ROANOKE, Va. – Carnis Poindexter, a local tennis legend who spent a lifetime coaching African American students, has died at the age of 84.
Poindexter was born in Roanoke and started playing tennis his senior year in 1956 at Lucy Addison High School.
After graduating college at Arkansas AM & N, Poindexter returned to Roanoke where he won 14 tournaments including the first integrated tennis tournament in Roanoke.
He taught at Patrick Henry High School until he retired in 1996.
During his time as a tennis coach, Poindexter influenced many African American students to follow in his footsteps.
In 2018, the tennis courts at the River’s Edge Sports Complex were renamed in his honor.
Poindexter was inducted into the Roanoke Regional Tennis Hall of Fame last year, which can be seen below. One of the men in the photograph, local attorney John Fishwich, was a good friend of Poindexter, and was involved in getting tennis courts renamed.