Traveled Haverford tennis coach promotes diversity

Haverford College Women’s Tennis Team before a recent match. — SUBMITTED PHOTO

Calling Louis Bolling a tennis aficionado falls short of capturing his passion, worldly travels and life experiences in the tennis community.

Bolling has worked and trained with distinguished local and overseas tennis legends during his youth, collegiate days and professional career.

Today, Bolling is the Assistant Varsity Tennis Coach for Haverford College Women’s Tennis Team for the 2011–2012 season. In his new position, Bolling continues to embrace cultural diversity and inspire the student-athletes to advance in their academic and athletic pursuits.

“His education, upbringing and vast experiences equip Louis with a unique ability in dealing with the social, economic and cultural differences on the team,” said head coach Ann Koger. Koger and the team credit Bolling with being an accomplished coach whose greatest strength is his passion for learning and teaching. “Because he takes the time to know us and our different styles of play, Coach Louis is able to motivate and connect with the team,” said sophomore and team captain Alexandra Ferrara.

In the short time that Bolling has worked with the team, many of the students share similar observations regarding his ability to teach effectively.

“Coach Louis engages and encourages us to speak openly so we bond on and off the court,” said Celia Tong. “This has allowed us to play as a more cohesive unit.”

Many who know Bolling agree that this was a great move for Haverford.

“Louis

will be an asset to the program. He is very caring and an advocate for promoting and teaching the sport of tennis,” said Black Tennis Foundation of Philadelphia President Bernard Chavis.  

“Working with the women’s tennis team is a great opportunity for me because I get to work with a legend like Ms. Koger at a highly ranked liberal arts college,” Bolling said. “Through sports and education, Ms. Koger and I are contributing to the development of tomorrow’s global citizens and leaders. 

“This position allows me enhance the student-athlete experience for our players, as Haverford offers study abroad programs and global partnerships with many of the countries embodied on the team,” he added.

Each person brings a unique experience and culture to the team, representing a diverse international footprint. This is includes, but not limited to, Chinese, Nigerian and Peruvian heritage. 

“We share a love for tennis and this has allowed us to embrace our distinct and parallel backgrounds,” said first-year student Kristen Anderson.

Born in West Philadelphia, Bolling spent a significant amount of time in the Cobbs Creek area building lasting friendships and socializing with his community. “I interacted with many multiethnic individuals at a very early age,” Bolling said.

His desire to see the world and embrace diversity led Bolling to his first international tennis tournament in Morocco at the age of 14. Shortly after graduating from Morgan State University, Bolling landed a position working with youth and tennis development programs overseas in Johannesburg.

“I am fortunate to work with Ms. Koger and really believe that good communication crosses all barriers,” he said. “Her experience and prowess in the national tennis community, along with 30 years of service at Haverford, is an inspiration to me and the team.”

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