Francisco Montana (’87) – Tennis
Francisco Montana is the only Columbus athlete to ever win four state championships in four consecutive years. He played tennis like no one before him or after him. As a freshman in 1984, Francisco won the state No. 2 singles title and won the No. 1 doubles championship with teammate Andre Simm.
For the next three years, Francisco won the state championship at No. 1 singles. In 1987, Francisco’s singles championship propelled Columbus to its first ever team state championship in any sport.
Francisco went on to play two years at the University of Georgia. As a sophomore, the Bulldogs finished runner-up for the national singles championship and Francisco played all the way to the national semifinal.
He turned professional after his sophomore season and played as a pro from 1990 to 2000. During those years, he played Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the French Open and the Australian Open 11 times each.
In 1998, Francisco and his doubles partner, Don Johnson, were ranked No. 4 in the world and No. 1 in the United States.
Francisco stopped playing professionally after a knee injury but has continued to make his life’s work on the tennis court. He is a much sought after coach and has worked with some of top USTA players.
In 2005, Francisco was named the Professional Tennis Association’s Coach of the Year.
Today, Francisco continues to work with young professional players and top juniors.