When he was a player on the ATP Tour, Jimmy Arias was a high-profile prodigy out of the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
He was just 14 when he arrived at the academy in 1978, one of the original class of students.
Forty years later, the 54-year-old Sarasota, Fla. resident has come full circle.
The IMG Academy (the former Bollettieri’s) announced Friday that Arias is the new Director of Player development.
Per the press release, Arias will “help manage technical instruction and program delivery for IMG Academy’s boarding school students and professional trainees.”
The former world No. 5 has been doing a lot of television commentary both in the U.S. and Canada. As well, he has been the assistant coach for the men’s team at the University of South Florida under Aussie former double specialist Ashley Fisher since 2016.
Official Arias quote:
“This is where I came as a teenager to develop my game, and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to come back and foster the development of such a talented group of players,” Arias said. “In all my travels as a player and as a commentator, there is no place in the world where players have such a dynamic team to help them achieve their potential.”
IMG tennis focus upgraded
From the original Bollettieri Academy, the IMG operation in Bradenton has become a massive complex, where tennis is just one of several sports.
You have to go in a few levels on the website to even find information about the tennis academy.
The “College and Pro” training section features a photo of Kei Nishikori. But when you click on it, tennis isn’t even mentioned beyond a headless shot of what (by the Uniqlo) must be the Japanese star.
It seems, for 2019 and beyond, they are renewing and refreshing the tennis focus.
IMG made another high-profile earlier this fall.
It appointed strength and conditioning coach Yutaka Makamura as “head of tennis physical conditioning.”
Nakamura has been Maria Sharapova’s physical trainer since 2011. And he has been working with golfer Jessica Korda since 2014. Korda is the daughter of Australian Open champion Petr and sister of Australian Open junior champion Sebastian, who also train there.
Aussie Rohan Goetzke is currently the director of the IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis Program.