Top Player Development Coach
Rozzell has been committed to the goal of developing top performing junior tennis players for over two decades, and his dedication on and off the court has improved the lives of hundreds of children in Maryland and the Washington DC area. I have known Rozzell for 20 years, and he is not only a phenomenal coach, but also a mentor and friend to each one of his students. He has a passion for teaching the game of tennis and at the same time understands the difficulty of balancing tennis with other priorities such as school and family as well as the financial strain that parents face in funding their children's tennis career. To this end, Rozzell provides full scholarships for students who cannot afford to pay for lessons, provides guidance and support to those coping with family and emotional struggles, and pushes each student to reach his or her full potential on the tennis court.
Rozzell's record developing top performing junior tennis players is remarkable. As the Director of Tennis and Head Pro at the Washington Tennis Foundation, Rozzell was responsible for training players such as Stacey Martin, Jeri Ingram, and Shenay Perry, all of whom obtained top 100 rankings on the WTA circuit. Dozens of his students also went on to receive tennis and academic scholarships to Division I and Ivy League universities such as Duke, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Stanford. He continued his coaching career at the Junior Tennis Champions Center at College Park, where he was one of the original founders and a senior tennis professional. More recently, Rozzell founded the Ace Tennis Academy in Wheaton, Maryland - a high performance tennis and mentoring academy that trains and encourages students to succeed on and off the court. Of the 60 students currently enrolled in the Academy, 20 of the students have top 10 rankings in the Mid-Atlantic section and more than half of those students are ranked in the top 100 nationally.
I first met Rozzell when I was 8 years old. I had just been selected into the Reebok Academy at the Washington Tennis Foundation and Rozzell was the Director of Tennis. Although I had only been playing tennis for a few months, Rozzell saw potential and was able to quickly develop my game to a point where I was achieving success in the 10 and under division. Through continued training with Rozzell, I became a top 10 player in the 14, 16 and 18 and under age divisions and went on to play the number one singles position on the varsity women's tennis team at MIT. As a coach, Rozzell is patient but demands perfection. He requires each student to have a total understanding of stroke mechanics and footwork as well as tactics and mental strategy. He communicates with rare clarity and a keen insight, which can be attributed to his experience as a touring professional player and coach at the start of his career. Rozzell is just as dedicated to the students' well being as he is to their tennis game. For students with poor family conditions, he is a father figure. If a student does not have a ride to practice, he will pick them up, if a talented player does not have the funds to compete in a tournament, he will pay and drive the student to his tournament, and if a student is performing poorly in school, he will be the first person in the counselor's office. Rozzell puts great effort into connecting current and former students and creating a growing tennis family where former academy graduates are role models for the younger students. The willingness of former players to give back to the current program and participate with the current students speaks volumes about their appreciation for the program and the value the program has added to their lives.
When Rozzell approached me earlier this year about directing his Academy, I could not refuse. His track record of success in developing top ranked juniors and dedication to creating a supportive environment for students to mature academically, personally, and in their tennis game is unmatched. I am personally grateful for his efforts and owe many of my achievements after graduating from Rozzell's program to the confidence I gained from working hard and succeeding on the tennis court from an early age. Rozzell is an asset to the tennis community, a wonderful representative of USTA tennis, and will continue to make a significant positive impact on the lives of those children who he coaches.