Coach contest. The search for the best tennis coaches in America was conducted nationwide to celebrate the launch of Tennis Channel’s “TOPSPIN” newsletter.
Winner – Jackie Bohannon, Director of Tennis at Bird Key Yacht Club, Sarasota
Bohannon, who is certified by the USPTA, PTR and Tennis Canada, discovered her passion for coaching while attending Stetson University and began her teaching career with Nike Tennis Camps. A Sarasota native, she has volunteered and donated lessons, clinics, and equipment to Junior League, Boys & Girls Club, Southside Elementary, Selah Freedom, Operation Kindness benefitting Wounded Warriors, and Save the Seabirds. She tailors her coaching with care to each individual, especially when teaching players with autism, or training an athlete for the Special Olympics. She offers free evaluations and socials each week to make it easy and inviting for new players to try tennis and stick with it. Bohannon makes sure all players, whether competitive or social, have events they can enjoy and always have fun on the court.
Winner – John A. Richards III, Director of Tennis at the Fort Gatlin Tennis Center, Orlando
Richards, a USPTA certified professional, works hard to grow the game of tennis in all areas including introducing tennis to disadvantaged youth, Special Olympics programs and college placement programs. He is the Head Tennis Coach of Special Olympics for Orange County, Fla., the Boone High School Tennis Coach, and the President of Central Florida Tennis Management Associates. He heads the National African American D&I Task force for USPTA and is a member of USTA Florida’s Amplify, where he works to bridge the gap between the African American community and the game of tennis. Richards especially enjoys his work with the Posh Rock Tennis Foundation (NJTL), which he created to help change the trajectory of Central Florida youth. Their comprehensive programming promotes physical, educational, and life skills that prepare their players for success.
Bohannon and Richards will each receive a $500 gift card and a commemorative Tiffany & Co. crystal tennis ball. Both will be saluted on Tennis Channel and on the network’s website, Tennis.com, its Tennis Magazine and in TOPSPIN.
“We congratulate Jackie and John for winning Tennis Channel’s ‘America’s Top Coach’ contest, said Jennifer Arianas, executive director, Tennis Industry Relations, Tennis Channel. “They are perfect examples of the many coaches around America who change lives in the communities they serve in addition to teaching the sport they love. We were overwhelmed with the enthusiastic support for this contest from our viewers and TOPSPIN readers and look forward to recognizing Jackie and John on the network.”
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For more on the Florida winners, click here.