Hall of Fame tennis coach Nick Bolletteri died Sunday night, his manager Steve Shulla said. Associated Press. He was 91 years old.
Bolletieri died at his home in Florida after a series of health problems.
“When he got sick, he got so many wonderful messages from former students, players and coaches. Many people came to visit him. He got the video from others,” Shulla said. “It was amazing. He touched so many lives and he has a wonderful departure. “
The renowned tennis coach has worked with the sport’s top players for more than 60 years, helping develop 10 world No. 1 players, including Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Maria Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams, among others.
Bolletieri was known for his passion for the game, his intelligent philosophy and his unusual teaching style. Despite never playing professionally, he became the fourth coach inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014.
The coaching legend founded the Bollettieri Tennis Academy – now IMG Academy – in 1978 in Bradenton, Florida. In May 2022, Bolletieri became the first inductee into the IMG Academy Hall of Fame.
IMG Academy honored Bolletieri in a video tribute to his legacy on Monday.
Tim Pernetti, president of IMG Academy Bradenton (a division of IMG Academy), said Bollettieri continues to mentor and coach young student-athletes in his final days.
“Anyone who knew Nick knows how much he loved developing potential in young people, tennis and coaching this academy.” Pernetti said. “Even in his final days, you can often find him on campus coaching and mentoring young student-athletes and staff with the same passion and enthusiasm as he did in his 20s. Our hearts go out to his wife Cindy and his children. He has had a lasting and lasting effect on all of us.”
IMG Academy Director of Tennis Jimmy Arias, one of Bollettieri’s original students, said, “Tennis would not be what it is today without Nick’s influence. His tennis academy, which I have had the honor of growing up, has not only been the launching pad for many great tennis players, but has become an institution that has profoundly influenced the development of athletes in many sports at all levels. .
The tennis community continues to share memories and condolences on social media following the news of Bollettieri’s death.
On Monday, Billie Jean King tweeted, to write“Our sport has lost one of its most passionate coaches and advocates. Nick was always positive and managed to get the best out of everyone he worked with.
Former Women’s World No. 1 Chris Evert tweeted, “RIP Nick Bollettieri. Besides being the greatest coach, you were so kind to me, my parents and my siblings…that meant more to me than anything, you had a big heart and a zest for life.
Bolletieri is survived by his wife Cindy and children.