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Jim Jonas
Bay City All Saints/Fowlerville
Don Leavy
Fenton, Grand Blanc

(click on Inductee's name to read 'description')

Jim Jonas, Bay City All Saints/Fowlerville High Schools

In the very formative days of the MHSTeCA, two relatively unknowns emerged and in a short while found themselves at the top of our organization. One was Bob Quinn of then-Saginaw MacArthur who became our second president. The other was Harold Holcomb of Essexville Garber, who was the third.


Who? From where? Those of us “in the know” who played in metropolitan areas where high school tennis was a staple had no idea, say, where Essexville Garber was. Neither Quinn nor Holcomb was a high school player who appeared at the state high school finals and then went back home to coach a traditionally strong program, one in which he would triumphantly bring his latest squad team back to Stowe Stadium in June.


But one of the reasons why Hoke got on the MHSTeCA radar so quickly was the strong teams he fielded at the time he became president. And one of the reasons his teams were so good was Jim Jonas.


Jim played for Coach Holcomb from 1985 to 1988. He was a two-time regional champion who made it to the 2S quarterfinals of the state tournament in his senior year. He then went on to play for Delta College before beginning a coaching career at Bay City All Saints in his sophomore year in school.

That’s because he saw a posting in the newspaper for a tennis coach at Bay City All Saints. He had spent summers helping with the Garber program and enjoyed it so much that he applied, was interviewed, and got the job. “After my 1st season, my AD said he hired me because I had the best resume,” he says.  “A couple of years later, I was teaching at All Saints and he and I were at lunch. I reminded him of what he said about my resume. He then proceeded to tell me I was the only applicant for the job.”


Even still, It was fortuitous. This coaching experience altered his lifelong direction. Instead of a career in computer science, he changed his major to secondary education. “I can’t imagine what my life would have been like had I chosen a different path,” he says.


Indeed,  the folks at All Saints got themselves a budding star. From the start, he proved that he could develop players even though he was still in college. In 1990, eight of his ten girls were mere freshmen. Three years later they qualified for the state tournament and finished 8th.


His boys did even better. They were 68-21 in dual meets under his leadership and enjoyed a run of four consecutive Top Ten finishes. These Cougars finished fourth in the state three times and were 7th in 1991. They won two regional championships (1993 and 1994) and one conference title (1997). In 1994, Jim coached Chris Trudeau to a 2S Class C-D state championship.  Jon Bork was runner-up at 1S, also in 1994. These kids could play.


In the midst of all of this, Jim  hosted 10 in-season tournaments and three regionals. He also served on the MHSTeCA board of directors from 1994-1997.


But in 1997, he accepted a job at Fowlerville High School teaching Social Studies. In terms of location involving tennis, it is “in the middle of nowhere” (words spoken by a board member years ago). Moreover, the community had only four run-down courts at the village park and consequently no high school  tennis team.


“When I was hired, I jokingly told the principal that if you build courts, we will start a tennis program,” he says.


 In the meantime, Jim went about starting a  high school tennis club, much the same as Jim Niebling had done in nearby Portland. “It was awesome seeing the growth of these programs and the growth of tennis in [the eyes of] some of our officials who became interested enough to put tennis courts on a bond issue,” he says.


“That principal became the superintendent and when the bond was passed, he found me and said that he did his part; now it was time for me to do mine and start a team.”


Jim was more than ready. After all, he now had eight new courts. But in turns of establishing a viable (read: not a doormat) program, he had to start all over again and this time truly from scratch.


He started a summer program in 2006 with about 10 kids. Over the years, this activity has increased in numbers until now the program gets 50-60 kids. “We pride ourselves that our summer work is what leads to our success and the kids have really bought into this idea,” he says. The activity includes a youth tournament, an event he hosted for five years before the Covid season. It will be reinstituted.


Jim started the first boys varsity squad in 2006 and became the girls coach in 2012. He has hosted 20 in-season tournaments which has given these kids plenty of competitive experience.


Put this all together, he has more than justified the community’s faith in approving the bond issue for new courts.  Fowlerville boys have qualified for state competition three times. To top it off, this past fall’s contingent “played their best tennis at the right time” and won the regional for the first time in the school’s history. At 1D, Jim’s oldest son won the match that clinched it.


In total, Jim has presided over 137 victories as the coach of the Fowlerville Gladiators. Add 68 to that when he was at All Saints and he has now eclipsed the 200 mark. The girls have added 53 wins but they also started six years later than the boys. Add 35 from All Saints = 88. That’s a total of over 300 dual meet victories.

