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Noted Berry Academy Educator & Coach Still Competing

October 6, 2015 05:16 PM

Former COOSA President Still Leading Tennis in Rome, GA

By Tesha Stokes, Captain of the 40 & Over 7.0 Georgia team

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Bill Thornton is my mixed doubles partner for Sectionals this weekend for Georgia’s 40 & Over 7.0 level. He is 81 years old and is still playing tennis and other racquet sports several times a week.

Bill will be playing this weekend. This was his team, but he asked me to be the captain because of the technology "texting" came easier for me. 

I think it's a great accomplishment for Bill to continue to be active and compete against people half his age.

This article below tells of his accomplishments over the years. 


Bill Thornton spent 30 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. He served as Berry Academy’s athletic director, Dean of Students, and coached basketball, baseball and soccer. But, for more than 30 years, Bill has devoted his time, talents, and efforts to the community through his love for sports and his desire to work with young athletes. 

In 1967, Mr. Thornton began coaching with the local recreation program as a youth baseball coach. Continuing throughout the years, Mr. Thornton has coached youth basketball, tennis and softball teams with the Parks and Recreation Authority. 

As Berry Academy’s Athletic Director, Mr. Thornton served as the Physical Education teacher, Head Boys’ Basketball Coach and Baseball Coach for eight years. In the meantime, he instituted outdoor camping programs, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking and wilderness survival classes for the academy.

As Dean of Students, he was charged with overseeing all students’ activities, school discipline, and academics. In 1967, Mr. Thornton moved to Armuchee High School where he taught Physical Education and Social Studies and helped coach girls’ and boys’ basketball, football, softball, cross country and tennis.

Through his tenure in education, Mr. Thornton also found time to devote to his community through his love for tennis. As a tennis volunteer for more than 20 years, Mr. Thornton has served as the Local League Coordinator for the Rome Tennis Club, an instructor for the USA 1-2-3 Tennis program and served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Coosa Valley Tennis Association. Bill served as Associate Tournament Director for the Georgia State Adult League Tennis Championships for two years, and is in his third term as Director for the Georgia Tennis Association’s District 1. 

Mr. Thornton was honored with the George Wallis Award, an annual award given by the Coosa Valley Tennis Association, to recognize individuals for service in the tennis community and has been honored with the Horace Anthony Volunteer of the Year Ward by the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority. Very few people in the history of education and recreation in Rome and Floyd County have devoted as much time and interest to promoting positive activities for children, youth, and adults as Bill Thornton.

 

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