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Established in 1978 by renowned tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, IMG Academy traces its roots back to humble beginnings as a tennis-focused institution in Bradenton, Fla. Bollettieri’s vision was clear: to provide a platform for young tennis hopefuls to hone their skills and pursue excellence in the sport.

Over the years, IMG Academy has transitioned from being a sports-only elite tennis training program, into a powerful multi-sport, holistic education institution, incorporating strong academic and personal development curriculum. Today, IMG Academy stands alone in its unique and holistic approach to student-athlete development. “We support student-athletes through their entire developmental journey, as athletes, as students, and most importantly, as people,” shares Brent Richard, CEO of IMG Academy.

IMG Academy has a variety of student-athlete offerings, both on-campus and online. IMG Academy delivers boarding school and camps at its state-of-the-art campus in Bradenton, Fla., and it delivers online coaching and recruiting via its online products IMG Academy+ and NCSA College Recruiting. Through these offerings, students anywhere in the world can access IMG Academy’s education.  “Our campus is our heartbeat with an unmatched learning environment and powerful student-athlete outcomes. Online coaching and college recruiting allows us to expand access to IMG Academy’s impactful education. We are now serving 150,000 student-athletes, both online and on-campus. The vision is for IMG Academy to be the world’s most impactful education brand, with life-changing experiences available to any student-athlete who believes in the power of sport as a platform for life,” adds Richard.

Balancing Academics, Athletics and Personal Development.

At its boarding school in Florida, IMG Academy prioritizes academic excellence alongside athletic and personal development. With expert and dedicated staff in each area of IMG Academy’s delivery – over 75 specialists focus specifically on intentional personal development in the areas of leadership, mental performance, nutrition, communication, and sports science and the curriculum is tailored to the needs and goals of each individual. IMG Academy’s regimented academic, athletic, and personal development programs foster skill enhancement, holistic growth, and a competitive mindset, setting student-athletes up for success in college and beyond.

IMG Academy’s education is a platform where student-athletes strive to be their personal best and families define “best” as more than wins and losses. Core to all of IMG Academy’s on-campus and online offerings is pedagogy around the many critical life-skills that sport can help develop. IMG Academy believes that life skills can be concretely developed like any other skill taught in classrooms around the world, and it has doubled down on this approach with experts teaching and coaching life skills – confidence, commitment, resilience, focus and handling pressure – in both classroom and on-field settings. Life skills, or personal development, at IMG Academy is both intentional and foundational to its brand and education offerings.

Beyond its curriculum design and expert teaching and coaching, IMG Academy’s boarding school environment is special. With 1,500 student-athletes from over 40 countries, IMG Academy is simultaneously twice the size of the largest college athletics programs and one of the most geographically diverse middle/high schools in the world. While sport skill levels vary widely across the campus, the common ground is that each student-athlete is striving to be their personal best, with a shared love of sport and personal improvement. Interacting with a competitive and diverse student-athlete body from around the world further enriches IMG Academy’s holistic education.

Forging New Paths, Reaching More Student-Athletes

At IMG Academy, a shared purpose drives its on-campus and online offerings: to empower student-athletes to win their future.

The leadership at IMG Academy team is working tirelessly to constantly improve upon its boarding school offering, while simultaneously innovating to create even more accessible products that naturally extend from the expertise developed in the boarding school.

In addition to its boarding school, sports camps, online coaching, and recruiting (operating under IMG Academy+ and NCSA) are the products IMG Academy offers today.

These education experiences allow IMG Academy to reach 150,000+ student athletes on-campus and online today, and the team at IMG Academy are hoping to positively impact millions of lives soon.

In its push for wider impact, IMG Academy has a new partner in Nord Anglia Education. Nord Anglia is one of the world’s leading school providers, providing education to over 80,000 students in over 80 schools around the world. Nord Anglia and IMG Academy are currently testing IMG Academy+ for infused online curriculum at Nord Anglia’s schools. The pair is also collaborating on bringing IMG Academy summer sports camps to Nord Anglia campuses around the world. IMG Academy and Nord Anglia intend to bring world-class sports education to Nord Anglia’s students, and then extend that model to more campuses and students globally.

By adding new sports and innovating at its heartbeat campus in Florida, developing globally accessible online products, and forming unique world-class education partnerships like Nord Anglia Education, IMG Academy is forging new paths, ensuring that more and more student-athletes can access its unique and transformation education experiences.

Inspirational Success Stories from IMG Academy

There are many inspiring success stories of student-athletes who attended IMG Academy. A few examples:

Flora Zhang, who came to IMG Academy as an eighth grader, struggled with English and little golf experience. With incredible discipline, hard work on the course, and taking advantage of IMG Academy’s AP track academic offerings, Flora thrived at IMG Academy, and signed her letter of intent and is playing golf at Princeton University.

Michelle Cooper joined IMG Academy as a junior in 2020. After IMG Academy, she earned a soccer scholarship to Duke University and subsequently was drafted as the second overall pick in the NWSL Draft. Michelle became the highest professional draft selection in IMG Academy’s history.

Zach Edey, one of the tallest young basketball players in the world, came to IMG Academy in 2019 from Canada. After embracing IMG Academy’s approach to personal development, athletics, and academics, Zach earned a basketball scholarship to Purdue University and won the NCAA Player of the Year award for Men’s Basketball in 2023.

Finally, JJ McCarthy, the quarterback for the University of Michigan Football team, who graduated from IMG Academy in 2020, won the 2023 National Football Championship. Throughout the season, he was often seen meditating before important moments and games, a practice honed at IMG Academy via its personal development and mental performance curriculum.

For More Info: https://www.imgacademy.com/

About Brent Richard, Chief Executive Officer, IMG Academy

Brent Richard is passionate about the value of holistic education through the lens of sport and improving and growing IMG Academy’s heartbeat boarding school experience while simultaneously creating new student-athlete experiences online and internationally. IMG Academy has developed over recent years from a campus-only brand and experience serving 1,000 boarding school student-athletes into a global brand with a suite of connected education experiences, ranging from boarding school to camps to online coaching and recruiting. Today, IMG Academy is serving over 150,000 student-athletes and 40,000 coaches each year, and its boarding school in Bradenton is stronger than ever, adding new sports and facilities and improving outcomes for its families.

Before joining IMG Academy, Richard was the Chief Corporate Development Officer at Endeavor. In his role, he led strategy and investing activities. Prior to Endeavor, Richard co-founded and helped develop The Raine Group, now a leading sports and entertainment merchant bank. Richard began his career at Goldman Sachs after attending Vanderbilt University, where he majored in Engineering and Economics and played for the men’s soccer team.

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