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Meet David Lipe of Edwardsville

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Lipe.

Hi David, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hmm. I wear several hats. I’m an English teacher, the boys and girls tennis coach, a podcast host, a tennis academy founder and director, and a tournament director for several tournaments, including a Men’s Pro Circuit 25K Futures, The Edwardsville Futures.

How do I start? Well, I played tennis all my life, so after a 2-year stint as a teaching pro after college, I decided that I wanted to coach a high school team and teach English, my collegiate major. Founding the camps, the academy, and directing the pro event stemmed from my post as the boys and girls coach at Edwardsville High School. I started Tiger Tennis Camps in 1995 to develop players for the teams I coach; the Edwardsville Tennis Academy was founded about 10 years later when I realized we needed a high-performance component of the training we were providing. Today, Tiger Tennis Camps and the Edwardsville Tennis Academy facilitate the needs of young tennis players at all levels; we train elite players and kids who are just starting. The podcast is the Metro East Sports Podcast. I noticed that the St. Louis Metro East area was grossly underserved by the STL media, so I wanted to change that. I also teach adult tennis through the Edwardsville Park and Rec Department, and I’ve been the Head Pro at Sunset Hills CC in Edwardsville for many years. I do a lot, which keeps me busy.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
I don’t think anything worth doing is easy. However, as the Director of the only Pro Circuit event hosted by a high school, I can promise you that it has only been possible through the support of countless community supporters and sponsors in the business community. We don’t have 1 sponsor that covers our annual 50k budget; rather, we have an army of sponsors, volunteers, and fans that make it possible.

The on-court success of the boys and girls teams (you can view program highlights for the girls and boys teams here: https://dlipe0.wixsite.com/davelipe) has been due to the support of the families and the effort and dedication of the kids themselves. The program’s success is also attributed to the incredible assistant coaches I’ve worked with along the way and the perfect support of District 7. Of course, my biggest challenge is managing my time. As an English teacher, I have a considerable workload–grading, planning, etc., but I endure never letting my many athletic responsibilities dilute my classroom effort.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I teach, coach, direct, manage, organize, and fundraise. I’m proud of our team’s success and the relationships I’ve developed with the players, their families, and many community members. I’m proud to have been an ambassador (unintentionally) for tennis and a provider of opportunities for those who have been under-served. For example, I helped found Mitch’ N’ Friends, a special needs tennis organization, and last year, I began Diversity Day at the Futures, which provided a day of tennis for kids from underserved communities and recognized the achievements of those who, in the past, worked to make the game accessible for everyone.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
I have a staff of about 20 tennis coaches who help teach our camps and academy. On www.edwardsvillefutures.com, you can see the many community/ business entities which support the tournament.

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