- "There's an old saying that you get good at what you spend time doing," said Rhinelander tennis coach Bob Heideman.
After more than three decades coaching on the high school's tennis courts, Heideman has seen that wisdom manifest, both in himself and his players.
"It's nothing more than, I think, the combination of hard work, which is hours and then being smart about those hours," Heideman said.
Heideman will spend the rest of his hours away from the Rhinelander program that he's coached for so long.
He informed the district that he will retire after the cancelled season officially ends June 13.
"I think it's an opportunity, it's a time, it's a break, where somebody can come in and see what they can do," Heideman said.
Whoever it is, they'll have quite an act to follow.
Heideman's success in Rhinelander has earned him a spot in the Wisconsin High School Tennis Coaches' Hall of Fame. He piled up 591 career wins, 21 conference titles and two sectional championships.
He makes sure to keep all those honors that he makes sure to keep in the proper perspective.
"Doctors retire, teachers retire, people in the community retire and not all of them have the good fortune of being recognized for a career of good works," Heideman said.
As for Heideman's many triumphs, he doesn't quite see them as his own.
"The athletes, without what they gave, I wouldn't be talking to you," Heideman said. "So I'd like to thank them too."
Their success, both on the court and in life, is the only "you're welcome" Heideman ever needed.
"If you can improve, I think life will hold good things for you," Heideman said.
Assistant coach Matt Nichols will be the interim head coach of Rhinelander tennis until a permanent replacement can be named.
|Story By: Andrew Goldstein