Academy Director and Founder, Mark Weil

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Weil Academy Director and Founder Mark Weil opened the Weil Tennis Academy in Ojai, California in June of 1997, becoming the first coach to open a full time, boarding tennis academy in the heart of Southern California. Since opening 13 years ago, Weil Academy has trained many junior world champions including former ITF #1 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, and many top professionals such as World #4 and 2009 Australian Open Semifinalist Vera Zvonereva of Russia & Top 50 Sesil Karatancheva of Kazakhstan. But Coach Weil’s vision has always been clear for his players, and this vision separates Weil Academy from all other tennis academies worldwide: to train and prepare our young players to play collegiate tennis at the highest level and study at the top universities America. 

                Mark Weil & Vera Zvonareva                                   Robby Ginepri, Mark Weil, Travis Rettenmaier

                        World #5 Vera Zvonareva and Mark Weil                                        Top ATP Players Robby Ginepri & Travis Rettenmaier with Mark Weil

The results of this mission speak for themselves: Weil has trained and placed over 300 US and International students in prestigious American Universities like Cornell, Yale, Brown, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Northwestern, UC San Diego, USC, Notre Dame, NYU, Williams College, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara and many, many more. Some of those players have achieved outstanding success on the court winning 5 NCAA Team Championships, 8 NCAA All American awards and 1 NCAA Individual Championship!

No other American Coach nor International Academy has achieved more success in placing their students in top American Universities over the past 13 years than Weil Academy. Weil attributes this success to his rigorous selection process and his unique training program focused on achieving excellence on and off the court: he finds motivated players whose dream is to study and compete in American Universities, and then designs customized training programs and competitive schedules for each player to reach their dreams.  

Erin Burdette                                        Charles Quay                                   Ahmed Ismail - UCLA                                  Judd Berg at Cornell     
     Erin Burdette                                                     Charles Quay                                              Ahmed Ismail                                               Judd Berg
  Stanford University                                           Cornell University                                                UCLA                                               Cornell University

“Tennis is an international sport, and what we have helped so many parents & players understand is that tennis is also the KEY to gaining admission into top universities around America, very often on scholarship. Parents around the world are just becoming aware of the incredible opportunities for their children in the US through tennis. Our proven track record of placing students in top universities matches perfectly with parent’s goals for a better future for their children, “ Weil believes.

Since 1997, Weil has also produced over 100 National Champions and 50 International Champions including 1 Wimbledon Junior Champion, 2 US Open Junior Champions, 2 French Open Junior Champions, 6 Orange Bowl Champions, and 6 Eddie Herr Champions. Three of Weil’s players have reached the Top 10 ITF end of the year rankings, led by 2008 World Champion Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.   

      Grigor Dimitrov                                        Anna Orlik                                        Gail Brodsky
         #1 ITF Grigor Dimitrov                                                               WTA Player Anna Orlik                                                               WTA Player Gail Brodsky

Coach Mark has achieved the highest level of professional coaching in the US with a USPTA Professional Level 1 Qualification as well as completed the USTA’s High Performance Training Program for Competitive Player Development in 2005. He began coaching in New York City over 25 years ago and has run professional training programs in New York City, Los Angeles and now Ojai, California, where he established the first full time tennis, education and boarding program in the history of Southern California.

In 2006, Weil Head Coach Mohamed El Bouzkouri came to Coach Mark with the idea to form the Weil College Placement Service, and offer a wider range of services to our players in order to broaden their opportunities for college placement. Weil appointed Coach El Bouzkouri as Director of College Placement and the college opportunities of Weil’s students immediately jumped several levels. With Coach El Bouzkouri at the helm, Weil’s College Placement Service provides a service and placement power that no other academy can provide, as the Weil program is designed specifically to prepare our players to succeed at the collegiate level. The results of the Weil College Placement Service over the last four years speaks for itself with our players gaining entrance into UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, Yale, NYU, Williams College, and many, many more prestigious colleges.

            Pedro, Mo, Kallim, Bo                                              Mark Weil and Mo El Bouzkouri

          Pedro Zerbini - Berkeley, College Placement Director,                                                  Academy Director, Mark Weil with College Placement
 Mo El Bouzkouri, Kallim Stewart - UCLA, Bozhidar Katsarov - Berkeley                                                   Director, Mo El Bouzkouri

“While other academies burn players out, or train them into the ground with the false hope of professional tennis, we maintain a more balanced training approach for our players designed to deliver them to college tennis programs, where they will continue to develop further under their college coaches for the opportunity to play professional tennis. The recent success of players like John Isner and Benjamin Becker have proven my belief that players can go to college and still succeed at the professional level. This belief is finally now gaining traction with the USTA as the avenue to pursue with their top young American prospects,” explained Weil.

