Tennis and Pickleball Staff


Jaleel Riaz

We are pleased to have Jaleel Riaz as Director of Tennis. Jaleel has played a huge role in the Rome tennis scene for five decades and counting. He is the 2023 Georgia Tennis Association teaching pro of the year! After earning All-America honors at Wingate College in North Carolina, he transferred to Shorter College where he earned All-American honors in doubles while compiling an outstanding singles and doubles record. After college, Jaleel has taught at several spots in Rome including stints with Shorter College and West Georgia University as well as a Davis Cup captain and head coach of the Pakistan team. In addition to tennis, Jaleel is a champion pickleball player. Jaleel currently serves on the board of the Coosa Valley Tennis Association and is a member of the Rome-Floyd Sports Hall of Fame. He has taught countless kids and adults for the last 40 years and we are lucky to have him here to lead our program. Jaleel offers private and group classes for all ages and abilities. 

  • Jaleel cell: (706) 506-7506  or E-mail 


Jed Gillespie is new to the staff at Lawrence Preserve but is not new to the tennis community of Rome.
He holds a USPTA Level 1 Tennis Instructor certification, is USTA Safe Play approved, and has a NTRP rating of 4.5.
Originally from Athens but a long-time resident of Rome; Jed earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, Master of Accountancy  in Taxation, and a Doctor of Education in Occupational Studies all from The University of Georgia. He has close to 25 years of teaching and career
counseling experience at the college level and is currently a Professor of Accounting and Business at Georgia Highlands College where he has worked since 2004.
Jed has taught tennis for 5 years and he specializes in working with middle school, high school, and league players. He focuses on both the mental (doubles/singles strategies) and physical (stroke production)
aspects of tennis through individual, group, drill, and summer camp instruction. In addition to teaching tennis, Jed has also served previously as a board member and treasurer for the Rome Tennis Club (Coosa
Valley Tennis Association).
To contact Jed call or text 706-308-0350.


Craig Walton, a native of Carrollton, GA, has been providing tennis instruction for 20 years.  He holds a PTR P1 certification and is in his second stint as a tennis pro at Lawrence Preserve, having formerly worked with Craig A Jones under previous ownership. 

After teaching tennis full time for seven years Craig earned a Masters of Teaching in Physical Education and landed a position as a PE coach at Pepperell Elementary where he has remained for 10 years. Craig currently coaches the Pepperell High School girls and boys tennis team. In addition he provides individual and group instruction, drills, and summer camps for tennis players of all ages and abilities at Lawrence Preserve.

Craig excels in teaching sound/ modern fundamentals, stroke and footwork progressions, the mental game, and tennis specific training exercises.

Craig is married to Kate. Together they have two daughters, Whitlee and Bradlee , a son, Sikes, and two dogs.  He is very excited to be part of the Lawrence Preserve tennis staff and looks forward to meeting you soon.  Craig can be reached here 706-512-0362 (text is best).

To contact Craig call or text 706-512-0362.

Interested in being a tennis instructor here at Lawrence Preserve? Phone 706-266-1901 or email