Instructor Coaches Entire Town
By Vincent Liu
Coach Tony Cherone is an amazing person. He coaches tennis for the whole entire town of Collierville, Tennessee. The Collierville High School Dragons also happen to have the largest school tennis team in the south, consisting of over ninety tennis players. Cherone also runs the local middle school tennis programs and also “runs almost all tennis-related activities for the Memphis suburb, giving him the title of “Director of Tennis” for the town of Collierville.” (Sports Illustrated (Kids)) He is legendary and has a lot of determination, he does pretty much everything tennis related. “He heads clinics, private lessons, and school practices for players ranging from 4 to 70 years old. According to Cherone, he has coached “over 4,000 players,” and has seen a large increase in the number of tennis players in Collierville since his arrival eleven years ago.” (Sports Illustrated (Kids))
Cherone’s path to becoming a coach was unexpected. He didn’t actually want to be a coach at first. He started playing at the age of 11. Years later, he challenged and beat a pro player at a tennis club in South Carolina while on vacation. The resort immediately offered him a job but Cherone declined. His win did land him a job in Memphis to coach juniors, though. He says becoming a coach was an “accident,” but he fell in love with coaching after his first day.
Cherone has made a BIG impact on Collierville and maybe some impact on the world. He is making the sport of tennis more and more liked and popular. There aren’t many professional tennis players in the U.S. “Tennis is structured to accommodate kids of all skill levels in competition, giving everyone a chance to play competitively”, said Cherone. Additionally, tennis can be played recreationally throughout one's life, making it “such a great sport,” in Cherone’s words.When asked why he wants to spend so much time coaching, he always says: “I get more joy in seeing the successes of my students than any of my own successes.”