Nick Bollettieri

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Nick Bollettieri
Nick Bollettieri Wiki.jpg
Bollettieri at the 2006 US Open
Born(1931-07-31)July 31, 1931
Pelham, New York, U.S.
DiedDecember 4, 2022(2022-12-04) (aged 91)
Bradenton, Florida, U.S.
Int. Tennis HoF2014 (member page)
Official websiteOfficial website
Coaching career (20)

Nicholas James Bollettieri (July 31, 1931[1] – December 4, 2022)[2] was an American tennis coach. He pioneered the concept of a tennis boarding school, and helped develop many leading tennis players during the past decades, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Mary Pierce. He also worked with players such as Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchová, Jelena Janković, Nicole Vaidišová, Sabine Lisicki, Sara Errani, Tommy Haas, Max Mirnyi, Xavier Malisse, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova, Marcelo Ríos, and Kei Nishikori. Bollettieri was also a tour traveling coach, the last time having been for and with Boris Becker for a span of two years.[3]

Bollettieri was mentioned and/or profiled in several television series and documentary films, including Jason Kohn's documentary film Love Means Zero, which was premiered at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2017.[4]


Born in Pelham, New York, to immigrant Italian parents, Nick Bollettieri attended Pelham Memorial High School. He was a charter member of the Beta Lambda Chapter of the Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity and he graduated in 1949. In 1953, he graduated from Spring Hill College (Mobile, Alabama) with a degree in philosophy. After serving with the United States Army and attaining the rank of First Lieutenant in 1956, he turned to teaching tennis after dropping out of the University of Miami Law School.[3] Bollettieri's first students included Brian Gottfried. His first formal tennis camp was at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.[5]


Though he had only dabbled in the sport in high school, Bollettieri was the tennis director at Doral Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico in the late 1960s when it was a Rockefeller resort.[6]

Moving to Longboat Key, Florida, in 1978, Bollettieri served as an instructor for the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort. In the early 1980s, Bollettieri opened the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (NBTA) near Bradenton, Florida, on 40 acres (16 ha) in unincorporated Manatee County on the west coast of Florida, about fifty miles south of Tampa.[6]

Seeing a template for other sports, International Management Group (IMG) bought the academy from Bollettieri in 1987, but Bollettieri continued to manage and play a pivotal role in the development of the tennis academy and ancillary programs.[7] In his final years Bollettieri coached top-tier players at the academy, and spent most of his time in Bradenton.


Bollettieri continued to teach and hold public speaking engagements worldwide, including a visit to teach students at Tri-State Athletic Club in Evansville, Indiana. He was also the instruction editor of Tennis magazine. Over the course of his life, Bollettieri wrote two memoirs: My Aces, My Faults with Dick Schaap in 1996, and Bollettieri: Changing the Game in 2014.[6]

Bollettieri also wrote a 2001 instructional book, Bollettieri's Tennis Handbook, which covers everything from stroke techniques and strategies to skill development and physical and mental conditioning.[8] Additionally, he was featured in the Nick Bollettieri DVD Collection, a set of ten instructional DVDs that cover a wide range of practice methods.[9]

Notable students[edit]

The earliest Bollettieri pupils to reach No. 1 were Monica Seles, Jim Courier, and Andre Agassi.[10] Later, Marcelo Ríos climbed to the top while associated with Bollettieri.[11] The Williams sisters had a long-standing relationship with Bollettieri, having visited the academy for years, and they have often prepared for Grand Slams there.[12] Mary Pierce and Anna Kournikova also trained at the academy.[13] More recent students who trained with Bollettieri include Maria Sharapova (who moved from Russia at the age of nine) and Jelena Janković (from Belgrade, Serbia, aged 12); both became no. 1.[14] Max Mirnyi, who trained with Bollettieri[15] for 17 years, was ranked world number 1 in men's doubles. Bollettieri's most famous coaching roles while travelling as a tour coach were with Andre Agassi from 1986 until Bollettieri ended the arrangement following the 1993 Wimbledon tournament,[16] and with Boris Becker from December 1993 to August 1995.[17] Before becoming a wildlife-related personality, Frank Cuesta had also attended Bollettieri's academy, and became a tennis coach himself in Thailand to open one of Bollettieri's academies there.[18][19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Bollettieri was married eight times, and had seven children.[21] He was survived by his eighth wife, Cindi Eaton, who he had married on April 22, 2004. The same year, they founded Camp Kaizen, a nonprofit fitness camp.[22]

