New year, new management, new director for the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College and downtown courts. What’s ahead: Hotel opening, ACC college tournaments.

New year, new management, new director for the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College and downtown courts. What’s ahead: Hotel opening, ACC college tournaments.

In context: A big year begins Jan. 1 at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College, starting with falling under a new management group, a new general manager, the opening of the adjoining Fairfield Inn and Suites and, in April, the scheduled return of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s men’s and women’s tennis championships — as well as existing tournaments and local events.

From a media release: Rome native Colt Gaston has been named general manager of the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College and also will oversee the downtown courts adjacent to Barron Stadium.

Gaston is a Rome native who has extensive tennis playing, coaching and management experience. Gaston’s junior tennis career led him to become a scholarship collegiate player at Louisiana State University, where he was an All-American and part of the no. 3-ranked doubles team in the nation. After a stint on the professional doubles tour, Gaston transitioned to coaching, where he held leadership roles at the Weil Tennis Academy (Ojai, Calif.) and ATI Tennis Academy (Atlanta). In 2016, Gaston was named Head Coach of the Women’s Tennis team at the University of Missouri, where he led the charge for four seasons in the strong SEC conference. Gaston also oversaw the Mizzou Tennis Complex, a 10 court facility with an active program and busy tournament schedule. During his time in Columbia, Gaston managed a large staff, led his team to success, and helped grow membership at the facility to over 400 individuals.

Says Gaston: “Our facilities are some of the best in the world; growing up in Rome, I never would have dreamed there would be a facility like this in my hometown. I look forward to connecting with the amazing community in Rome and seeing everyone out at our tennis and pickleball courts in the new year.”

Cliff Drysdale Tennis begins management of the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College and downtown courts on Jan. 1.

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