2007 High school coach of the year: Marian DeWane
For Marian DeWane, more is certainly merrier. In Boise, Idaho, DeWane has led the Centennial High School team for two decades, and the program adopted the no-cut concept at its inception. Each year, DeWane and her assistants, both paid and volunteer, work with 85 to 120 students.
“I don’t think you can ever discount any athlete, and anyone who wants to learn, we want to help them enjoy the game,” says DeWane, who received the USTA No-Cut Coach Starfish Award in 2006 for her efforts. “We want the number of kids who love tennis and play to keep increasing.”
DeWane’s dedication to making tennis available to all interested students at Centennial High School makes her RSI’s High School Coach of the Year.
DeWane manages to practice and play three squads — Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity — on six courts during the tennis season. Still, her team has consistently remained at the top of the game in its district and state, winning seven state championships and ranking among the top four teams at state nearly every season.
“We had kids from all walks of life come out for the tennis team, and for some it was a great, lifelong sport that they learned and were really good at,” says Sara Swanson, a former Centennial player and former volunteer coach. “For others, it was a great way to be involved, to learn about tennis and to stay out of trouble.”
“The students have a good time,” says DeWane. “They get a positive self-image from that. They can go out and, whatever their level, they can enjoy the game.”
Tips for success
- Get commitment from coaches and players to the no-cut philosophy. Every child is important and can play a vital role on the team.
- Be flexible, be creative in scheduling and be willing to try new things. Practices should be well-planned, including drills that can involve a lot of players on one court.
- Encourage team members to continue playing even when obstacles present themselves. When recruiting, let students know that their tennis ability level doesn’t matter, as long as they commit to getting better.
See all articles by Kristen Daley
About the Author
Kristen Daley is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.