Clint Johnson is the Assistant Pro at the Pelham Racquet Club. He is a native of Gardendale, Alabama and discovered tennis in the seventh grade, when he didn’t make the baseball team. Clint fell in love with the game of tennis because unlike baseball, “it was always my turn.”
He played college tennis at Gadsden State and at The University of North Alabama. Clint worked a short time in the corporate world before realizing his true passion was tennis.
Clint is a USPTA Elite Certified Pro and enjoys sharing his love of the game with others, particularly junior players. Clint came to Pelham three years ago with the goal of creating a high performance junior program and currently has a female player ranked number one in the state for graduating seniors and a male player who finished last year at number two in the state in the 16s age group. He plans to take the program to the next level and give his players the opportunity to play college tennis.
The new Assistant Pro expressed the following when asked about his vision for the program, “I’m excited to continue to grow the program. The added opportunities of going into and working with the schools, should allow us to see significant growth in our younger kids. I would also like to try to bring in some tournaments that maybe some of the kids that are just starting out could play in. I’m hoping that with that growth, we will continue to see the program in many of the tournaments in state and throughout the southeast. With that continuing to give our kids a chance to play tennis at the next level.”
Clint and his wife Sara have two daughters. Emmaline is two years old and Molly Rose is five months.
Rusty Wilkes, Assistant Pro at the Pelham Tennis Center. He has been playing tennis for over 40 years and brings a wealth of knowledge to the tennis programs under his direction.
Rusty played at Berry High school, & earned a college tennis scholarship in 1997 at Jefferson State, with a team that finished top 10 nationally. He was the #1 ranked player in Alabama 3 times in the men’s 4.0 NTRP singles and between 2007 & 2017 Rusty & his 7.0 mixed partners won 29 straight matches together at State.
Rusty always wanted to use his playing experience by giving back to the game he loves by coaching juniors. Since 2001 Rusty has been the assistant tennis pro at Pelham Racquet Club, where he established his junior tennis academy (RTA). Over the past 18 years Rusty has coached over 200 USTA Junior Teams, including more than 60 at State.
His greatest achievements include coaching 29 Alabama Junior State Championship Teams. Twenty-two of those teams qualified for USTA Southern Sectionals, representing Alabama 14 of the past 17 years. Rusty has assisted over 20 RTA players earn college tennis scholarships. Every year several of his RTA juniors have won local, state, & sectional sportsmanship awards.
With his move to the Tennis Center, he brings with him his love and excitement of the game. “I am very excited to bring all my RTA junior tennis players to the Pelham Tennis Center for weekly clinics, & USTA Junior Team Tennis Matches. I also look forward to helping develop future players & teams by getting more beginner kids into tennis.”
The Pelham Racquet Club and the Pelham Tennis Center are dedicated to providing, growing and maintaining quality tennis programs for those lifelong players and those just beginning the journey.