(click on coach's name to read more about them)

GIRLS (Spring)
BOYS (Fall)
1 - Christopher Layson, Utica Eisenhower 1 - Mark Dubiel, Romeo
2 - Dan Bittner, Bloomfield Hills Marion 2 - Alan Nelson, Flushing
3 - Matt Brown, Cadillac

3 - Kevin Gilligan, St. Joseph

4 - Steve Stanley, Williamston 4 - Jim Niebling, Portland

GIRLS (Spring)
Christopher Layson, Utica Eisenhower - Division 1

Although Chris Layson played a variety of sports when growing up, he had little choice but to make tennis his major sport. “One of my earliest memories is my mom saying, ‘You are a Wingfield and you will play tennis,’” he says.

My maternal lineage traces back to Major Walter Wingfield of England,” he explains. As it turn out this is significant. According to the Internet, it was Major Walter Wingfield who adapted the game of Real Tennis into what is known today as Lawn Tennis and thus is regarded as the father of the game. The Wingfield Restaurant situated near Centre Court at Wimbledon is the only bookable restaurant for non-debenture holders offering a fixed-price three-course table-served lunch.

“As it was mandatory growing up, no single activity has been as rewarding as the game of tennis,” Chris concludes. Part of this is due, in no small part, to playing high school tennis at Utica Eisenhower under Nancy Butson, Hall of Fame Class of 2008. “Playing for Nancy was one of my greatest memories in high school,” he says. “She was strict and had high expectations, much like my football coaches, and we had (and still have) a similar work ethic and many of the same goals to this day. Nancy guided us to the state finals my junior year. I know what it was like as a player to play on very good teams and some that are less successful. I have found this has helped me relate to my players regardless of the season we are having.”

Lately there have been successful campaigns. “Last season was a breakout year for Eisenhower tennis,” he says. “There was a lot of success throughout the lineup against some very good programs. It has been a building process to this point and it now seems that the wide-eyed looks associated with playing the perennial state powerhouses have dissolved and the players expect to be competing on a bigger stage.”

This past spring, the Eagles were 7-2-1, finished second in the Macomb Area Conference Divisionals, finished second in the regional to Port Huron Northern, and ended up 13th at the state finals. While going through a rebuilding year this past fall, his boys were still able to capture the Macomb County Team of the Year honor, the sixth such award in the past 8 seasons.

Chris credits much of his success to a summer program that was started 12 years ago, one that has grown from about 40 kids to now over 200 annually. He also is grateful to “great parents who have allowed me to focus on what is happening inside the fence. Many of the distractions to coaching have been minimized because of the wonderful parental support.” And to his wife whom friends call St. Alicia because she “allows me to put in the necessary time to run a highly competitive tennis program.”

Highly competitive indeed. Chris’s girls teams have been state finalists five times; the boys, four. He has been named Macomb County Coach of the Year twice, once for boys and once for girls. He has been regional coach of the year six times.

Chris is the Advanced Placement World History and IB Coordinator for the Utica Academy for International Studies, an International Baccalaureate World School. “History is somewhat of a birthright,” he says. “I had a grandfather that was at Pearl Harbor during the invasion and the other was a medic in Patton’s Third during the allied invasion of Normandy. History is my passion and I am thrilled that it is the cornerstone of my occupation.” As a result, Chris has taken students to France, England, Italy, Monte Carlo, Egypt, and China. “I hope to hit all seven continents by forty years old,” he says.

And still sandwich time in to coach tennis. Chris, who coached football at the 8th, 9th, JV, and varsity levels for 14 years, is now exclusively a tennis coach. “There is always a good tennis base in the area due to Coach Butson,” he says of the lady for whom he gave the introductory speech at her induction. “I think we have certainly built upon her success over the past decade and a half, but I feel the program is certainly capable of more and I hope to get it there.”

If so, it will be led by a coach of the year.

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GIRLS (Spring)
Dan Bittner, Bloomfield Hills Marion - Division 2

“At Marian there is a level of competition (State Champs-Swimming, Volleyball, Soccer, etc.) over the past year or so,” says Dan Bittner. “Their success makes all the other athletic programs want to reach that level of success as well.”

It is no surprise that this success has extended to the tennis program as well. In 2005 the Mustangs finished 4th and in 2006, 5th. There was no season in 2007. In 2008 the team lost 9 players from the 2006 season and finished 10th.

