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Terry Schwartzkopf: National Boys Tennis Coach of the Year (2017-18)

By Hannah Wishart on April 23, 2019 coaches Print

The NFHS is proud to name Terry Schwartzkopf of H.H. Dow High School in Midland, Michigan as the 2017-18 Boys Tennis Coach of the Year!

One of the truest signs of a quality athletic program is the willingness of past players to return as volunteers. Coach Terry Schwartzkopf has this quality in spades! Throughout his past 12 years of coaching, he has had 7 alumni choose to return and help the program that made them successful. While Coach Schwartzkopf values wins, he knows that the true purpose of an athletics program is to shape young people into well-rounded adults. He takes his role in that process very seriously.

The NFHS is honored to name Terry Schwartzkopf as the 2017-18 NATIONAL Boys Tennis Coach of the Year! 

School: H.H. Dow High School

Seasons Coaching: 19 | State Championships: 6

Coaching Highlights: Conference Coach of the Year (2007, 13, 16, 17), Regional Coach of the Year (2011, 12, 17), MHSTeCA Division 2 State Coach of the Year (2017), MHSCA State Coach of the Year (2017)

Undefeated Seasons: 2010, 2011, 2014

Coached varsity for 12 years and won the following: 12 SVL (Conference) Championships, 10 Regional Championships in a row, 6 State Championships (5 in a row: 2009-2013, 2016), and 11 straight years of finishing in the top 5 at States.


Philosophy of Athletics

Coach Schwartzkopf believes that the sport is irrelevant when it comes to coaching. Granted, specific content knowledge is imperative to success, but coaching is about creating a stable environment in which young individuals can mature as individuals and athletes. For Terry, athletics help individuals learn how to cope with loss, cope with success, and how to work to achieve a goal. It allows them the ability to feel that they contribute to something greater than themselves, to put team before self, and serves as something that unites players regardless of age or circumstances. His teams tend to be a tight knit bond of individuals who help each other to succeed.

In fact, this year he had seven alumni return at various time in order to work with the team, desiring to give back to the program. His original captain returned to serve as a volunteer assistant coach this year. These legends give faces to the names that his players have heard stories of as they continue to unite this team past, present, and future. When moments got tight, they played for the program, for each other, for tradition - not self glorification. They played to honor those who have helped and guided them.

The feeling of community, however, goes beyond the tennis courts. Often Terry has conversations with players after school regarding home life, personal issues, politics, and life in general. This still occurs with those who have graduated a decade or more ago. They know that they can be open with him without judgment and that he values them not for their tennis ability, but for who they are.

Every season on the eve of states, he gives his seniors personal and individually-crafted letters of gratitude and encouragement. This tradition has become a highlight of each season and a chance to explain to each player why they matter beyond the world of tennis and the impact they leave behind. He is proud that they are victorious, but he is continually amazed and beams with pride when he sees how they handle themselves in both adversity and success and how they are turning into young men.

The records, trophies, and competition are a wonderful part of the game of tennis, but the real victories come in watching these young boys turn into productive men willing to serve others, live with integrity, and exhibit character and sportsmanship both on and off the court.

See all of the 2017-18 National Coach of the Year recipients by viewing our press release.