Stratford fielded their first tennis team in 1966 and captured Region Titles in girls singles and doubles and boys singles and doubles that inaugural year. Many individual Region and State titles were won over the next 20 years then a team state format was added in 1986. In 1988, Stratford won their first boys team title with the girls following suit the next year. In 2015 with the move to the GHSA, there is no longer an individual region or state tournament, only team Area/Region and State Championships held. In all, Stratford owns 90 individual and team state championships and 158 individual and team Area/Region championships in tennis. Jaime Kaplan ’79, head coach since 2005, has the longest coaching tenure in Stratford’s rich tennis history.
Jaime Kaplan, the youngest of four children, was born and raised in Macon, Georgia, and graduated from Stratford Academy in 1979. She started playing tennis at the age of nine and went on to hold junior rankings as high as first in the state, second in the south, and 18 in the United States. At Stratford, she produced an undefeated record of 156-0 in singles and doubles along with 5 state titles. She also played on 3 state championship basketball teams. After playing collegiately at UGA then FSU, Jaime competed on the WTA Tour for six years, achieving world rankings as high as 91 in doubles and 252 in singles. She played in Wimbledon five times, the US Open four times, the French Open four times, and the Australian Open once.
A knee injury at Wimbledon forced Jaime to retire in 1989 and she settled in back home in Macon where she has been very involved in the community, raising over $2.7 million for various charities over the past 23 years. She serves or has served on over a dozen non-profit boards and most recently filled an unexpired term for six months on Macon’s City Council.
Jaime was diagnosed with a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia on April 23, 2010. After three rounds of chemo then a bone marrow transplant on August 27 of 2010, Jaime returned to her job as major Gifts Coordinator and Tennis Coach at Stratford Academy in July of 2011. Jaime’s individuals and teams hold 37 region titles and 13 state titles. In 2012, Jaime took on the role of Director of Alumni Affairs.
If you ask Jaime her greatest accomplishment, she will tell you that it’s not being inducted into the Stratford Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, or the Macon Sports Hall of Fame, or even the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. She will tell you that it’s the many lives she has touched through her charity work and through her journey with cancer.