Lenny Schloss is taking his Eye Coach technique into a partnership with Billie Jean King.
A former University of Tennessee All-American, Schloss said Friday he has given Family Circle Tennis Center notice that he will not renew his contract as the director of Family Circle's popular Instinctive Tennis Academy when his current contract expires at the end of June.
"After 25 years as a former coach and player, I've made the decision to be a full-time partner with Billie Jean King," Schloss said about his new duties as CEO and founder of Billie Jean King's Eye Coach.
"Billie Jean believes it is the fastest way to train. You can practice at home between lessons."
The King/Schloss partnership already has taken the BJK Eye Coach to several countries outside the United States, with 16 U.S.-based clubs already signed up. Schloss expects 50-100 clubs to enroll in the program by the end of 2014.
Schloss will continue to reside in Charleston while he travels the globe promoting his unique eye and tennis ball-contact coordinating mechanism.
In the aftermath of Schloss' departure, Family Circle Tennis Center has announced an array of big names coming to town to join Bryan Minton, who served as director of elite and high performance tennis for ITA and coached local touring pro Shelby Rogers from 2009-11.
"For the past five years, ITA has built an exceptional tennis program at the Family Circle Tennis Center," said Rob Eppelsheimer, Family Circle's director of facilities and tennis development. "As Lenny Schloss shifts his focus 100 percent to development and marketing of the Billie Jean King's Eye Coach, we would like to thank Lenny and his team for the tennis programming foundation that ITA has built."
Starting July 1, renown Atlanta area teaching pro Jeff Wilson's MWTennis will replace Instinctive Tennis Academy at Family Circle Tennis Center. Wilson will serve as CEO of the new academy, with Minton signing up as its chief operating officer.
Wilson operated Alpharetta (Ga.) Tennis Academy and also has served as coach at Duke and Georgia Tech, as well as coached numerous ATP and WTA players.
Former Maria Sharapova coach/one-time world's No. 64-ranked Michael Joyce will become director of professional tennis for MWTennis. Family Circle Tennis Center will service novice tennis players as well as become the home base for touring professionals.
Shelby Rogers is on a six-match losing streak after going 0-5 at Miami qualifying, Family Circle Cup main draw, and then first-round losses as the No. 1 seed in U.S. Pro Circuit events in Pelham, Ala., Dothan, Ala., and Charlottesville, Va.
The 21-year-old Charleston pro, now ranked 113th in the world, isn't expected to be the top seed this coming week when she plays in the $50,000 U.S. Pro Circuit event at Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
Indian Harbour will be the third of a three-tournament segment U.S. Pro Circuit Har-Tru French Open main draw wild-card playoff. But with Dothan champion Grace Min winning her first two matches in Charlottesville, Rogers has been eliminated from the race for the French Open wild card she won a year ago.
The 70 WTA Tour ranking points Rogers won for capturing the title at Charlottesville last year are scheduled to rotate off the WTA Tour computer on Sunday night as Rogers' world ranking is projected to drop into the 130s.
-- The annual Charleston County Schools Superintendent's Cup tennis tournament is scheduled for next Saturday at Charleston Tennis Center, Maybank Tennis Center and The Citadel. Registration will be held at 8 a.m. at Charleston Tennis Center. Matches will be played from 9 a.m.-noon at the three tennis centers.
-- SCISA will begin its state playoffs on Monday, with two-time defending Class AAA champion Porter-Gaud and perennial power Hilton Head Prep the top seeds in the lower and upper brackets. Porter-Gaud will open play Monday at home against Cardinal Newman, while Pinewood Prep will visit Wilson Hall. Palmetto Christian is the No. 1 seed in the Class A-AA upper bracket and will play host to St. Andrew's on Monday.
-- USTA South Carolina is trying to recruit young professionals ages 22-35 to play league tennis on a team sponsored by a local company, with team members being encouraged to socialize after matches, according to Leigh Hewlett Greene, the association's manager of membership growth initiatives and community development. She can be reached at www.sctennis.com (or 800-644-7282).
Reach James Beck at email@example.com.
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