By JOHN NAUGHTON • email@example.com • September 23, 2009
Lawrence Eyre began a thriving tennis program by thinking small: tiny rackets and child-sized nets.
Eyre was named national high school coach of the year by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association.
The Fairfield Maharishi boys’ coach started the program in 1988, teaching the game to kindergartners and hoping they’d stick with tennis.
“I had to teach the game to little kids and hoped they liked it,” Eyre said.
He is believed to be the first coach of an Iowa high school boys’ team to win the award. He’ll be honored at a ceremony in Florida.
Maharishi is the smallest Iowa school to have its own boys’ tennis team.
In a school with about 100 students in grades 9-12, Eyre knew he’d have to develop varsity players early.
Since then, he has won four state team titles and reached the top four 12 times. Last season’s team took second.
Eyre initially coached both boys’ and girls’ tennis. His wife, Laurie, took over the girls’ program 15 years ago. He credits her help as a key in building a better boys’ program.
A special celebration will be held in the Maharishi School assembly hall for Eyre at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Several of Eyre’s former players will be present.