Bryan Shelton has announced that he will be stepping down from his role as head men’s tennis coach at the University of Florida as he prepares to become his son Ben’s full-time coach.
The elder Shelton, a former world No 55, has an impressive record as a coach, with national championships won at Georgia Tech and the University of Florida.
Ben had been coached by his father as a junior, but his collegiate commitments prevented him from joining his son on the ATP Tour.
“The dream team is back together baby
” Ben Shelton wrote on Instagram.
“Can’t wait to have you out on tour with me, and see what we can accomplish together.”
Ben has already bettered his father’s best ranking but he clearly places very high value on his direction.
Bryan is understandably thrilled to resume coaching duties with his son.
“Thankful that I have another opportunity that’s really exciting that’s about to get started,” Bryan told ATPTour.com.
“I feel like a little bit of a kid again. At this stage in life, to be able to start something new and fresh and exciting is incredible. So I think that those are the things that are probably pouring out of me right now. Just gratitude and excitement.
“I think in his mind, he’s always thought that ultimately, we’d be able to do this together,” Bryan said.
“We started together on the court and I think we’ve kind of built that coach-player relationship through the years as we continue to build our own relationship as father-son.
“And those two kind of went side by side along the way.
“I always said, I had to put one hat on and take the other hat off, and then kind of understanding when to do both is a little bit tricky, because you hear about these stories with mother and daughter, father and son, mother and son, these stories that end up not being great stories.
“And so, my wife, Lisa, and I, we’ve really tried to have a balance with our kids and understand that they’re people first before they’re players.
“I think that along the way, I’ve put my coach hat on and to be able to do both still and for him to want me to come out there with him and help him in this area and share these experiences together, I think that speaks to the love that we have for one another and also the level of respect that we have for one another.”
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