Mitch Bridge has been involved in tennis as a player or coach since he was old enough to hold a racquet. The former touring professional and founder of the highly regarded Jackson-Bridge Tennis Academy at Los Cab Sports Village has always been motivated by his love for the game to help others – and was recently recognized for his efforts with the USPTA’s Orange County Coach of the Year award.

“It’s nice to be acknowledged, and whatever helps promote tennis is a good thing as far as I’m concerned,” said Bridge, who was honored at an awards banquet in early June. “It was cool.” A USPTA member since 1989 who has won 100 men’s open titles as a player, the 54-year-old Long Beach resident relishes the challenge of trying to help young players improve their skills every day.

“I enjoy working with kids and seeing the development process in junior tennis,” Bridge said. “The students at Jackson-Bridge are all-in and train really hard. It’s challenging but fun because you’re in it together.”

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