John Craig

I began my tennis journey as a teenager in my hometown of Southbury, Connecticut. When I moved to Southern California, I pursued tennis as my primary sports interest. Within two years of dedicating myself to tennis, I started in both singles and doubles for Palomar College (in San Diego) for two years and then I earned a position as a walk-on for San Diego State University in 1983 (ranked 25th, NCAA-Div. 1). Throughout my developmental years, I consistently surprised my friends and piers with my rapid development, and was widely regarded as the player who developed into a high-level player in a remarkably short time. Following my college-playing career, I continued to play tournaments, both locally and regionally for many years. 

I am an “Elite Professional” with The United States Professional Tennis Association, which is the highest rating achievable by the USPTA. Teaching tennis has always come naturally to me, partly I believe because I learned the game at an older age than many successful juniors. I began teaching tennis at the age of 19 when I conducted junior lessons for the City of Escondido, CA. I was appointed the Club Tennis Pro for the Courtyard in Escondido at the age of 20. I was also a Tennis Pro at the Rancho Bernardo Inn
Tennis College, a recipient of the “America’s 50 Greatest Tennis
Resorts” award for over 20 consecutive years by Tennis Magazine. 

In 1986, I was appointed the Director of Tennis at the legendary John Wayne Tennis Club in Newport Beach, California. Newport Beach was a hotbed of great tennis players at that time. I met, played with and/or learned from many notable members and guests including Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Phil Dent, Ross Case, Billy Jean King, Kevin Curren and Vitas Gerulaitis. At the John Wayne Tennis Club I developed and managed the instructional, competitive and social programs for a large, active and highly competitive membership. Following the John Wayne Tennis Club I was the Resident Tennis Pro at the Four Seasons Resort & Hotel in Newport Beach for 5 years.

In 2009, I was offered a position as a Club Pro at The Balboa Bay Tennis Club in Newport Beach. It was there that I created The
Edge Tennis Academy with Iain Russell. Iain Russell was widely
recognized as one of the leading coaches in Southern California in
the 1980’s, when he developed many notable and nationally ranked juniors including Michael and Carl Chang, along with 68 internationally ranked juniors from Europe and Mexico. 

I graduated from San Diego State University with Bachelor’s Degree in Business with an emphasis on Marketing. Here is a summary of my long and successful career in tennis:

  • Thirty-six years of teaching & coaching tennis to all ages, from beginners through advanced players
  • Twelve years experience in all phases of management, marketing, instructional and activity programs at 3 tennis clubs and 2 tennis resorts
  • Twelve years of experience directing tournaments including large, high profile events with multiple venues, divisions, volunteers and related staff
  • Four years of inter-collegiate competition in both singles and doubles
  • Competed in 5.5 and open level tournaments through Southern California, in both singles and doubles, from 1978-2000.

Tennis has been my passion for so many years… I have truly been blessed with many great opportunities, made many wonderful friends, and have enjoyed growing the game by helping hundreds of students develop lifelong skills.