Ada Tennis Coach is Named National Coach of the Year - - No One Gets You Closer

Ada Tennis Coach is Named National Coach of the Year


ADA, OK--One of Ada's finest is receiving some well-deserved recognition. Varsity tennis coach Skip Griese recently took home the title of National Coach of the Year.

In tennis, love means nothing. But for years, Ada's Coach Griese--known as "Skip" among his players--has defied that technicality. 

Named National Tennis Coach of the Year after his 2013 season, Skip says he never expected to win.

"I filled out an application in October, sent it in, was going 'Okay it's just something that might happen. If it does it would be great,'" he said.

His players and assistant coaches, however, say the choice was an ace.

Assistant coach and son, Joe Neil Griese, said: "It's pretty nice to see him get recognized for all the hard work. He's one of the hardest working coaches I've ever seen."

Senior player Zack Whelchel said of Skip: "He's always out here, he's always working with us. He expects the best out of us, and does his best to get it."

And his expectations have turned into results. Seven total state championships and about 800 match wins for his men and women's teams within the past five years alone.

"My program philosophy on practice is to do something different every day," said Griese. "To try and improve the players every day in a new aspect, to challenge them every day."

Skip's players say they agree that he doesn't just teach tennis on the courts, but that he also incorporates life lessons.

Freshman player Karsen Sheffield said: "Throughout each day he's always told me never give up. And that's probably the most important lesson he's ever taught me."

Joe Griese said: "Win, lose, always show class. Give credit where credit's due."

Just like he teaches his players and students, he's giving credit where it's due.

"It's just rewarding to know that I got it because the kids are so dedicated. The parents support me. And I've had a great opportunity to work for a great school system. Both in the classroom and on the tennis court."

Technically, Griese won the coaching award in the boys division; however, he says he considers it an award for the entire tennis program. He says he couldn't have done it without help from the Lady Cougars, as well.