Meet The Pros
Eddie Jacques, USPTA
Eddie Jacques began playing tennis when he was 3 years old, and came to Athletic Club Alabama, then Huntsville Athletic Club, when he was only 8. He played number 1 on the Huntsville High School tennis team in 1990 when they won the Alabama State Championship. Jacques was the individual state champion at number 1 singles and doubles. At his career high, as a junior player, he was 27th in the world. He was a semi-finalist in the Junior US Open, en route beating the current number 1 player in the world. Jacques won the 18 & Under National Clay Court Championships, and was the number 1 recruit in the country coming out of high school.
Jacques went on to the University of Georgia on a full tennis scholarship where he was an All-American. As a senior he was the Southeastern Conference individual champion. He was ranked as high as number 6 in the country in singles and number 11 in doubles. Georgia never finished outside the top 5 during his four years and finished #2 in the final rankings his sophomore and senior season. During his junior and professional career he competed with the likes of Tim Henman, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Nicolas Lapentti, Alberto Costa, Marcelo Rios and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Eddie and his wife, Robyn have two sons, Parker and Houston, who are promising young tennis players. In his free time Eddie enjoys coaching his sons and playing golf.
Rusty Walker, USPTA
Rusty was born in Cullman, Alabama where he was a two-time state champion and named 1998 Alabama Junior Tennis Player of the Year. He then went on to play four years of Division 1 tennis for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He then spent two years an assistant coach at UAB and was a Tennis Professional for Brook Highland Racquet Club. In 2006, Rusty moved to Seaside, Florida where he served as Tennis Director for the Seaside Swim and Tennis Club. In the Fall of 2010, Rusty moved to Huntsville to be the Adult Tennis Director at Athletic Club Alabama. Rusty and his wife, Nell have two children, Ryen and Hannah. Rusty enjoys spending time with his family and doing community outreach with his church.
Jennifer Lyons, USPTA
Jennifer started playing tournament tennis at the age of 7 in Tennessee. She moved to Huntsville in the seventh grade where she played number one for Randolph School, becoming the youngest player ever to win the school sectionals. She transferred to Huntsville High and won the number one state singles and doubles titles, becoming the first ever state singles championship for the school. In juniors she was nationally and southern ranked and was also number 1 in Alabama.
Jennifer played for the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa on scholarship, playing number 4 and number 6 singles and number 1 doubles. In 1984 she won the National Subaru Doubles Championship and also played on the Summer European Circuit traveling throughout Europe. She graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a degree in Public Relations. Jennifer was the Adult Player of the Year in 1992 and was ranked number 1 in the 25 and under division in Alabama and in the South. She has a USPTA 1 professional certification. Jennifer and her husband Sage have a daughter Lee and a son Sage. In addition to tennis Jennifer enjoys golf.
Ed Jacques Sr., USPTA
Ed has been involved in the tennis industry for over 35 years and brings a wealth of club experience to Athletic Club Alabama. He comes to us from Scottsdale, Arizona where he directed the tennis program at the Scottsdale Athletic Club for 4 years. Before his move to Arizona, he received training in the hospitality arena, as he directed the tennis operations at both the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida and in Vail, Colorado. Perhaps his most satisfying experience was the eleven years he spent at a country club just north of Birmingham where he began to train his son, Eddie, and watch him rise through junior tennis and then on to become an All-American at the University of Georgia.
Abbas Giha, USPTA
Abbas is from Khartoum, Sudan. He started playing tennis when he was 5 years old and was selected to join the International Tennis Federation (ITF) when he was 10. At 16, he played on the Sudanese National Team and finished 3rd in doubles and 2nd in singles at the All-African Games. Abbas attended Sudan University on a full scholarship and played number 1 all four years. He joined us in 2007 and began teaching tennis lessons. Abbas is USPTA certified as well as ITF Level 1 certified. In his free time Abbas, who is fluent in 3 languages, enjoys playing soccer in the Huntsville Area Soccer League. He is also captain of his 10.0 Mixed, 5.0 Men’s, and 9.5 Combo USTA teams.
Chris Shearburn, USPTA
Chris began playing tennis at the age of 5 and grew up playing USTA’s Western Section in Illinois. He also played throughout his high school years and in 2011 was inducted into the Sterling High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Following high school, Chris earned an athletic scholarship to play tennis for UA Huntsville. After completing his engineering degree and working in that field, he returned to his first career love, tennis. Chris’ experience as a Tennis Professional includes a couple of years at a large club in his hometown of Chicago and a very successful year at Dublin Park in Madison. Chris was also the Head Tennis Professional at the Hampton Cove tennis facility, overseeing the facility’s construction and first 3 years of operation. He has USPTA – P1 and USPTR Professional Certifications. Chris is married to his wife Sybil, who is a fitness professional and an outstanding tennis player as well. Chris and Sybil have one daughter, Sophie, who is also active in tennis.
Harrison is from Daingerfield, Texas. He started playing tennis when he was 9 years old and was coached by pro Eddie Jacques. In high school he ranked number 1 in the state of Alabama and was an Alabama Jr. Qualifier winner. He attended University of Alabama in Huntsville where he played on the men's tennis team.
Harrison is is also an actor and has appeared in various movies and TV shows!
A quote that inspires Harrison is, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."
Chris grew up in Gloucester, England. He started playing tennis at the age of 6. His greatest accomplishment in high school tennis was winning the county closed under 18s. In England, this is the equivalent of winning state here in the United States. Chris played tennis at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where his career highlight was beating the number 1 player from a rival top division school, leading his team to victory.
In his free time, Chris enjoys being out on the golf course, going on hikes, playing disc golf, or just relaxing and enjoying the warm weather.
Chris has a level 1 coaching certificate and enjoys coaching players of all ages.
A quotes that inspires Chris is, "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!" -Friday Night Lights
Noah is from Nailsea, England. He began his tennis career at just 7 years old. In high school, he was ranked number 1 for doubles in the Southwest of England and he was also ranked in the top 100 of England. Noah came to Alabama to play tennis for the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he played at number 1. While attending UAH, he studied Kinesiology, specializing in biomechanics.
Noah enjoys hiking with his dog, Ace, going to the gym, playing golf and exploring.
Noah was the youngest level 2 coach in England and coached at 5 different tennis clubs there before coming to the United States for college.
a quote that inspires him is, "There may be people with more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.. and I believe that!" -Derek Jeter