Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri passed away at his home in Florida on Sunday night at the age of 91.
One of the pillars of tennis coaching over the last half-century, Bollettieri was a Hall of Fame coach who coached the likes of Andre Agassi and Monica Seles, as well as founding his own tennis academy which laid the foundation for the development of young junior tennis players.
Bollettieri, who was born in Pelham, New York, had been battling a number of health issues recently, and his manager Steve Shulla said he received so many messages and notes of kindness from his former players and those he has impacted.
“When he became sick, he got so many wonderful messages from former students and players and coaches,” Shulla said. “Many came to visit him. He got videos from others. It was wonderful. He touched so many lives and he had a great send off.”
Bollettieri launched his academy, the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida in 1978, and was then purchased a decade later by IMG.
“Tennis wouldn't be where it is today without Nick's influence," said Jimmy Arias, IMG Academy director of tennis and a former student of Bollettieri. "His tennis academy, which I had the privilege of growing up within, not only served as a launching pad for many tennis greats but evolved into an institution that has had a profound impact on the development of athletes across many sports at all levels.”