2006 High school coach of the year: David Steinbach
Quality plus quantity equals success. That’s the equation by which David Steinbach of Brookfield, Wis., has led his high school tennis teams for 25 years. And the results have been impressive in more ways than one.
As a pioneer in no-cut team tennis, Steinbach is the inaugural winner of RSI’s High School Tennis Coach of the Year award.
Steinbach accepted the coaching job at Brookfield Central High School under the condition that he be allowed to run a no-cut program. Last season, the school’s girl’s tennis team boasted 120 players, and the boys’ roster was 95 strong. And the teams’ record — 12 state championships and 13 final appearances between the two — have other schools following suit.
Steinbach’s men’s and women’s programs are divided into six different teams, each with a full schedule and its own coach. Former players have expressed gratitude to Steinbach. Some have gone on to play tennis recreationally, at the college level, and as teaching professionals. “If they had been cut,” says Steinbach, “they probably would have gone on to a different sport.”
In addition to his coaching duties, Steinbach also serves as chair of the USTA’s No-Cut Coach Advisory Team. Steinbach and two colleagues focus on convincing coaches that the value of running a no-cut program far outweighs any inconveniences. The advisory team also helps them figure out how best to run and organize a no-cut team.
“He’s definitely been a leader,” says Kirk Anderson, USTA director of recreational coaches and programs, who runs the USTA’s No-Cut Coaches program. “He’s just a tremendous expert with groups and teams.”
Dave Steinbach’s tips for success
- Discuss with the school’s principal and athletic director how a no-cut program will be a positive influence on the school community.
- Make it a positive experience for all players, with daily instruction and competitive play.
- Try to get team recognition through school announcements and local media.
See all articles by Kristen Daley
About the Author
Kristen Daley is a contributing editor for Tennis Industry magazine.