NYSPHSAA TENNIS COORDINATOR CHRIS HORGAN HONORED
IN 2017-18 SCHOOL YEAR
By Claire Deegan, NYSPHSAA ’18 Summer Intern
NYSPHSAA Girls Tennis Coordinator Chris Horgan was recently recognized by multiple organizations for his hard work and success in the sport of tennis. For the 2017-18 school year he was honored as New York State Coaches Association Boys Tennis Coach of the Year, 2017 NFHS North Region Boys Tennis Coach of the Year, 2017 United States Tennis Association Eastern High School Coach of the Year (also received in 1993), and 2017 Buffalo Area High School Coach of the Year presented by the Buffalo Tennis Hall of Fame.
“It is a tremendous honor. While each is an individual honor, I truly believe that these awards also recognize the many fine student-athletes it has been my pleasure and privilege to have coached during my career,” Chris said.
Horgan who retired from Medina Central School District in June, has been coaching multiple sports since the 1970’s. He has coached junior varsity girls volleyball (18 years), junior varsity boys basketball (4 years), girls modified basketball (17 years), AYSO and YMCA soccer (10 years), and YMCA youth basketball (10 years). Chris is a Royalton-Hartland High School alumn as he was a starter and captain of the varsity boys tennis team all four years. He continued his playing career at Saint Bonaventure University during his junior and senior years.
Beyond athletics, Chris was an English and Social Studies teacher at Medina from 2001-2018 and taught at Royalton-Hartland for the previous 13 years. He has a special bond with his students and furthers the connection through sharing his passion for tennis with them.
“Getting into coaching was a way of continuing to be involved as I began my teaching career,” Horgan said. “I always felt that it was good to have the opportunity to work with students outside the classroom to help further establish a positive rapport and at the same time impact positive life lessons through sports.”
Horgan’s tremendous commitment and passion to his students and sports fall perfectly into his main objectives in teaching life-long lessons and discipline while at the same time be healthy, active, and having fun.
“Playing sports offers one infinite opportunity to put these ideals into action and hopefully will lead to strengthening one’s character for the future. I have always felt that teaching and coaching are synonymous that when I am in the classroom, I am also coaching my students in the academic discipline and life skills. Conversely, when I am coaching on the court, I am teaching the specific skills of the sport along with trying to reinforce positive life values, such as, working hard to achieve a goal, cooperating well with others, dealing with adversity in a positive manner, and being gracious in both victory and defeat.”
What makes Horgan so successful is understanding the importance of the coach-player relationship. He dedicates a majority of his time to not only the sport, but the student-athletes. Chris says that the coaching experience is time consuming, but very fulfilling and a great deal of fun at the same time. He takes the time to connect with each individual team member and his goal is to see everyone grow on and off the court.
“The most important thing about coaching is the interaction with the players such as talking about life and joking around with one another at practice. It is rewarding to see the players develop their skills, knowing where they started from square one, and seeing their progress in both practice and competition,” Horgan said. “You must make the sport fun at the same time that you get the players to buy into the commitment of being serious and getting better. Coaching reaffirms my commitments to two expectations – respect everybody and do your best. The lessons being that the focus in coaching sports should foremost be to help young student-athletes be good human beings while learning the skills necessary to successfully compete in the sport.”
Although he is now retired, Chris will begin his 27th year as NYSPHSAA Girls Tennis Coordinator.
NYSPHSAA Girls Tennis State Coordinator, Chris Horgan