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Our Dear Friend "Coach," May He Rest in Peace
Last week while I was working on the TennisW software upgrade I decided to spend a bit of time trying to find out what our friend and TW supermod Coach has been up to as he hasn't been on TW in a while. This actually wasn't the first time I searched online and tried to catch up with him, along with multiple emails and PMs over the past few months. I know I wasn't the only one wondering where Coach has been. We were all hoping that Coach would be returning back to TennisW sometime soon.
Well, during my recent search I learned the very sad news that our dear friend Coach has passed away.
Coach first joined TennisW approximately 6 years ago, but he didn't start participating on TW until just under 2 years ago. Very soon after getting active on TW, within months, Coach had become one of this community's most active and dedicated supporters. You can see for yourself what the TennisW community meant to Coach in a message that he posted to his profile back in September of 2008: http://www.tennisw.com/forums/member.php?2737-Coach (scroll to the bottom of that page, the first comment in the visitors comments section of his profile).
It didn't take long at all after Coach joined TW for me to consider him a friend and just as quickly as a great friend. I always enjoyed chatting via PM with Coach on so many topics. I only knew Coach online... It's times like these that make you realize that life is far too short. I miss Coach and am sad that he's gone.
Along with Coach's passion for tennis I believe it's fitting to say that he had an even greater passion for music. I actually had the pleasure of listening to one of Coach's mixes that he made himself in his home music studio. Let me tell you, it was amazing. I was shocked even more to find out that every instrument in his "band" was being played by him. Somehow he had played the part of each instrument individually, recorded it and then mixed it all together into some incredible tunes.
Coach leaves to cherish his memory: his wife, mother, step sister, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.... and his friends here at TennisW.
One last parting word, this one from Coach (from his very first message posted to TennisW on 06-26-2008):
Originally Posted by Coach
Thank you John for sharing your story. I know many of us still read his insightful posts and wish he were still part of the group. My condolences go out to his family and friends.
AAAAARGH! He underhand served us! Wish he had let us know there was an issue so we could have given some encouragement and support. Condolences to his family. He was/is a cool guy.
Very sorry to hear the news. May Coach rest in peace in the hereafter.
So Long, Friend
I met Ken, aka Coach, on tennisw when he first came on the scene. He had lots to say right off the bat, and as the Moderator of Oscar Wegner's Modern Tennis Methodology Forum I was very interested in listening to Coach's ideas about tennis. Over time we engaged in several debates off the forum, on the phone and via private messages. We didn't see eye to eye in one regard; Coach felt very strongly that I should express only my opinion and not that of Oscar Wegner in discussing tennis teaching methodology. I could never make him understand that my own personal experience in tennis is so closely linked to MTM that for me there wasn't much to say of a helpful nature about teaching tennis apart from using that method as a model. However, out of respect for Ken's reality I made a point of recounting my experiences as a player and USTA captain BEFORE meeting Oscar and adopting his methodology as well as discussing the technical aspects of MTM both on the forum and in private correspondence with Ken. There were times when I had to bring John, our Administrator, into the discussion to check policy and smooth out the situation. Ken was very passionate about his tennis, his music and his participation on tennisw. Over time we developed a mutual respect that became a kind of long-distance friendship. Our conversations grew to include topics other than tennis such as family, nutrition, music, and even politics. Eventually, Ken was comfortable enough to reveal his health issues with me, and we spent significant time discussing ways in which he could face this challenge. He maintained a sense of optimism throughout, and his concern for his family was always greater than for himself.
Coach did a tremendous service to tennisw as an enthusiastic volunteer, and he maintained an air of professionalism on the site that I greatly respected. His intent was always to educate, to analyze and to help both in the administration of the site as well as in being a friendly greeter and purveyor of information to our readers. His lively contributions will be greatly missed. Ken helped me realize that although people within the tennis community can hold very different opinions and realities about how the game is played, with good communication and mutual respectfulness there is room for us all to learn from one another and enjoy this wonderful sport. I salute you, Coach Ken.
'GAME, SET, MATCH"
How good can your game get?
You too can
play like the Pros with The Wegner Method
Discuss The Wegner Method
here at TW in the MTM forum
or visit www.tennisteacher.com
for more info.
I was also wondering where he had gone. He was a great guy, and though I had barely got any time to know him, he was very insightful and encouraging. Condolences to his family, and I hope he rests in peace.
I am a very infrequent visitor here and learned only today of the death of Coach. I joined TennisW a couple of years ago and Coach and I then had some interesting discussions about tennis - the relative merits of Martina N and Steffi Graf, the career of Ivan Lendl.
But what I was really touched by were his posts about animals and our need to work to protect them and cherish them.
He had put a post on urging Californians to support a proposition that would offer these beautiful creatures a little protection and consideration.
He also described his anger at those who are cruel to animals for no reason whatsoever except that they enjoyed it.
He said anyone who did that near him wouldn't be able to do it for long but that "he couldn't be everywhere".
Hopefully he can be now.
Good people like that go to a good place of that I am sure.
Coach also spoke of the vital need to protect and cherish this beautiful planet - he was a man of empathy and sympathy, a kind and thoughtful man and a man we and the world can ill afford to lose.
Coach asked me if I was interested in becoming a Moderator on TennisW - I said I didn't have the time and that I wasn't the sort of person who agreed to commit to something and then failed to deliver - I said I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone.
He said he understood and appreciated my frankness and that there'd been others who had agreed and then hadn't followed through, people who'd disappointed him and John. He understood the importance of making and keeping committments.
Finally he was committed to TennisW - he worked so hard to try to make it a lively and flourishing site and I know he was frustrated at times by the progress in that area.
He wanted to back John and help him realise his vision.
He's a great loss to TennisW but more importantly he's a great loss to the world - there are too many cruel and greedy people on this planet and not enough people like Coach.
If there's a Heaven (and I believe there to be) he's there.
A lovely man.
In his honour I'll try to log on here as often as possible - he'd like that.