The Tennis Program at Episcopal consists of a co-ed Middle School team, a Girls Junior Varsity team, Boys Junior Varsity team, a Girls Varsity team, and a Boys Varsity team. The teams practice at the tennis center on the Knight Campus.
The Tennis Program is led by Program Director Dede Allen, who is also the Girls Head Coach. The Boys Varsity team is coached by Bill Gist. The girls’ tennis team has won seven straight District Championships while the boys have won four of the last five championships.
About the Coaches
Dede Allen has been coaching for more than twenty years, nine of them at Episcopal. She is currently serving as the tennis program director and head girls varsity coach. In her time at ESJ, the team has won ten district championships in a row, two regional championships, and made it to states four times (along with three years of individuals going to states). She was the recipient of the John Ryan Coach of the Year Award. Before joining the Eagles, Coach Allen served as the coach of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. While there, she finished second in the ACC and received the ACC Coach of the Year award. Coach Allen attended the University of Missouri where she played in the “one” spot in singles and doubles. Coach Allen also spends time as a training coach for the USTA U10 Tennis program.
Bill Gist served as the Director of Tennis at Jacksonville Golf and Country club from 1990-2017 where he was recognized as both the Northeast Florida Pro of the Year and the USPTA Region 3 Pro of the Year. As a player, Bill played collegiate tennis at Delta State University before graduating from Mississippi State University. He is married to his wife, Kara of 28 years, and they are proud parents to two Episcopal grads Abby ’13 and Anna ’16.