But this is not what Marian tennis is used to. When Dan took over the squad, he was not only inheriting the pressure from recent state championships in swimming, soccer, and volleyball but from the success of Hall of Famer Julie McKnight (Class of 1999) whose tennis squads were always among the state’s elite. In 20 years, Julie’s teams won 12 consecutive Catholic league titles, took home 10 regional trophies, won over 200 dual meets, and placed in the top ten at the state tournament 16 times. Julie’s squads finished in the top five in the state six times and placed second an astounding (and heartbreaking) five times, twice by one point.

But Julie never won a state title. This would be left to Mr. Bittner who took over a program that, in his words, “was just in need of direction. They were simply trying to live off of talent alone, but were not putting in the off-season work required to be a better program.”

Dan had coached JV at nearby Birmingham Seaholm under 2007 COY Keith Bernacki before taking over the Marian program in 2005. Previously, he had gone to Ferris State University for the Professional Tennis Management Program and from there began to make his way down to Southeast Michigan by interning at the Orchard Lake Country Club starting in 2001. After graduation in 2003, he moved to the area on a full-time basis. He was approached by the Marian athletic director based on the recommendation of a parent who knew him from one of the local clubs in the area.

Thus he knew what it was like to compete in this hotbed of tennis. For instance, his 2010 state champions tied in dual meets with neighbors Cranbrook Kingswood, Detroit Country Day, and Seaholm. This is superb preparation. Nevertheless, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern was expected to take state honors. “As a team we really came together in the month of May,” he explains. “We began to gain momentum with our victory at Catholic Leagues that lifted us in a big way for regionals. After our regional victory we were full of confidence for states.”

“At states we were basically just trying to play to our seeds which we did on Day 1. On Day 2, we began the day down by 3 points so we just tried to relax and play to win, instead of playing not to lose. Then just like at regionals, once we gained a couple big wins in the semis, the confidence began to grow as a team and we realized a win was possible.”As it turns out, Dan’s squad tied with Forest Hills Northern for the state title.

“This season was simply the result of the girls putting in years of year-round hard work,” he says. “Every girl on the team plays at least a little tennis during the fall/winter and any continue to put in extra time with their private instructors even during the season.”

But he also makes sure that his girls see the big picture. “We’ve been doing at least one service project a year since 2005 (Car Wash with proceeds going towards the victims of Hurricane Katrina),” he says. “It’s just something that I felt was important for the girls to commit to each season to help put things in context.”

Although Dan won’t be back to coach the Mustangs next year, he says he isn’t quitting. “I’m taking a leave of absence to begin new adventures in life (i.e. marriage in November…),” he says. “One day when life settles down for me I’ll get back into coaching high school tennis.”

In the meantime he can look at a state coach of the year award and dream great dreams, both past and future.

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GIRLS (Spring)
Matt Brown, Cadillac - Division 3

The girls were determined to go to states as they missed it by two points the previous year,” says Matt Brown. “Their taste of state in 2008 sparked their drive and determination to make it back, since 2008 was the first time they went to states since 1990.”

Indeed Matt’s kids outdid themselves by capturing only the second regional crown in the school’s history. “We thought we could qualify but realistically we weren’t the favorites by any means going into the season. But this group of ladies gelled as a unit,” he says.

“Our strength this year was definitely having a small ratio of coaches to players,” he explains, citing the services of assistant coaches Don Samardich and Roger Bandeen, JV coach Bruce Loper, and former graduate Jeff Schappa. “Whenever we split the kids into small groups, we truly could get the players that individual attention that they needed, whether it was with the mental, technical, or strategic aspect of the game.”

The result was a 7-1-1 season with a second place conference finish (tied with Petoskey) behind perennial champion Traverse City Central, a regional championship, and a 14th place finish at the state championships.

Matt neglects to say, even considering all the help he gets, that Cadillac’s head coach is no slouch either. Having spent six years as JV coach under Hall of Famer Tim Elenbaas, he was more than qualified to take over the program six years ago as evidenced by his selection as Division 3 Girls Coach of the Year in 2007.

“Living in a rural community, there are no indoor courts or lessons within 50 miles besides those I give myself,” he said back then. Therefore he runs an ever-expanding summer program for four weeks. This year, it hosted 188 participants. “The younger kids have an hour of tennis a day, and hourly we get a new batch of 40 kids. We end with our high school aged kids that play for two and a half hours in the evening. They have an hour and a half of drill and an hour of match time.”

