A national honor has been bestowed to a Virgin Islander by the Tennis Channel, which chose John A. Richards III, also known as “Allie,” as one of the 50 best tennis coaches in America. He can move on to the next round in the competition of the Top 10 Tennis Coaches in America and then become the Top Tennis Coach in America if Virgin Islanders, as a community, take the time to vote for him.
Each person can vote once a day every day until April 11 for him to make it into the top 10 round and then once a day every day starting April 19 for him to move on to the Top Tennis Coach in America. Voting can be done by going online, on your phone, tablet or computer, to www.tennis.com/pro-game/2021/02/top-coach-contest-voting/92780/#gallery?group=380530
Richards is a former junior player representing the U.S. Virgin Islands in the International Tennis Federation competition. He has competed in the Davis Cup Competition representing the U.S. Virgin Islands in Cuba and South America. He has competed in the World University Games representing the USVI in Beijing, China. He also represented the USVI in Canada in the Pan American Games. Richards was on the Florida A&M University’s tennis team while in college, and he coached the women’s tennis team for two years before moving to Orlando, Florida.
Currently, Richards is president of Central Florida Tennis Management Associates along with his brother, Albert Richards, who is vice president. He is director of tennis at Ft. Gatlin Tennis Center. Also, he is vice president of the Posh Rock Tennis Foundation.
This foundation is a 501(c)3; its mission is to provide comprehensive tennis programs that change the trajectory for the youth and promotes physical, educational and life skills to prepare and empower them for success. He is head tennis coach for Special Olympics Florida in Orange County. As a Special Olympics tennis coach, he has traveled as far away as Abu Dhabi and Dubai. His player in this event achieved a silver medal in the singles and gold medals in the doubles and mixed doubles.
Richards is also a tennis coach for Boone High School. He was selected to head the National African America Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for USPTA.
In 2014, John and Albert Richards conducted tennis clinics at the Doris Hodge Sub Base Tennis Facility on St. Thomas.