Tennis coach takes pride in consistency

IUS Horizon

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Yancey Walters

Yancey Walters

Consistency is a significant word to IUS men’s tennis coach, Yancey Walters. He said it’s what makes him unique from coaches of other campuses.

“I show up consistently,” Walters said. “A lot of people wouldn’t think much of it, but it’s a big deal to me. I make sure that I’m here to interact and work with my team. I also have to pay attention to my team’s grades and their outside behavior to make sure they are able to maintain a spot on the team.”

Walters has been a tennis coach at IU Southeast for six years. He was originally an assistant coach.

Walters graduated from IU Southeast with a bachelor’s degree in physical education with a minor in health and safety. He is one writing assignment away from completing his master’s degree in elementary education.

“In my freshman year of college, I started teaching tennis more heavily and it led to my wanting to pursue health and education,” Walters said. “I like the kids and helping them to hopefully become healthy individuals.”

As coach of the tennis team Walters has several responsibilities to the team besides showing up consistently. Walters and his assistant coach, Zak Leffler, are in charge of recruiting, buying equipment supplies, coaching practices and matches, scheduling events, transportation and fundraising.

Aside from being the tennis coach, Walters teaches middle school physical education and health in Louisville. He also coaches for the intramural program at the middle school.

“I like interacting with kids,” Walters said. “Kids are more interesting to me than adults and I work with a variety of age groups on a daily basis.”

Walters has a variety of goals for his team this season. He said he is depending on his team’s consistent strength of doubles to develop into a great advantage for the team.

One of Walters’ goals is to win a fourth Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship in April. A larger goal for the team is to be in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Top 25 Coaches’ Poll and go on to nationals.

“We have won the KIAC three years in a row now since I have been coach, and I really hope we can earn another win,” Walters said.

To prepare for another KIAC title run, the tennis team practices up to five days a week with cooperating weather.

Besides scheduling practices and sustaining his team’s grades and behavior, Walters also has the duty of paperwork with budgeting, recruiting and scheduling.

“A constant obstacle for me is the bureaucratic machine of college sports,” Walters said. “People don’t realize that it’s a lot of paperwork and dedication that goes into a college team.”

Because of Walters’ dedication to his team he was voted coach of the year in by the coaches of the KIAC.

“He is a great coach because of his teaching skills,” Leffler said. “He is very understanding with the kids, and he puts you on the same level. He never talks down to you.”

By COURTNEY MCKINLEY

Staff Writer

comckinl@umail.iu.edu