Posted: December, 29, 2017 - 1:21pm
Coach of the Year
Bryan Plinske, head coach for girls and boys tennis, won the Illinois High School Tennis Coaches Association’s Girls’ Coach of the Year for Class A. The recognition follows a landmark season, which included a sectional title and state qualification for three of his athletes.
“I am amazed and humbled by this honor,” said Plinske, who has been a District 117 tennis coach since the first year of his teaching career, 1995-1996. He was the varsity boys coach at Antioch Community High School that first year and picked up the varsity girls coaching position the following fall. He became the boys and girls coach for the Eagles when Lakes opened.
The Eagles’ sectional championship — the first in Lakes history — meant an automatic nomination for Plinske for the award. Upon nomination, he and Athletic Director Kurt Rowells completed paperwork to provide the IHSTCA committee with additional information, including the history of the program and its efforts to promote the sport, Plinske said.
Plinske called the girls’ sectional win a “team effort.” It was the first time in Lakes Tennis history that multiple athletes qualified for state. The #1 doubles team of juniors Kylie Jozwik and Melissa Variny took third place at sectionals to qualify, and freshman Megan Heuser placed first at #1 singles, making her the first singles state qualifier in school history. Heuser went on to become the third place medalist at state.
Plinske credits his Coach of the Year win not only to his team’s performance, but also the program’s efforts to promote the game of tennis. For instance, Lakes runs summer camps for first through twelfth grade athletes. The Lakes courts also have been the site of significant events, including a United States Tennis Association tournament and collegiate tournaments hosted by the College of Lake County.
“While I am lucky enough to accept [the award], it really belongs to the district,” Plinske said. “Our program would not be what it is without the hard work from everyone in the district. We rely on so many people; our success, in part, is because of them.”
Plinske will receive a plaque at the IHSTCA workshop luncheon in February.
Follow Lakes Tennis on Twitter @CoachPlinske.