Eddie Parker – A native of Conway, S.C., Parker attended Lees-McRae and Limestone College, where he played on the tennis teams. After finishing school, he worked at the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy in Hilton Head, S.C, where he ran the World Class program.
In 1990, Parker came to Raintree Swim and Racquet Club, where he worked his way from teaching pro
to manager. In 1998, he and his wife, Stacey, bought Raintree from East-West Partners and developed it into one of the finest clubs in the area.
Perhaps their most well-known endeavor was running the State Hardcourts for more than 20 years, turning it into one of the top tournaments in Virginia. The Parkers added prize money and an assortment of amenities that attracted large fields every year.
In fact, one observer made the comment after attending one year, “This is like a mini U.S. Open.”
For several years, over the Thanksgiving holiday, Parker brought the Nationals Boys’ 16s and 18s indoor tournament to Raintree’s four indoor courts. Later, Raintree played host to the National Girls’ 16 indoor tournament.
Parker served as chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Coaches Commission for 10 years and currently conducts the USTA’s Early Development Camps for 10-under and 12-under, working with youngsters just learning the game.
Raintree continues to run multiple local and state junior tournaments and has about 150 juniors that go through various programs each week under Parker’s guidance. The club remains one of the best in the area.
On the court, Parker won the city doubles crown with Joe Cappellino, and 10 years later, with one of his pupils, Jay Bruner.