CTP Academy Coaches

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Cary Tennis Park Academy Coaches are highly skilled and experienced in order to give junior players the best tennis training environment possible. Their hard work, coupled with their wealth of knowledge, makes for a great place for tennis players to learn and grow. Below is a list of the full-time tennis professionals at the Academy. We also have great part-time coaching staff who help out as needed to ensure the highest quality of teaching, while maintaining a low player-to-pro ratio.

To see full descriptions of the different sections of the CTP Academy, go to On-Court Training.

Academy Select

Jake Lester
Head Tennis Professional
Head of Cary Tennis Park Academy
USPTA P-1 Certified


Hired in 2005, Jake is a premier coach at the Cary Tennis Park. Playing experience includes #1 Singles and Doubles at Eastern New Mexico University. Jake holds a masters in electrical engineering. He brings experience as an USTA Mountain West “STAR” Mentor and as an assistant coach for the Air Force Academy Women’s Tennis Team. 

Jake's track record of player success is astounding. His players have competed in the Junior French Open, Junior Wimbledon, and the Junior US Open. His players have also won state, sectional and national level events including three USTA National Championships (gold ball), have been ranked as high as #1 nationally and several have received NCAA athletic scholarships. Jake has coached USTA Southern National Girls 18 & Under team, which won the championship in 2014 and was the runner up in 2015. 

Jake not only does private training, but also runs the entire Cary Tennis Park Academy, which reaches tennis talent from ages 6 to 18. He can mainly be found on court at Select, coaching and advising top tennis players from our area.  


Rob Peterson
Junior Tennis Development Specialist
Head of Academy Select
USPTR Certified

 RobRob is an accomplished coach who joined the Cary Tennis Park in Jan. 2008. Prior to that, he worked several years at the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club (Cherry Hill, NJ) and served as the Director of Tennis at Westside Athletic Club in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. A graduate of UNC-Wilmington, Rob was a top state and sectional ranked junior tennis player. 

Rob works with high level players, many of whom have achieved top national and sectional rankings and have gone on to play in Super Nationals and won gold and silver balls. Many of his players have gone on to play collegiate tennis, from Division 3 schools all the way up to playing #1 at a Division 1 school. Rob has coached at the USTA Southern Junior Cup and Team NC Camps. He currently serves as the Chair on the NC Tennis Junior Competition Committee and NC Tennis Selection Committee, both of which help drive and promote tennis in North Carolina. He has been invited to coach at the USTA Player Development Center in Boca Raton, FL, Orlando FL and The USTA National Center in New York.  Rob enjoys traveling with his students to various tournaments throughout the US and watching them put their skills to the test.

Rob also has immense experience in adult teaching, having coached adult players and league teams that have qualified for state, sectional and national competitions. At Cary Tennis Park, Rob runs Academy Select and is on court with Select across all hitting programs such as the drop-in clinic, high performance, and skills.

Derek Mayo
Tennis Professional 
USPTA Certified


Derek has been an invaluable coach at Cary Tennis Park for over 10 years. He began his tennis career in high school, playing three years of varsity high school tennis. He is a 2012 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in economics and a minor in coaching education. His tennis teaching experience includes coaching part-time at the Cary Tennis Park since 2007 and teaching a UNC tennis class.

Derek joined the Cary Tennis Park teaching staff on a permanent basis in 2012. He has been the head of Academy Team and now primarily works with Select. He also runs the Adult Challenge Ladder and the Champions Ladder, which provides year long play for adults. Derek travels across the south to help coach high performing juniors from the CTP Academy. Not only does his knowledge of all things tennis and his experience help him coach, Derek's amazing rapport with players makes him very successful here at the CTP Academy.


Stephen Poulos
Tennis Professional
USPTA Certified


Stephen has brought great intensity and experience to CTP since 2013. Even though he didn't start playing tennis until he was in the eighth grade, he achieved a top 50 ranking in the Florida Section Boys 18s and played #1 singles and doubles for Leon High School in Tallahassee, FL. Stephen split his college career between Division I UNC Asheville and the University of North Florida, a top ranked Division II institution and currently maintains a 5.0 NTRP rating. 