In the midst of this, Jim always accepted the responsibility of conducting Regional Coach of the Year balloting during that tournament. He rejoined the board in 2013 and became the director of District Four in 2017.


Furthermore, he has been generous in terms of the use of his now 20-year-old facility. Years ago, Jim Niebling was looking for a venue to host a match against Wayne Asher’s Monroe St.

Mary’s squad. “Out of the 20 or so e-mails I sent out, about 5 or 6 bothered

to reply, and of those 5 or 6, Jim was the only one who not only agreed, he went way out of his way to check with the proper authorities to be sure they’d allow it,” says Jim. “Plus, he offered additional help to get the dual all set up when the time came. Jim was very willing to help out in every way he could.”


Jim is also Fowlerville’s basketball coach. After all, he played the sport for Garber all four years and is in his seventh year as the Gladiators’ varsity coach. It was an in-and-out journey. Because Fowlerville didn’t have a tennis team when he got there, he took the girls freshmen job “because I wanted to keep coaching.” This escalated into the girls varsity job which he held for four years until his son was born and he stepped down. “After a year, I missed it so bad that I needed to get back in.” The boys freshman job opened but at the same time the bond issue passed.  After serving another basketball apprenticeship, he is back to being the head guy.


“Needless to say, coaching has been a huge part of my life,” he says. “My greatest pleasure is seeing my past players come back and play tennis. If you go by the courts in Fowlerville on a summer evening, you’ll see plenty of alumni playing. The best thing we coaches can do is help grow this wonderful sport.”


For Jim, “growing the sport” also involves inculcating a spirit that respects the game. Fowlerville players don’t engage in gamesmanship: the hollering at the sky after a good shot or glaring at an opponent after winning a key point. Furthermore, he is fair when it comes to seed meetings. “I feel that in terms of a contest, the good of the tournament comes before anything else,” he says. “When we do regional seed meetings, I do my best to help my team but if there is information about a seed out there, I will point it out even if it disadvantages my team.”


Colleagues appreciate this quest for fairness and dislike those who argue for their kids even though that coach knows he is wrong.


These three basics: Respect for the game, a team mentality amidst an individual sport, and above all, a love for the game are the basis of what Jim brought to Bay City and to Fowlerville. They came from Harold Holcomb three decades ago. Thus it is fitting that Jim joins Hoke in the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame.


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Don Leavy, Fenton & Grand Blanc High Schools

In the annals of high school tennis coaches, there are numerous players who had such a good experience playing for their alma mater that they went into teaching in order to return so that they could continue, albeit as the leader this time.


Don Leavy is not one of them


Yes, he played for the Grand Blanc Bobcats at a time when the team enjoyed a significant amount of success. From 1977-1980, these squads finished as runners-up in the state twice, the first in 1977 and again in 1979.


“During my time on the team, I had no noteworthy achievements, he says. “I played singles and doubles wherever the coach needed or wanted me. I think my greatest strength was my competitive nature and willingness to play where I was needed. I was just happy to be on the team and play.” It should be noted that he was the only football player who also played on the tennis team back in the day when the seasons didn’t conflict.


But his contributions had to be one of the reasons why Lynn Frieheit, Don’s coach, was named Co-Coach of the Year in 1979, only the second year that the award was bestowed and only the third year in which the state team title was decided on the basis of flights. In 1980, Don’s senior year, the team finished 10th in the state.


To be sure, he brought hard work to everything he embraced. He worked one night a week and every Saturday and Sunday at the local Bonanza restaurant during his high school years to pay for tennis equipment, lessons and a youth membership at the Genesee Valley Racket Club.

During the summers, he would take as many shifts as they would allow. Given this work ethic, it was clear that he was going places


But not in tennis; the route would be more circuitous. Don set aside his racket when he enrolled at U of M in an era in which the Wolverines dominated Big Ten play. Instead, he earned a bachelor’s degree in, of all things, political science and economics. “I enjoyed the content of these disciplines,” he says, “with no regard to how this would help me get a job.” However, both would turn out to be helpful, even turning points.


The first was when he went to work in the office of U.S. Senator Don Riegle as an aide and caseworker. “This job was probably one of the best experiences of my life,” he says. “It forced me to venture outside of my comfort zone to deal with conflict management and public speaking.”


But the pay was horrible. It was his father-in-law who offered him a job in sales and marketing. Although he was reluctant to work for family, the pay was right. A bonus: he gained quite a bit of knowledge from this man but alas, not much experience in that the gentleman passed away a short while later. That left Don with the job, as newly appointed president, to collect the money and be the caretaker until the company could be disposed of.


After the closure of the company, Don started a sales and marketing company of his own, that is until 9/11 hit and the U.S. economy essentially shut down. “Once again, I had to reinvent myself,” he says.


He obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership Studies from Baker College Center for Graduate Studies. He then accepted a position at that institution as an admissions/academic advisor. “I remained in that position for 12 years and took on some teaching duties as well,” he says.


This is when he decided to venture into coaching. “I had just turned 40 and maybe had something of a midlife crisis. I decided to do something I enjoyed.”


Don credits Bob Wright, the former tennis coach at Durand High School who was also an instructor at Genesee Valley Racket Club when Don was young, with getting him started. Another mentor was Jim Krimball, at the time the Director of Tennis at Genesys Athletic Club, who guided him through the USPTA certification process and then offered him a teaching position at that club.


But what about high school tennis coaching? “I saw the advertisement [for the Fenton job] in the newspaper,” he says. “I guess they couldn’t fill it internally.”


“My first year was such an education,” he continues. “The Fenton program was dying. We only had 12 players and a constant turnover of coaches. We were 2-11 that year.”


“After much analyzing, I decided that coaching is very similar to business and that the coach is the CEO. He/She should use all business disciplines to be successful. You need human resources, marketing, accounting, and most importantly sales. And you must sell yourself.”


So Don went to David Rose from the Fenton Community Education Department and they started the first Fenton Summer Tennis Program. “During the fall and winter, I set up indoor programming through Genesys Athletic Club to keep the interest up,” he says. "By making these few changes, the team was runner-up to Holly in the Flint Metro League. Even though we never won a conference championship, the program was at least respectable.”


Greg Tunnicliff supports this. “I have come into contact with few high school tennis coaches during my years who are more deserving of induction into the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame than Don Leavy,” he says. Greg, who has covered sports for both the Flint Journal and the Genesee Herald, is an inveterate statistician. He offers the numbers to back it up.


For example, Don’s first boys team at Fenton in the spring of 2002 posted a 2-11 overall record, but under Don’s tutelage, the Tigers improved to 6-7-1 in 2003 and then the Ambassadors logged a 6-4-1 mark in 2004, its first winning campaign since it ended 5-4-1 in 1999.

The plum job in the area is at Grand Blanc High School. With an enrollment of somewhere north of 2,600 students, it is the largest in the Flint area. This is one reason why the Bobcat tennis teams have dominated since Noah was in third grade.


But Don didn’t seek out the tennis job but since he became the Director of Tennis at Genesys in 2013, he was close to Grand Blanc athletics. “My kids were entering high school and I wanted and needed to be at their events,” he says. “I started as the JV coach for both the boys and girls in GB for one season.”


In reality, he was the girls co-coach with Cathy Pugh. He became the boys co-coach with David Clement the following fall. When the varsity positions opened up, he became the head coach, a position he has held for the past 15 years and counting.


We turn once again to Greg Tunnicliff who provides detailed records of the Greater Flint area tennis and updates them every year. Under Don, the Bobcats have been astoundingly dominant.

Coaching boys and girls at both schools, Don has fashioned a 293-135-18 (.677) overall record, which puts him eighth on the Greater Flint Area’s all-time victories’ list. In short, he is the winningest tennis coach in Grand Blanc’s history.


“My greatest reward was the opportunity to be with my kids and coach them,” he says. “I spent two years with my daughter and four with my son. Both were captains of their teams and watching them grow into adulthood made me very proud. Having the opportunity to work with Aaron Pfister, the two-time state champion was also a great honor.”


This produces enduring memories. “After all these years, the boys on that 2010 team still communicate with each other,: he says. “The 2009 Big Nine Conference Tennis Championship was a great feeling. We did not lose any flights or sets.”


Awards: they are numerous


MHSTeCA Regional Coach of the Year for the boys program, 2010, 2016, 2020, 2021 and 2022. Regional Coach of the Year for the Girls Season 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2017.


Flint Area Tennis Coach of the Year for the Boys Season, 2009. Flint Area Tennis Coach of the Year for the Girls Season 2010 and 2011. Big Nine Coach of the Year for Girls Season – 2008.


Saginaw Valley Conference Coach of the Year for boys program, 2018 and 2019. Saginaw Valley Conference Coach of the Year for Girls Program, 2022.

For a high school tennis coach, Don has an astonishing resume.


USPTA and PTR Certified Professional Tennis Instructor

PPR Certified Professional Pickleball Instructor

Member of the USTA Tennis and USA Pickleball Association

Founder of the Grand Blanc Youth Tennis Program.

