After spending the past 12 years as president of the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association, I wanted to take this time to assess the “State of the IHSTeCA.”  It has been and continues to be my pleasure to serve the state’s tennis coaches.  I have been surrounded by a top-notch staff of officers for the past several years, and we enjoy working together on conventions, rules proposals, district meetings, and other association business.  Literally everything that the association accomplishes is a group effort.

Twelve years ago, I was groomed for the president’s role by Ed Yarbrough of Jasper.  Ed was a major force in building the numbers of the IHSTeCA and in showing me the importance of organizing and planning.  I have also been fortunate to work for many years with Carmel Coach Sharon Rosenburgh, another master of detail and a fount of creativity.  Two other veterans, Bill Reed of LaPorte and Jim Clark of Homestead, have been with me throughout the past decade.  Ed, Sharon, Bill and Jim all are members of the Tennis Hall of Fame and provide a wealth of info.  Don Wafer of Muncie Central does an amazing job as secretary/treasurer.  He keeps our membership records, organizes convention registration, and sends all-state and academic all-state certificates among other duties.  Outstanding coaches such as Mark Reilly of Jeffersonville, Joe Doyle of Bloomington South, Mike Bostic of Carmel, Kyle Stoffel of FW Carroll, Ryan Keirns of FW South, Gabe Muterspaugh of Mount Vernon, and Mark Noe of Cathedral also make the IHSTeCA operate smoothly throughout the year.  We welcome aboard Matt DeVault of Alexandria, who will serve as head rater for girls this season.

Highlights during the past few years

  • Approval and implementation of Eight at State.  This took effect in Fall 2009 as eight teams qualified for the IHSAA State Finals in boys’ tennis.  Five of the seven matches at state were determined by 3-2 scores, making for an exciting debut to the Eight at State.  It brought us more in line with all the other IHSAA sanctioned sports.  Eight at State will continue this spring with girls’ tennis.  Quarterfinal final matches on Friday will be played at two sites (to be determined).
  • Creation of Senior All-Star Boys Matches (supplements Senior All-Star Girls Matches that are organized by Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association).  This event is held at DePauw University immediately after the boys’ season ends and is sponsored by St. Vincent Sports Performance Center.  Organized by Mike Bostic, the event attracts 36 top seniors and has been highly successful so far.
  • Renovation of Indiana Tennis Hall of Fame (major improvements with long-term plan in place).  Ed Yarbrough, Jim Clark and Bill Reed have been instrumental in upgrading our Hall of Fame in the Barbara S. Wynne Tennis Center.  We are totally up to date on the plaques that are on display for our 100 inductees.  They are now housed in oaken cabinets.  We have added beautiful team photos of all boys’ and girls’ team state champions and are producing plaques for State Coaches of the Year.  We also have state champs recognized on the ceiling of the center.  Plans are underway for more displays, including memorabilia for the history of Indiana tennis.
  • Approval of 22-match cap (greater flexibility for coaches to build schedule of duals/tournaments).  This rule was passed in 2009 and now permits each school to build a schedule that fits its needs.  Schools can play 22 matches as long as they stay within a maximum of 16 duals and a maximum of five tournaments.  This provides much more freedom for scheduling and has been a big help for all schools.
  • NEW website.  Our website has increasingly become our primary communication tool.  You can expect to find news, announcements, forms, match results, rankings, all-district and all-state results, match hotline, coaches emails, coaches career records, Hall of Fame info, and much more on our frequently updated website.
  • Great convention relationship with Indianapolis Racquet Club.  We have enjoyed excellent conventions at the Indianapolis Racquet Club most years from 2006-2017 and look forward to a continued relationship in the future.  The IRC Team Sports serves as our primary sponsor throughout the year.  IRC Team Sports serves more than 2,000 schools throughout the nation (including every state) and can handle any needs you have for your team.
  • Series of highly successful conventions.  Our conventions in recent years have drawn large crowds and have received excellent evaluations.  Speakers such as Wayne Bryan, Ken DeHart, Greg Patton, Dave Porter, Vic Braden, Rodney Harmon, Bob Love, Guy Parks, Mike O’Connell, Jorge Capestany and many others have shared great ideas with our coaches.
  • Online registration system for conference and memberships.  We have tried to make it simple for coaches to register for convention.  The online system also makes it easy for us to send mass emails to everyone for updates.
  • Consistency of leadership team.

Challenges ahead

Convention in a tough economy (first-class conventions can be expensive, but many schools are tightening the budgets) We gathered data at the 2016 Convention to see how the economy might be affecting your program and will try to come up with solutions to help you.

Alienation of some members who feel they are left out (all-district/all-state honors)

Risk of “staleness” of leadership team.  We always seek more help from anyone who is interested.  Contact me if you want to help

Communication is the key!

We need to continue to work together.  Officer and Top 30 rater emails and phone numbers are online at www.ihsteca.com.  Be sure to let us know how we can help you!

Keep the ball out of the net!

Tim Cleland
(Delta High School)
IHSTeCA president