After much thought and many conversations with my wife, I’ve decided to resign from coaching the varsity boys team. With two young children and Pam and I working full time, it is becoming too difficult to be the varsity coach of two teams. It’s been a while now since I’ve felt like I’ve had the balance I want in my life. My hope is that by reducing my role in the tennis program, it will provide me with balance and allow me more time to spend with Landon and Avery. When Pam was a teacher, she could be with Landon and Avery during August while I coached. This year, that was another month where the kids were away from Pam and I for a large portion of each day. I recognize that it’s a luxury to be able to spend August with the kids that many parents don’t have, but it’s a luxury I want to take advantage of, especially when they are so young.
The eleven years I’ve coached this team have been one of the most positive experiences of my life. It’s almost impossible to put into words how much coaching has enriched my life. Many of my happiest moments have come from times spent on the courts with the players. Few things make me feel alive more than being around them. However much I’ve taught them, I’ve learned many times more from them, from you, and other coaches. Coaching has made me feel a closeness and connection to the West Ottawa community that goes beyond the tennis courts. This is my home, and love it here.
With regards to the transition process, I want to start by saying that I would not be stepping down unless I felt there is a completely capable person to step up and lead the program. If things go as I hope, then I believe in the long run both the boys and girls programs will be ultimately stronger as a result of this change. My hope is that the new coach will be able to put their full attention to the boys program, and I can now do the same for the girls. Because of the process needed to hire a new coach, I expect it may take some time for a person to be hired. If that happens, know Pat Marsman cares a lot about the program and is doing everything he can to make the best hire possible. Doing this well is very much on his mind.
In the meantime, I’ll help players coordinate what they are going to do to improve in the offseason as I normally would. I’ll gladly take your emails with questions about getting into the best programs possible at the clubs for your child and to help them with USTA tournaments if they are interested. I’ll work very hard to make sure that our JV program and our middle schoolers are working hard in the offseason. I want our returning varsity players to finish their season at the state finals next year.
Finally, I want to say thank you to you for all of your support throughout the years. All of you have treated me with a level of support and kindness that, again, I don’t have words to convey my appreciation for. I have loved every moment coaching this team over the past eleven years.