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Key Club names new Tennis Director

The Longboat Key Club has hired Briana Harris Francois as the new Director of Tennis.

Francois will take over as John Woods retires after he worked at the Club since 1978. Francois has taught as a pro at the Club over the past years and launched B Harris Kids at the Robert Taylor Center in Sarasota in 2018.

The organization was started by Tennis Pro Briana to help introduce the sport and educational programs to under-served children.

The program grew to serving hundreds of children in the region and ran strictly off donations and grants.

Woods was hired in the Club in 1978 with a recommendation from Tennis Legend Rod Laver and Roy Emerson.

Woods has managed the Longboat Key Tennis Center through numerous ownerships including the Shannon Hotel Group, Loeb Partners Realty and the current owners, Ocean Properties.

The Key Club has had numerous pros including Serena Williams, Nick Kyrgios, James Blake, Rod Laver, John McEnroe, Borris Becker, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Jim Courier and Jimmy Arias on its courts over the years.

Long-time Longboat Key realtor and avid tennis player Bruce Myer said that John Woods is “an unbelievable tennis player,” but his connection goes even further.

“When I first came to Longboat Key about four decades ago, John gave me a job sweeping the courts. It was through this job that I met the sales and marketing director for Arvida and that got my career in real estate started,” said Myer.

There were more than 200 applications for the position that was awarded to Francois, who is due to begin next week.

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