Amy Bonner - 2012
Head Coach Amy Bonner enters her 10th season at the helm of the Georgia Southern women’s tennis program and remains the only former Georgia Southern women’s tennis player to coach at her alma mater.
Bonner starts the 2014 dual campaign with an overall 85-94 record and a 37-58 Southern Conference mark.
The 2013 team posted an overall record of 10-12, 4-6 SoCon and the Eagles were defeated by No. 2 seed Elon in the quarterfinals of the SoCon Championships. It marked the third-consecutive year and seventh in the nine-year tenure of Bonner that the Eagles made it to the championships.
Bonner's players also posted personal success as junior Paola Garrido earned Second Team All-SoCon honors after a 12-8 campaign at No. 1, while the duo of Garrido and freshman Mary Phillips Smith picked up a Second Team All-SoCon Doubles nod. Five out of her seven players claimed 8-plus wins on the season.
Under Bonner’s tutelage, players have thrived on and off the court. In her nine seasons at Georgia Southern her players have amassed seven SoCon All-Conference nods, including Garrido's First Team award in 2012, as well as 31 Academic All-Conference honors for maintaining at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average while competing in at least one half of their team’s competitions during the spring season.
Bonner’s teams have also been recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on multiple occasions for their academic accomplishments. Her 2012, 2010 and 2009 squads were named ITA All-Academic teams for achieving a cumulative team GPA of 3.2 or above. In addition, 17 players have earned ITA All-Academic individual honors, including seven in 2012.
In her eight years at the helm, Bonner’s teams have had the highest overall GPA of the Athletic Department every single year but one, with her fall semester 2012 squad boasting a grade point average of 3.7. Her yearly team APR score, measuring graduation and retention rate, has been perfect five times, the most out of any team in the Georgia Southern Athletic Department.
Bonner has posted six 10-plus win seasons, highlighted by a 13-7 record in 2009, the most wins since 1998.
Not only is the ITA familiar with the academic prowess of the Georgia Southern Women’s Tennis team, but they are also accustomed to Bonner herself. She currently holds the position of Chair of the Southeast Region, representing all of the Division I institutions in Georgia and Florida. She is a part of the All-American Selection Committee, Ranking Committee and ITA Awards Committee as well as the ITA National Tournament Committee.
Prior to taking the reign of the program in August 2004, Bonner completed a three year stellar playing career at Georgia Southern under former head coach and current senior woman administrator Cathy Beene. Bonner opened her playing career as a freshman at nationally-ranked University of Tennessee before transferring to Georgia Southern in 2001. Within her first season, Bonner showed her dominance on the playing court compiling an 18-8 overall doubles tally - 8-2 conference ledger - with partner Isabella King from the No.1 position. The Eagle duo earned All-Southern Conference accolades in 2001 for their effort. She also tallied a 14-13 singles mark from the No. 2 seed.
Bonner wrapped up her playing career in 2003 after posting a 15-13 singles mark and a 10-8 doubles record. In 2002, Bonner earned All-Southern Conference First Team honors for the 2002 season as she finished with a 10-4 conference card and 14-8 overall record at the No. 1 position.
Before accepting the head coaching position at Georgia Southern, Bonner served as the tennis professional at The Landings Club in Savannah where her responsibilities included conducting lessons, coaching the club’s juniors’ team, serving as junior coordinator and starting the club’s first organized youth program. Bonner also holds the top level of certification for teaching professionals as she is USPTR certified. Bonner also held stints working as an instructor at the Nike Tennis Camp in Atlanta and the All-Court Tennis Academy.
As a youth, Bonner reached rankings in the top 50 USTA ratings as a junior competitor. She also received the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award for playing her junior year of high school tennis left handed (non-dominant hand) after undergoing elbow surgery for a genetic bone defect.
When hired at Georgia Southern, Bonner was one of the youngest NCAA head coaches in the country. A May 2003 graduate of Georgia Southern, Bonner earned a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management with a Minor in Business and in the summer of 2011, she received her Master’s degree in Kinesiology from GSU.
She was married to Eric Bonner in May 2003 and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Kate Elizabeth born on March 5, 2007 and Caroline Grace born on December 10, 2008.