TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology assistant tennis coach Curt Howard has been named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Women's Assistant Coach of the Year in awards released by the organization on Tuesday.
Howard has served 11 seasons on the men's and women's tennis coaching staff at Rose-Hulman. He previously had more than 10 seasons of experience at Sullivan High School prior to serving on the Fightin' Engineer coaching staff.
Since joining Rose-Hulman, Howard has been part of teams that have reached five men's and two women's NCAA Division III Tournaments, marking the first NCAA trips in the history of Fightin' Engineer tennis. His efforts on the women's side included serving as assistant coaching for the 2011 and 2017 teams that reached the NCAA Division III Tournament. The women's squad has won double figures nine times in the last 11 years, in large part due to Howard's efforts.
"There is not a more mild-mannered and kind individual person I know than Curt Howard," wrote head coach Dan Hopkins in Howard's nomination letter for this award. "He never loses his cool and conveys confidence and knowledge of the game to our players in a professional and adult manner. The players have respect and confidence in the knowledge that he uses with practices and matches. He is skilled in all aspects of coaching and is a positive influence on the lives of the youngsters at our school," added Hopkins.
Howard had a unique path to tennis coaching that was also documented by Hopkins in the nomination letter.
"Curt has spent most of his life as professional baker and businessman, running his own community bakery. Several years ago he gave it all up to become a part time tennis professional, racquet stringer, tennis coach, and leader of his community church. I was fortunate to find that he was willing to help our men and women's tennis teams when available," said Hopkins.
Howard becomes the first Rose-Hulman tennis coach to win ITA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year honors in program history.
Howard and the Fightin' Engineer women's squad won the HCAC Tournament in 2016 to reach the NCAA Division III Tournament, and the squad has advanced to the HCAC Tournament Semifinal Round in 2017 and 2018.