USTA CTA Tennis and Pickleball Coordinator from the Greater Flint Olympian and CANUSA Games

Coordinator for Tennis and Pickleball for Grand Blanc Parks and Recreation

Coordinator for Tennis and Pickleball for Southern Lakes Park and Recreation


He has added a Grand Blanc Pickleball Club to his list of activities. While Pickleball is a game in which older players take it up because they can no longer run, he seeks to interest kids in the sport as a possible transition to high school tennis. Yes, it is one more feeder concept to continue a tradition of excellence.


“I know Don Leavy as one of the most, if not the most respected high school coaches in Mid-Michigan,” says Doug Adams who coached at both Flint Powers and Clio and who is himself in the Hall of Fame.  “I admire and respect him as a tireless promoter of the game of tennis well beyond high schools. He was always supportive when I asked for help at the Flint Tennis Club and when I repeatedly asked for his assistance with our Hall of Fame displays at Ascension Genesys.” 


Although Don was not responsible for getting the display into Genesys, he has helped with a myriad of requests in regard to its upkeep. He now takes his place in that home alongside such local legends as Doug, Rod McEachern, and Jim Fowler.


For a high school tennis coach, Don has an astonishing resume.


USPTA and PTR Certified Professional Tennis Instructor

PPR Certified Professional Pickleball Instructor

Member of the USTA Tennis and USA Pickleball Association

Founder of the Grand Blanc Youth Tennis Program.

USTA CTA Tennis and Pickleball Coordinator from the Greater Flint Olympian and CANUSA Games

Coordinator for Tennis and Pickleball for Grand Blanc Parks and Recreation

Coordinator for Tennis and Pickleball for Southern Lakes Park and Recreation


“What separates Don from a typical coach is his ability to get his teams to consistently perform at their highest level and to improve from the beginning to the end of a season.”


                      --- Greg Tunnicliff, Flint Journal


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Rahn Rosentreter, Chelsea High School

Growing up in Stevensville, Rahn Rosentreter was a baseball, basketball, and football player at Lakeshore High School. In other words, he spent his formative years playing team sports. There was no tennis team at his school at the time so his participation was purely recreational. But at Adrian College, he was asked to join the squad as a walk-on, his first taste of organized tennis.


Given the above, what is below is an impressive record of accomplishments in terms of conference, regional and state tournament play. Even though he started teaching in 1984, he didn’t start coaching the boys tennis at Chelsea High School until 18 years had passed. The following chronicles what his kids accomplished on behalf of their school and then considers what he brought to these achievements.


Since 2002, the year that Rahn agreed to coach the boys at CHS:

After Coach of the Year Tom Osbeck retired in 2020, Rahn took over the girls program. The results reveal substantial success as well:

From the above, the following should be noted:

Rahn’s tennis coaching at Chelsea High School is a veritable textbook with regard to how to be a successful, effective, and impactful leader. Consider:


          Although he played team sports in high school and college – football, basketball, and baseball, and coached both boys and girls basketball teams at the middle school and high school level -- he was able to adapt to an activity which is at once an individual sport and a team sport. After all, coaching team sports provides experience in terms of organizing practices, dealing with parents, and helping groups of kids cope with the pressures of intense competition. To that skill set, Rahn added a capacity to assess an individual’s mood and help him/her manage it. 


          “He has the ability to see each player’s strengths, weaknesses, and personalities, says former player Peter Moraud. “When a player is having a tough time in practice, he comes up with the right words to get him on track.”

          “One of my favorite lessons that I learned from Coach Rahn is ‘keep it simple’” continues Peter. “Especially when I was newer to tennis, I was a player who got easily frustrated. Throughout matches and practice, he helped me to view the game more calmly, facilitating my growth as a player on and off of the court.”


          He knows the right words to say when his player is faltering in an important match. “At the state tournament, my doubles partner and I were playing a match that would decide if we were to make it to the second day,” says Peter. “We had lost the first set and were frustrated and disappointed. Coach Rahn simply said: ‘Start over.’  We were able to calm down after hearing something so direct, concise, and wise. We won the next two sets.”

          In contrast, Hall of Famer Julie McKnight of Bloomfield Hills Marian once told a story about watching a colleague literally “coach a kid out of the match” by talking too long and providing far too much detail within the 90 seconds. Instead, Rahn offered a steady presence that prevented his players from going off the rails when things got close and tense. He still does.


          His position as the dean of coaches at Chelsea High School affords him the gravitas to assist some pretty successful people in their own right. Although tennis is an individual sport, at Chelsea there has been a veritable team of adults who oversee each squad. Matt Pedlow was our Girls Coach of the Year in 2019. Tom Osbeck won that same award in 2021. Brian Atkinson has been his assistant since 2013. Rahn himself has been an assistant. They help each other.