When he joined the CTP team, Stephen brought over 10 years of teaching and coaching experience, including working with top-ranked national and international junior players at Saddlebrook Preparatory School in Wesley Chapel, FL.  Stephen has extensive experience with 10 and under tennis and provides guidance about personal health, nutrition, exercise and training methods. 

Stephen is a 2014 World Ultimate Frisbee Club Champion. He currently plays semi-professionally in the American Ultimate Disc League. 

Academy Team


Steve Parks
Tennis Professional
USPTA Elite Professional
PPR Professional (Pickleball)
PTR Certified including 10 & Under & High Performance


Steve joined the Tennis Park as permanent staff in 2018, after working part-time since 2016. He brings a lifelong passion for tennis and coaching. Steve attended the University of Nebraska where he competed at the Division 1 level in gymnastics.

He has transferred those disciplines into a successful coaching career, developing junior and adult tennis players. Steve likes developing all aspects of a tennis player, working on both the physical and mental abilities and uncovering the full potential of the player. He works not only with Academy Team, but Academy 1 and adult clinics as well. His energetic persona makes him a dynamic tennis coach!


Academy 1

Bill Reynolds
Tennis Professional
Head of Academy 1
USPTR Certified


Bill joined the Tennis Park staff in 2011. While pursuing his sport management degree at NC State University on an Rifle Team scholarship, He also played club tennis during his collegiate tenure. His coaching experience includes Brown Ledge Camp in VT, as well as seven years as a member of the tennis coaching staff at St. David's High School in Raleigh.  Competing on the tennis team all fours years in high school, Bill was an all-conference player his junior and senior years.

Bill also is a rifleman who has not only competed at the 2012 Olympic trials, but also has finished in the top 10 nationally and still to this day holds over 20 national records for small-bore rifling.

Bill brings his enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge to the running of Academy I. He works hard to make sure all kids are getting the growth and development needed while still having fun on court. Bill also gives private adult lessons throughout the week.


Reid Kinlaw

Head Tennis Professional - Community Tennis
USPTR Certified


Reid has been with CTP since 2010 and is the Head Tennis Pro for Community Tennis, where he supervises all developmental junior and adult programming, which includes clinics, teams, and camps. 

Reid attended NC State University. While in school he worked part-time at Fayetteville Racquet Club (Fayetteville, NC) as well as the Cary Tennis Park. At St. Pauls High School, Reid was the singles champion and Player of the Year for the Tri-Six Conference his senior year. 

As a co-local league coordinator for Junior Team Tennis he works closely with other clubs and facilities across Western Wake County. He was awarded the USTA NC JTT Local League Coordinator of the Year Award in 2016, and the director of the NC Junior Team Tennis Event of the Year in 2009 for Western Wake County. He strives to blend player improvement with a fun team environment.  

Reid is also actively involved with Try Tennis, a program that introduces tennis to adults, and the weekly wheelchair clinics.

Reid coaches both juniors and adults, many of whom have competed at the state and sectional level.



TAD (Tennis and Athletic Development)

Maria Mood-Brown
Tennis Professional
Head of TAD 
USPTA Certified
USTA Quickstart Certified


Maria has been with CTP since 2009 and is the head of TAD (Tennis and Athletic Development).  The TAD program is geared towards the younger Academy players looking for more specific skill and instruction. 

She attended Mount St Mary's College on an athletic scholarship where she played collegiality for four years. As a junior player, Maria was the #1 ranked Delaware singles player and won the high school state doubles championship. She earned a Masters of Science in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University.  

Maria is actively involved with both USTA Southern and USTA North Carolina having chaired or sub-chaired multiple committees, including Team NC and Junior Team Tennis.  She is also one of the lead coaches for Southern and the North Carolina lead coach for Team NC 10 & Under Early Development Camps. 


She coaches juniors and adults of all levels and brings a progression based, high-energy, and interactive coaching philosophy to the team.