“We may lose many players along the way to other sports,” he continues, “but we are able to keep our fair share as the girls had 35 participants between the JV and varsity.” This means a solid nucleus of young girls coming in with a sense of bonding, given the hours that they spend together.

Matt himself was a 1S player for Sandusky High School who reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament in both his junior and senior years. He went on to play 1S and 1D for Lake Superior State University and was named GLIAC Player of the Year. He achieved Academic All American status and earned a top 30 ranking in NCAA Division 2.

“He is a first class tennis coach and, more importantly, a first class human being,” said Hall of Fame coach Larry Nykerk of Traverse City Central back in 2007. “He knows how to have fun, create good relationships, and how to get the most out of his players. Matt’s teams are always well-behaved, disciplined, and respectful.”

Part of the reason for this is implementation of a family philosophy. “To me, communication between parents and athletes is vital,” he says. “I consider our high school tennis team to be more than just a tennis program but rather a tennis family. We spend countless hours together bonding and creating memories that bring the kids back, which in turn helps recruit kids into our program.”

Matt was JV coach under Hall of Famer Tim Elenbaas for six years, an experience he describes as invaluable. Since he took over from Tim in 2004, he has won state coach of the year awards twice. That’s twice in seven years.

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GIRLS (Spring)
Steve Stanley, Williamston - Division 4

This past June, Steve Stanley said goodbye to a remarkable class of seniors, kids who took the tennis team and the school on a remarkable ride. In the last four years, his squad has finished 4th in the state, were state champions, 4th again, and this past spring 2nd. “Give us four points over two years and we’re champions the past three years,” he says, but then adds, “Would that points were free like that.”

This past spring was especially noteworthy in that Williamston came ever so close, being edged out by one point by Grand Rapids South Christian. Any one of four events – all bad, two of which were beyond Williamston’s control – was the difference. “This team was the better team (than the state championship squad),” he says. “The championship squad scored 21 points, 17 in doubles and 4 in singles. This year we had 25 points -- 16 in doubles and 9 in singles – so we were more balanced.”

Steve gives considerable credit to USTA elite player Tiffany Ash who dedicated herself to the team and to high school tennis. “She probably sacrificed some of her potential as a USTA tournament player by making the decision to devote herself to helping build the Williamston tennis program,” he says. “She attended almost every practice, encouraged other girls to play tennis, worked tirelessly with them, and as a result helped build a critical mass of hard-working talented athletes that made up our team.”

Tiffany and a half dozen other girls can be proud of what they accomplished. Over four years, they were undefeated in CAAC league play, were league champions every year, and were regional champions every year. Among them, there were five flight state championships and five finalists. They were MHSTeCA All-Academic every year. Their combined dual meet record over four years was 33-4 and their player flight record was 646-162 (80%).

But make no mistake about it, Steve himself deserves lots of credit. ”At that time (he took over the JV program), Williamston was a hapless program that had recently gone through several coaches, some good, most pretty bad,” says Portland’s Jim Niebling. “Over the next couple of years I could see an improvement in their team as his JV players started moving up to the varsity. So I warned the coach who took over from me to watch out for Williamston. I knew they were about to make a huge leap forward. Unfortunately for Portland, I was right, and the coach who took over from me resigned just in time for me to take back over and never be able to touch Williamston again.”

Jim also credits Steve’s summer efforts for Williamston’s success. “He put together a summer program for his high school kids that really moved the ball forward. I thought I put in a lot of time over the summer with my program, but when I heard what he had created I just went, “Wow.” If I characterize it correctly, he has his high school varsity-caliber players playing tennis, like, four hours a day, four days a week for eight weeks. It was like a tennis academy. And since Steve is such a likeable guy and the kids absolutely love and respect him, they all flocked to it.”

“From my perspective, I have as much respect from what Steve has done in Williamston as I have for any coach,” Jim concludes. “Besides being a very soft-spoken, likeable guy with a strong yet hidden competitive spirit, he has built his program the right way, by building a solid foundation and by inspiring others to do their part to enhance his vision. That’s no easy task in a place like Williamston. They are a small, mostly rural community which wouldn’t have anything that resembles a tennis powerhouse like they have were it not for a guy like Steve.”

