Meet our Staff


Scott Thornton

Executive Director -


A life long athlete, tennis player and teaching professional professional. His passion for the game and desire to give back lead Scott to create the T.E.A.M. program.  Scott founded the Tennis Education & Mentoring Program in 2014.


Scott has been a Head Coach in golf and tennis at the collegiate level since 1988. He was Assistant Director at The Mid-Atlantic Tennis Academy in Baltimore, Maryland before starting the EastCoast Tennis Academy in 2007.


During Scott’s playing days, he won the NCJAA Regional Championship in singles and doubles while at Essex Community College and qualified for the National Championship in 1984. He won the U.S.T.A.National Category II Feista Bowl in 2006 and was a 6-time Mid-Atlantic Doubles Champion. Scott received his B.S. in Corporate Communications from the University of Baltimore and Masters Degree in Sports Administration from Delaware State University.


R. "Bunner" Smith

Director of Instruction -

Bunner grew up in Sarasota, played tennis at Sarasota High school 1969-1972. After High School, Bunner received a tennis scholarship to Georgia Southern University, playing 4 years for the GSU Eagles with an outstanding dual match record.


After college, Bunner began his 40 year tennis career as part of the  tennis staff of Sports Illustrated Tennis at the Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico. In 1980, Bunner was chosen by Nick Bollettieri to direct his first academy away from Bradenton in Baltimore, Md. Bunner continued the Mid Atlantic Tennis Academy from 1980-1987.


Bunner has sent over 20 players to college on tennis schalorships. In 1988, Bunner returned to Sarasota/Bradenton to play tennis and begin a business career.