Coach’s box: Tennis coach fostering relationships, encouraging success for players


Mari Pletta

Coppell coach Rich Foster instructs senior team captain Clark Parlier during tennis practice at the CHS Tennis Center during eighth period. Foster coaches before and after school while striving to lead his players to success.

Christie Hernandez, Staff Writer/Videographer

Continuous hours of coaching before and after school does not prevent Coppell tennis coach Rich Foster from pushing his players to achieve their goals. Regardless of the long hours, Foster leads his players towards success while emphasizing scores do not reflect the talent or personality of any student.


What inspired you to start coaching tennis?

My father Jerry Foster is a Hall of Fame Texas tennis coach and I grew up with him being a math teacher and a tennis coach at Clear Lake High School. He ended his coaching career at Clear Creek High School. I went off to college with other ideas, but after a couple years of school at Oklahoma Christian University, I began to fall in his footsteps by becoming a tennis coach and math teacher as well.


What qualities do you bring to Coppell High School?

I’m not really good at patting myself on the back, but I will tell you the kids always come first. It’s more about the relationships being made with the kids and helping them become young adults more so than it is the tennis itself. I hope what I bring is a strong commitment to helping kids grow up and mature. 


How does your passion for tennis inspire your players on the court?

I have a group of players that absolutely love the game of tennis. If I kept the courts open until midnight, I would have a handful of them playing every single night. I have a passion for winning and I hope I can offer something there. I also bring an aspect of the kids striving to make themselves better, but as far as the love for the game, these kids already have that and are phenomenal workers. 


Why do you love coaching? 

The relationships made with the kids makes me love what I do. I have students dating back to my former years of coaching middle school in New Braunfels, Texas who I still keep in touch with to this day, and seeing them have families and kids of their own is really special. Getting to see them grow up to become successful is what keeps me going, and seeing that outdoes anything that is done on the court. I would also love to see these current young men and ladies become productive adults in society.


How’s season going?

Season is looking stronger than ever. I say that cautiously because I don’t like looking too far into the future, but we’re ranked fifth in texas which is the highest rank this team has ever been. We’ve never taken our team to state and our goal is to make it to the regional finals this year. 


Aside from physical activity, what’s something you want your players to learn off of the court?

Character and honesty always comes first. Tennis is the one sport where you never have an official on your court for the whole time, and I can’t imagine what other sports would look like if the players were told to call their own penalties. In tennis, they’re asked to be honest if the ball reach across a net or is inside or outside the boundaries which requires a lot of integrity. 


Outside of coaching, what are some other activities that bring you joy?

My family is my first and foremost passion. Aside from my family, fishing is my favorite thing in the world and serves as my getaway. Anytime I have the chance to be down on the coast wetting a hook, I’m there. I spend a lot of my summer coastal fishing and get lots of joy out of it. 


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