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BOYS (Fall)
Mark Dubiel, Romeo - Division 1

This past season, Mark Dubiel’s squad finished its dual meet season at 5-3-2. That’s ten contests. The next six days of competition were Saturday tournaments (every Saturday during the season). Mark hosted five of them (he hosted a sixth but it was the league JV tournament). He would have hosted the conference tournament (he has done this often) but it wasn’t Romeo’s turn.

This is an extraordinary amount of work and much appreciated by those who participate. That’s because Mark’s events are first class. He has the use of eight good courts at the school, the availability of eight more at nearby Utica Eisenhower, and another eight at Armada and Almont.

Teams obviously love to come to Romeo on Saturdays. They also love to come to his dual meets. “At home matches, we serve food,” he says. “Parents are not allowed to come without bringing food. We have a permanent grill on site. We serve meatballs, salads, hamburgers, and hot dogs. I assign a parent to organize the cookouts. Everybody (opposing teams) wants to come to us (as opposed to hosting Romeo).”

In addition to food at matches (a big difference according to Mark), things have changed in other ways since he won the COY award back in 1998. Back then, he was commuting on a daily basis from his hometown of Hamtramck all the way out to Romeo. Now he lives in nearby Washington, a relatively short 8-10 mile drive. He has also enlisted the aid of numerous assistants. “I am the opposite of most coaches,” he says. “I want adults involved. I want them working on my side.”

Thus it is not unusual for Mark to be helped by four assistant coaches during a typical season. The MHSTeCA database lists 14 coaches who have assisted Mark since 1998. At the 2003 clinic, Romeo set the record with eight coaches from one high school who attended. “The quality of our program is directly linked to the quality of our assistant coaches,” he says when asked about the difference between 1998 and 2010. “Ball feeders are priceless.”

“I have learned so much,” Mark continues in terms of him being 1998 COY vs. 2010 COY. He credits mentors for his improvement as a coach. They are a distinguished group: Gus Theodore (Imlay City, Hall of Fame Class of 1995), Lee O’Bryan (Fraser, Class of 1995), and Dean Sousanis (Almont, Class of 1996).

As a result, his kids have an excellent experience. This past season, Romeo finished fourth in the conference behind traditional powers Port Huron Northern, Grosse Pointe South, and Grosse Pointe North but they ended in second place at the regional and were rewarded with a trip to the state finals where they finished 17th. And Romeo won one of the Saturday tournaments that Mark hosted.

“Romeo tennis is a model for other coaches to look at when trying to build a program,” says Armada’s Rob Girvin. “Mark puts in more time than anyone I have ever seen in any sport, not just tennis. Along with building his own program, he has also spent countless hours trying to build awareness of the tennis programs in all of Macomb County.”

“Mark is the ambassador of tennis in Macomb County,” adds Chris Layson of Utica Eisenhower. “He is a member of the MHSTeCA Board of Directors, president of our county’s tennis association, organizes the award banquet for the county all-stars, and hosts more JV and varsity than any other program in the area.”

“Mark is Macomb County tennis and we are lucky to have him,” concludes Chris. “He is everything honorable and right with high school tennis.”

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BOYS (Fall)
Alan Nelson, Flushing - Division 2

Rod McEachern of Lapeer East and West (and Hall of Fame Class of
1991) finished his storied career with 445 dual meet wins and a winning percentage of 74%. Bill McDaniel of Holly (Hall of Fame Class of 2003) had 361 wins and a percentage of 73%. Doug Adams of Clio and Flint Powers (H of F Class of 2000) ended his coaching career at 312 and at 68%. Flint area coaches who are in the Hall of Fame include Gus Theodore of Imlay City, 155 wins; Art Vince of Flushing, 130; Ed Krupa of Flint Northern, 122; Mark Madden of Burton Atherton, 117; and Jim Fowler of lots of schools (Flint Northwestern, Flint Northern, Flint Carman-Ainsworth), 113. All of the above have retired.

And then there is Allan Nelson with staggering numbers that put him behind only McEachern. Since 1988 (1992 for boys), his teams have put together – in journalistic terms – an incredible body of work. In the fall of 2009, his boys notched Al’s 400th dual meet win. The total as of the end of 2010 is 425. His boys have won 208 of them; the girls, 217. In 41 seasons, he has suffered only one losing campaign, a 6-7 girls season in 1990. His winning percentage in terms of 529 dual meets played (even including ties as losses) is 80%.

