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 2017 UMS-Wright boys tennis team finished the season with a disappointing 3rd place finish in the 4A-SA state tournament. Our Boys finished as the highest ranked 4A school but were behind two 5A schools in the tournament. We finished the season with a 16-7 season record and again were Sectional champions defeating arch rival St. Paul to win sectionals. Patrick McGowin was our only State Champion winning the number 3 position at the state tournament. Giddens Ford in his first year of varsity competition finished as runner-up at number 6 singles; he and Trey Fowler, another Bulldog in his first year of varsity competition, were runnersup at number 3 doubles. The Bulldogs lose three Seniors to graduation, Pete vanLingen, Patrick McGowin and Will McGowin. Returners Patrick Kraver and Bruno Anez along with Ford and Fowler will anchor the 2018 Bulldog netters.