Retired tennis coach honored with court naming

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The school’s tennis courts and facilities. Picture taken by the drone “Al.”

Long time tennis coach John Watson will be honored and inducted to the TISD Hall of Fame tomorrow at 7 a.m. in the Dan Haskins Student Center.

“I think Coach Watson really deserves this honor because he’s worked here for so long, and he has had such an impact on everyone’s lives that have been on been on the tennis team,” senior Annie Tarwater said. “He really was like a fatherly figure to everyone on the team. He also taught a lot about not just tennis, but also God and other things as well.”

Watson retired at the end of last year after coaching in TISD for 31 years. In his legacy he produced 464 team wins, 56 fall/spring titles. Almost 30 of the athletes under his advisement were named state qualifiers with 6 of them going on to earn champion state titles.

“I really didn’t know what to expect when I came to Texas High,” Watson said. “There were four courts of asphalt by the field house with nets made of chain link fence. Other than that, my first challenge was to instill in players that tennis is not just an individual sport- it is a team sport, and we must focus on the full picture of the game.”

Former Texas High tennis coach John Watson pictured in staff photo.
Former Texas High tennis coach John Watson pictured in staff photo.

Not only did Watson teach the students about tennis, but he also helped instill moral values by starting the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club for his players to join.

“In some cases, I saw these students more than their parents did,” Watson said. “I had good kids, good students and wanted to reinforce the importance of family values with them while they were under my care.”

The family values he portrayed left an impact on the players under his supervision and made them think of Watson as more than just a coach.

“[Watson] has impacted all of our lives in so many ways,” sophomore Mary Claire Paddock said. “We all just have a mutual respect for him, and he respected us. For most of us, he had been our coach since the sixth grade, and I had been in FCA with him, so I knew his values. Everyone got really close with him partially because he cared about us as a person instead of just as a player.”

The entire TISD community is looking forward to honoring Watson and thanking him for his many years of service.

“I feel that out of everyone, he’s really deserving of this,” Tarwater said. “He pushed us, but in the end, we all really appreciated him and loved him.”