The record is just as impressive at regional time. In 41 seasons, Al’s kids have qualified for state competition 30 times (16 for boys, including 14 consecutive trips; 14 for girls). This past fall, his boys were 13-0, won the conference title, placed second in the regional, and finished 15th at the state tournament.

This success and the longevity have not gone unrecognized. Over the years, Al has been boys regional coach of the year 9 times and Big 9 Conference coach of the year 8 times. He was voted girls regional coach of the year 6 times and Big 9 coach of the year 3 times. He was inducted into the Michigan High School Ski Coaches Hall of Fame (After all, he is from Kingsford) in 2000 and the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003.

As Flint Journal sportswriter Greg Tunnicliff (1999 MHSTeCA DSA) points out, Al’s kids are also good students. Twenty six of his squads (13 boys, 13 girls) have been MHSTeCA All-Academic. “His teams annually have one of the highest turnouts in the Flint area,” Greg says of the number of kids who play tennis for Flushing. Indeed, he has had as many as 120 youngsters come out for tennis. “Allan was also actively involved in getting the school district to build the school’s new 12-court tennis complex. Flushing is one of two schools – Holly is the other – with 12 courts.” At the complex are bleachers for spectators, rest room facilities, benches on each court for players, and a hitting wall. Nick Logan, former owner of Genessee Valley Tennis, calls it “a community  jewel.”

“Through the years I’ve watched his programs (boys and girls) grow to become one of the most successful in Genesee County,” says Doug Adams. “I was the coach at Flint Powers when Allan’s Flushing girls defeated Powers for the first time in their school’s history. He was as much a gentleman in victory as he had been in defeat.”

“Allan is an honest gentleman coach, just the kind of person I would want my grandchildren to play for,” echoes Jim Teal, H of F Class of 1990.

As the Southern expression goes, Al “walks in tall cotton.” He has attained the admiration of many notables in the Flint tennis community and is, in many ways, their equal. One more recognition of his achievements is a state coach of the year award.

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BOYS (Fall)
Kevin Gilligan, St. Joseph - Division 3

“During my first stint as athletic director (1983-89),” says Allegan’s Gary Ellis, “Kevin was the varsity girls basketball coach. He did an outstanding job with his teams. He expected a lot of the girls and they responded well. He had at least two who went on to play college basketball, including one who played professionally in Europe. Allegan girls basketball was solid when he was coaching.”

“Kevin is a coach,” continues Gary. “While basketball is his love, he would be able to very eagerly learn all he can about the sport he was coaching. That’s what he did with tennis. He was not afraid to ask questions. He is a quick learner. His success at turning around a tennis program in a nontennis community is a testimony to his skills as a coach.”

That formerly non-tennis program is Ionia High School where the squad went 9-0-2 this past season, the two ties being to DeWitt and Lansing Catholic. Furthermore, the team captured the school’s first regional championship in the history of Ionia tennis. The final score was 29-28. The group then went on to gain 9th place at the state tournament in Kalamazoo. According to a local newspaper, it was Mid-Michigan’s highest finish in Division 3 competition since 2003.

A lot of people, unless they’re in the tennis community, have no idea what Ionia boys tennis accomplished in 2010,” Gilligan said at the time. “If you take a look out of a four-year period, most of our guys picked up a tennis racquet when they were freshmen in high school. For us to reach that pinnacle (at the regional), then go and get some respect at states; it’s unreal.”

A physical education teacher in the district before retiring this spring, Kevin still considers himself more of a basketball coach. He didn’t play high school tennis but growing up in Allegan, he took advantage of the community’s summer tennis program under Tom Essenberg (1987 MHSTeCA Distinguished Service Award) and Mr. Ellis (Hall of Fame Class of 2007). “Allegan has a tradition-rich tennis program and obviously a very successful one,” he says. In 2006, Kevin took over the Bulldogs’ program. “I was in the right place at the right time with the right experience and credentials to get the job done,” he says.

Indeed. As Gary has said, the man can coach. His last four teams improved from 2-7-3 to 8-3, then to 6-4, and then this past season: 9-0-2. Last year’s squad had missed the state finals by three points at the regional. Kevin left his players with the motto for this fall: State or Go Home. “At the biggest stage of tennis, our guys stepped up, showed up, and played remarkable tennis that particular Friday,” he says. “Our players made me look really good.”

