UMS-Wright Boys Tennis
Meet the Head Coach
Coach Rick Cleveland returns for his tenth year at UMS-Wright after 26 years in the Alabama Public School System. He began his coaching career at Talladega High School as an assistant football and basketball coach and as head tennis coach. Coach Cleveland moved to Banks High School in Birmingham where he served as defensive coordinator in football, head basketball and boys tennis coach. He accepted the head basketball coaching job at Northview High School in Dothan while also serving as offensive line coach for the 1981 State Champion Cougars. Coach Cleveland moved to Prattville High School and served on the Lion football staff that won the 1984 State Championship. He made his way to the Gulf Coast when he accepted a position at Robertsdale High School as the head baseball and assistant football coach. His Bear baseball squad reached the semifinal round in the playoffs. Coach Cleveland’s next position was as athletic director and head football coach at Fairhope High School. His final public school coaching stint was at Daphne High School where he coached the offensive line and saw four Super Six State championship games. At UMS-Wright, Coach Cleveland currently serves as Middle School Head Football Coach and Head Boys Tennis Coach. Under his tutelage, Bulldog tennis teams have won a 4A-5A title in 2015, and eight 4A State Championships in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. His teams have also finished as 4A Runner-up in 2005 and 5A Runner-ups in 2007 and 2008. He has been selected as the Alabama High School Tennis Coach of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by the National Federation of High Schools. He also served as the Offensive Line Coach on the Bulldog 2008 4A State Champion Football staff.
Currently Coach Cleveland serves as the color analyst for the Bulldog Football Radio Network, the University of South Alabama Football Radio Network, and the AHSAA Super 6 State Championship Games. He also hosts The Prep Sports Report on radio station WNSP 105.5 in Mobile, Alabama, covering prep sports all over the southeast on Saturday mornings 7-9 a.m.
Coach Cleveland resides in Daphne with his wife Cheri. He has three children: Clay, in Atlanta, GA, Catie, a senior at Auburn, and Elle, a freshman at Alabama. He is the proud grandfather of Taylor and Turner who also reside in Atlanta.
The UMS-Wright Boys Tennis Team completed another successful season as they won their 8th straight State Championship in 2016. Winners of 10 state championships in the past twelve years, the Bulldogs were tested in 2016 with a very strong 4A-5A field. The Bulldogs scored 74 points more than the closest competitior, sweeping four singles championships in the boys’ competition and captured the No. 1 doubles competition. The Bulldogs and veteran coach Rick Cleveland lose valuable senior netters Nicholas Anez, Clay Baker, Johann Phan,and Jackson Laurence. With a promising group of underclassmen coming in from the middle school program as well as returning players, look for the Bulldogs to begin a rebuilding process that should lead to continued success. The Bulldogs finished with a 19-5 record during the 2016 campaign.