          “Because Rahn knows so many coaches and has networked with coaches all over the state, he was great if I ever needed a contact or had questions about specific programs,” says Matt. “He had been a coach for a number of years when I was first hired, but he was always there when I had questions about how to run a regional tournament or manage a quad. He was always helpful when I had questions about the specifics of running a program.”


          He pushes his kids by scheduling good competition. “Chelsea is not a tennis school as compared to others in the area,” he has said. But unlike some coaches, he does not seek to inflate his record by disposing of the Lesser Lights of his close-by high school tennis world. This means challenging matches against nearby Ann Arbor Pioneer, Ann Arbor Huron, Ann Arbor Greenhills, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, and even Saline. This makes his kids match tough in terms of league, regional, and state tournament play.


          He demands good sportsmanship. Volunteer coaches – often enough parents – have been known to lack the will to demand proper behavior on the court. Rahn works in the school. He knows the kids and they know him as the basketball coach. You don’t test him. 

          “Rahn’s kids play hard and fair,” says Ann Arbor Greenhills’ Eric Gajar. “They are always good sports. He is good natured and a role model for his players.”

          “Rahn deserves commendation for his efforts to cultivate good sportsmanship among his players (and their parents!),” affirms parent Ron Moraud.  “In an era where the emphasis on winning often overshadows the values of fair play and respect, he has consistently emphasized the importance of integrity and sportsmanship to his athletes. Through his leadership and mentorship, he has instilled in his players a deep understanding that success in tennis is not solely measured by victories but also by the way they conduct themselves on and off the court. He has fostered a culture of respect, encouraging his players to display commendable behavior, grace, and humility regardless of the outcome of a match.”


          He has managed multiple events. “He runs countless tournaments and has hosted numerous regionals as well,” says Eric. “Tournaments in Chelsea are well run and teams really appreciate and notice what he does.”


          He has recognized the importance of consistent training in order to hone skills. Rahn worked to ensure that his athletes had ample opportunities to practice, improve, and maintain their competitive edge. This meant securing access to alternative facilities, helping to organize winter training sessions, and even encouraging informal, player-led practice during the offseason.




Rahn, who started his teaching and coaching career at Morley Stanwood and Burr Oak, retired from the classroom after 37 years, most of it at Beach Middle School teaching U.S. history.  “I figured it was time for a new voice to shape the young minds of Chelsea,” he said at the time.


Twenty years ago, he took the Chelsea boys varsity program because as he says rhetorically, “Who would want it?”  The implication is that coaching tennis was not necessarily a plum job, especially for a school as small as Chelsea located near Ann Arbor. But as he points out, even Ann Arbor Huron, with its long history of statewide success, has gone through three coaches in three years. You don’t just throw the balls out onto the courts and sit back and watch (although some do). Furthermore, the school’s success in football is a source of frustration. Allegan’s Gary Ellis reports that Rahn goes crazy when he sees 80 players on the football team, most of whom will not see any action. They could be playing tennis.


Most assuredly, he has had quite an impact. Brian Atkinson, who played for Ann Arbor Pioneer and who then assisted Tom Pullen from 2000 -2013, has worked as Rahn’s assistant since then. “He is very detail oriented,” says Brian. “He does an incredible job such as scheduling, maintenance, and organization. He is the guy who will come to the courts on Sunday, weed whack around them, water the flowers, and fix the speakers.”


More importantly, “he puts the needs of his kids first,” continues Brian, who is now the boys varsity coach but still helps Rahn as his assistant in the spring. “He will adjust practice times or stay much later as needed for players who need to finish schoolwork, take a drivers ed class, etc..”


Straight out of college, Rahn started coaching in 1984. His athletic resume consists of football as a varsity assistant for two years, boys varsity basketball for seven years, girls varsity basketball for six years, boys varsity tennis for 23 years and girls varsity tennis for four years.  That totals 40 seasons of leading young people in athletic endeavors that they will surely remember the rest of their lives. “I plan to keep coaching until my golf game gets good,” he says facetiously, but then he adds, [if that’s the case] I may never quit.”


Actually, he plans to continue a bit longer. “We have great kids and better parents,” he says.


This doesn’t happen by accident. A team is a reflection of their coach, regardless of whether he wants to take credit for it.


Discussion regarding Rahn’s work by the Selection Committee last June didn’t take long. The consensus was swift. See above.


The boys always loved playing for Rahn. He reached them in a way a number of

coaches didn’t. To this day, boys speak highly of him and the impact he had on them as they went through the tennis program.”

                                                                                    -----Matt Pedlow, former Chelsea Girls Varsity Coach


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