Undoubtedly an overstatement. Kevin lives and works in Allegan as a lifeguard supervisor and swim instructor but he made the daily trip to Ionia to coach his tennis team. That’s one and a half hours one way; three hours on the road daily. On that memorable regional Friday, the regional finished under the lights. Kevin didn’t get home until midnight.

“The secret to his success this year,” according to Portland’s Jim Niebling, “is in the way he was able to motivate his kids to play an incredible amount of tennis over the summer leading into the season. The story I heard is that they got together nearly every day and played matches. Some of them had played as many as 100 matches by the end of the summer. That’s an average of more than one match a day. … He knows how to motivate his players to excel in spite of their location deficiencies.”

More than one veteran coach has testified that Kevin doesn’t know a lot about the game of tennis but that he is eager to learn and not hesitant to ask. What his tennis teams have done is more than impressive enough to have him recognized as state coach of the year.

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BOYS (Fall)
Jim Niebling, Portland - Division 4

“Jim Niebling is a tale of two serves,” says Williamston’s Steve Stanley. “He has a fierce first serve when the matches are underway. No one is more competitive, strategic, alert, and engaged when the ball is in play and a match is in the balance.”

Things haven’t changed since 2003, the previous year that Jim was named coach of the year. “You may be able to outplay Portland tennis players but you won’t outwork their coach,” said then North Muskegon coach Greg Wieman at the time.

Back then, Greg was referring to the fact that Jim, a math and physics teacher at the school, had started a co-ed tennis program there in 1990. It blossomed into a squad that played against JV squads from around the area. Over time, the schedule became more formal and Jim started a summer camp. When PHS adopted tennis in 1996, the program expanded even more with 40 kids per season participating. In 2003, the squad qualified for state competiton where they finished 13th.

As Steve has testified, he’s still stronger than ever. Indeed, over 21 years of coaching Jim’s teams have won seven conference championships, three regional titles and qualified for state competition 12 times, the best finish being fourth. His dual meet record is 81-27-8. This is remarkable considering that Portland, a small rural, working-class community – as one coach described – “is in the middle of nowhere” and has never flourished in tennis until Jim went to work.

2010 was a particularly strong year. Jim’s kids were 7-2-1. They won five tournaments, captured the Capital Area Activities Conference White Division Championship, won the regional, and placed 11th in the state. “In most respects, it’s probably my best team,’ he says. “It is definitely the most decorated team I’ve ever coached. The number of trophies the team won and the number of medals the players won I’m sure is more than any team I’ve coached in the past.”

Jim’s kids had notable wins over such strong schools as Williamston and Lansing Catholic, both coached by MHSTeCA coaches of the year. What is even more impressive is that “Portland is the kind of place that probably shouldn’t have a tennis team, much less a team that can compete at the state level,” he says.

In terms of the contrast between 2003 and 2010, there isn’t one according to Jim. “I’m still very competitive. I’m still very demonstrative when I coach. I still work my butt off, which is what I consider to be our only real advantage in the world of high school tennis.” This can be seen in the number of tournaments that he hosts and the level of competition that he invites (North Muskegon, Almont, Armada, Ionia, Whitehall, Williamston, Lansing Catholic).

“Then there is Jim’s second serve for when the match is over and Jim shifts from winning for his team to the health of high school tennis,” adds Steve. “He is constantly searching for ways to assist other coaches, other high school tennis programs, the coaches’ association, and the tennis world in general.”

“Jim is willing to give you any advice that will help you and your athletes,” agrees Grant’s Scott Zerlaut, himself the coach of a program that was once a cellar dweller but has become highly competitive. “I first met and got to know him from the summer USTA league that we both run for our programs. He was more than eager to bring his teams for a nice road trip on a few hot summer Fridays up to Grant to give us some stiff competition He is gracious with his comments to players and coaches.”

Scott is an area representative who helps with the MHSTeCA statewide rankings. “Many times during the season for ranking purposes, I shoot Jim an e-mail to see how the other non-West Michigan top D4 schools have been doing because he plays them and is in the know. He always answers quickly and accurately, many times being overly humble about his own team.”

“Jim is truly a tale of two serves, both of them effective, impressive, and rewarding for those of us who have the pleasure to share our love of tennis with him,” concludes Steve.

Thus we are pleased to serve up a second coach of the year award to a most deserving individual.

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