With an eye to expanding his Academy’s reach internationally, in 2010 Coach Mark is opening a branch of his Academy in mainland China. The Shanghai Weil International Tennis Academy is opening at a permanent site in the summer of 2010 and will offer the same championship staff and program to players in Asia. Weil believes the Chinese parents also value the opportunities for their children to come study and train in the US, and eventually enroll in American Universities and play College tennis. Coach Mark’s goal in China is to establish a selective training program for motivated students and players who have the dream of achieving enrollment into top universities in the United States. Wilson Sports China, Powerway Sports and Adidas have signed on as sponsors of his Shanghai International Academy.

            China Group                                                                    Peng Shui

             Coach Mark with Top Chinese Jrs. in Beijing                                                                   Top Chinese WTA Player Peng Shui with Coach Mark

Coach Mark has challenged the tennis academy establishment worldwide by refusing to focus on the extremely limited avenue of professional tennis. Weil designs his program to strive to teach his players to balance academics and high level tennis in order to achieve admission into the top American Universities. Tennis is the magic “key” that opens doors to prestigious colleges that otherwise these players could not open. Player’s academic opportunities have exploded as college coaches now compete for strong students who also are very competitive tennis players.

Coach Mark and his entire staff focus their energy on the true development of each individual player within a team dynamic—to truly develop a player’s competitive game, and to turn juniors who play tennis into competitive tennis players, and then turn those tennis players into tennis champions.

                                                                            Aiden at the Ojai #2

                                                                                     Weil's International High Performance Coaching Staff

                                                       
Coach Mark just traveled to Beijing in late 2009 to run The Peng Shui High Performance Camp for Adidas and China’s top young girls. These players then traveled to Ojai, California to train at Coach Mark’s Weil Academy and traveled with the Weil Team to Florida for the best International Events in December. Coach Mark will continue to train China’s top young players with the goals of achieving professional tennis or US university.

            Mark & Family                                                                    Weil's 10th Anniversary

       Mark with Family: Mitch, Jane, Pierre and Jack                                                                             Weil Celebrates it's 10th Anniversary

Coach Mark grew up and played junior tennis in New Orleans, Louisiana reaching the #2 ranking in New Orleans in his senior year. He followed his private coach, Donald Losman, PHD, to Northeast Louisiana University where he played on NLU’s team under legendary coach Johnny Robinson. Robinson had been the only athlete in Southeastern Conference (SEC) history to make All SEC in Football and Tennis in the same year. Coach Robinson went on to play in the NFL 8 seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs winning a Super Bowl in 1970 and making All Pro.

During his college years at NLU, Weil discovered his love of American Literature and American Theater and majored in both, winning Best Actor at Northeast LA University in 1980 as well achieving a special Internship to Britain’s National Theater. Weil also was a staff writer for NLU’s school paper, and ran for Student Body President in 1981. After graduating in 1982 with a BA in English and two minors in Journalism and History, Weil moved to New York City and enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse, an acting and directing conservatory in Manhattan. Weil was also accepted to the Boston College Graduate School into the Master’s English Program, but chose to remain in New York to pursue coaching and theater.

Upon completing his studies at the Playhouse, Weil began coaching tennis in New York City and coached both juniors and adults at several prestigious clubs. But his passion for theater was also growing and so Weil founded and served as Managing Director of the Stillwater Theater Company in Manhattan for 5 years from 1987 to 1991. His company produced 14 American plays in 5 years and was a critical success.

In 1993, Coach Mark and wife Jane, a professional stage manager in New York, moved to Los Angeles, CA where Weil took over a small after school training program at Mountain Gate Country Club in Brentwood. Within 2 years, Mountain Gate was the top program in Los Angeles, with over 200 sectionally ranked players and many national players. But Coach Weil wanted a bigger challenge, and after researching Ojai and several tennis academies in the US, decided to open his own Academy in Ojai, California. In June of 1997, Weil opened the Weil Tennis Academy and College Preparatory School becoming the first coach to do so on the West Coast of the United States. In thirteen years, Weil Academy has grown from 18 students to over 70 full time players and 16 coaches. Mark and Jane live in Ojai just blocks from the Academy and have 3 sons: Jack (14), Mitch (12) and Pierre (10).

Coach Mark invites you to come and experience his academy first hand and see if your child is ready to achieve all of their tennis & academic dreams here at Weil Tennis Academy!

Mark Weil can be reached at markweil@weiltennis.com.

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