Bollettieri died at home in Bradenton, Florida, on December 4, 2022, at age 91.[23][24]


On May 18, 2008, Bollettieri was honored at the New York College of Health Professions with an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters for his contribution to the world of sports, fitness, and wellness.[25]

In 2014, he was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[26] The following year, Bollettieri became the first white man to be inducted into the Black Tennis Hall of Fame.[27]

General and cited references[edit]

  • Barlett, Mark (2012). The Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy: A late twentieth-century history of tennis, youth specialization, and entrepreneurship (Master of Arts thesis). Iowa State University.


  1. ^ "Nick Bollettieri, who coached tennis icons including Serena & Agassi, passes away at age 91". The Economic Times. December 6, 2022. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  2. ^ "Nick Bollettieri, famed tennis coach, dies aged 91". Ben Morse. CNN. December 5, 2022. Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Nick Bollettieri: Celebrated coach still going strong at 82". The Independent. June 18, 2014. Archived from the original on June 19, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  4. ^ "One of legendary coach Nick Bollettieri's final interviews as he reflected on his tennis legacy". Kevin Palmer. Tennis365. December 5, 2022. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  5. ^ Kotinek, Gordon (2013). Tennis: The Game. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. p. 15. ISBN 978-1489512161.
  6. ^ a b c Goldstein, Richard (December 5, 2022). "Nick Bollettieri, Groomer of Tennis Champions, Dies at 91". New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  7. ^ "IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis Program". Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  8. ^ Bollettieri, Nick (2001). Bollettieri's Tennis Handbook. Human Kinetics. pp. 456. ISBN 978-0-7360-4036-5.
  9. ^ Bollettieri, Nick (2005). Nick Bollettieri DVD Collection. pp. 519 minutes. ISBN 978-0-7360-7000-3.
  10. ^ "TENNIS.COM PODCAST: AN IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH NICK BOLLETTIERI". December 20, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  11. ^ "Nick Bollettieri: ´Marcelo Rios was the greatest talent I Ever had´". Tennis World USA. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Harwitt, Sandra. "Serena, Venus, Maria share this part of their journey to tennis greatness". USA TODAY. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  13. ^ Sheena McKenzie, for (November 9, 2015). "Anna Kournikova: How 'marketing monster' seduced world". CNN. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "Garber: Bollettieri one of the most prolific and effective coaches in history". September 6, 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  15. ^ "The Legacy Of Max 'The Beast' Mirnyi". Andrew Eichenholz. Atptour. December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  16. ^ "Andre Agassi leads tributes as tennis world pays its respects to coaching great Nick Bollettieri". PlanetSport. December 6, 2022. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  17. ^ "Becker mourns the third ex-coach in two years". Switzerland Times. December 6, 2022. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  18. ^ Pascual, Alfredo; Villarreal, Antonio (February 24, 2019). "La verdadera historia de Frank de la Jungla donde lo menos salvaje son las serpientes". El Confidencial (in Spanish). Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  19. ^ Gallo, Isabel (October 2, 2010). "Dialogando con la jungla". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  20. ^ "La salvaje vida de Frank de la jungla". Cuatro (in Spanish). August 23, 2011. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  21. ^ Goldstein, Richard (December 5, 2022). "Nick Bollettieri, Nurturer of Tennis Champions, Dies at 91". The New York Times.
  22. ^ Robson, Douglas (July 15, 2012). "Nick Bollettieri still going, still controversial, at 80". USA Today. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  23. ^ Ciotti, Lorenzo (December 5, 2022). "Nick Bollettieri has passed away: the farewell of a tennis legend". Tennis World. Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  24. ^ Morse, Ben (December 5, 2022). "Nick Bollettieri, famed tennis coach, dies aged 91". CNN. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  25. ^ Abeysekara, Anuradha (January 24, 2017). "Legendary coach Bollettieri to uplift Lankan tennis". Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  26. ^ "ITF Tennis – ABOUT – Articles – Davenport elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
  27. ^ "Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri – It's time for big John Isner to". The Independent. July 2, 2015. Archived from the original on June 19, 2022. Retrieved January 8, 2019.

External links[edit]