BYUH TENNIS COACH REACHES MILESTONE
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Brigham Young-Hawaii tennis coach David Porter earned his 1,00th career win yesterday.
Porter hits 1,000
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It's not about winning. At least not now, says David Porter.
"Maybe in the beginning, it was about trying to win and having a good team," said Porter, the men's and women's tennis coach at Brigham Young-Hawaii. "Now that we've had the good teams it's all about the interaction with the kids, watching them develop as players and people.
David Porter has coached BYUH's men for 24 years and its women for 16 years:
» Men: 548-115 (.827)
» Women: 452-13 (.972)
"I've got 50 former players who are out coaching or teaching tennis. Seeing them do that is winning."
But the Seasiders have also won on the court ... a lot. Yesterday, the top-ranked women's team gave Porter his 1,000th career victory with a 9-0 sweep of Dixie State at the BYUH courts. It was the 68th consecutive win for the Seasiders women, who improved to 8-0 this season, all by a 9-0 score.
Porter has coached the Seasiders men since 1984, posting a 548-115 record with two national championships. He's coached the women since 1992, with a 452-13 record and nine national titles.
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FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Brigham Young-Hawaii tennis coach David Porter, who earned his 1,000th career win yesterday against Dixie State, spoke with redshirt freshman Elwen Li during a break in the action.
He rolled out the ball cart for what must have seemed the millionth time.
Two hours later, David Porter rolled the ball cart off the Brigham Young-Hawaii tennis courts following his 1,000th career coaching victory.
A 9-0 sweep of Dixie State yesterday in Laie gave Porter his 452nd win as Seasider women's coach and, combined with his 548 wins with the men's team ...
"I think it's more significant for the school than anything else," said Porter, who took over the men's program in 1984, the women in 1992. "The wins have come in groups. I'm still very close to the guys I coached in the late '80s. They built the first few hundred (wins) that is making it happen now.
"I've been very fortunate to have really good players who wanted help to get better and wanted the education that we offer here."
And Porter, who holds a doctorate, is an educator first. He is a tenured professor at BYUH in the Exercise and Sports Science Department and the enjoyment of teaching is part of the reason he has remained at the Laie campus rather than accept a Division I coaching offer.
"I've had some chances to go to other places," the 56-year-old Porter said, "but they only wanted me to be the coach. That might be OK for next year but what about eight years from now when I may not want to be on the court?
"I love to teach."
The lessons continue long past the time spent on the BYUH courts. Coincidentally yesterday, the Dixie State coach is a BYUH graduate and former volunteer assistant for Porter.
"It's neat to be part of this experience today, really amazing how it worked out," Rebels coach Eric Pelton said. "I worked with him, graduated two years ago and went straight to Dixie to start a brand new program.
"I gained so much from working with him. Without that, I would have been lost. He's my mentor. I still call him all the time asking, 'Coach, what do I do?' "
Freshman Elwen Li said she enjoyed Porter's style of coaching.
"He is always encouraging, helping us get better," said Li, a Chinese national who won yesterday's match 6-1, 6-1. "I am so grateful that I am one of the team and have the opportunity to participate in his 1,000th win as coach."
Yesterday's postmatch ceremony included an appearance by school president Steven Wheelwright, a congratulatory letter from the Pacific West Conference, leis and cake. There were also a lot of memories.
"It really sneaks up on you," said Lorrie Porter, the coach's wife of 32 years. "This is a great accomplishment. I don't remember the first win, but I do remember the first national title (NAIA women in 1997).
"And you get so close to the kids, get to see them grow. That's what has been so important to him."
David Porter has won two NCAA Division II men's championships, two NAIA women's titles and seven NCAA Division II women's banners. He has coached 50 players who have earned 97 All-American certificates and is the only coach in any sport to have won 100 consecutive contests ... and his women's team has done it twice, with streaks of 103 and 130.
And he's done it the same way every match. Roll out the ball cart, short team meeting and a team yell of "Arete." It's Greek, meaning to strive for excellence.