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Tennis

High school tennis: Jacobs' Jon Betts named national coach of the year by U.S. Professional Tennis Association

Edna Frindell must be excused for playing the part of proud grandmother.

On a family trip to Florida last week, Frindell made sure to tell people why they were there. Her grandson, Jacobs boys and girls tennis coach Jon Betts, had won an award, adding that it was a national thing.

“She must have told everyone she saw,” Betts said.

Betts traveled to Orlando last week and Friday received the U.S. Professional Tennis Association’s High School Coach of the Year award at the USPTA’s world conference. Betts was able to take his young family on a vacation as well as attend conference sessions on tennis coaching during the five-day event.

“I had known (I won) for a little bit but was not allowed to share it,” said Betts, who did tell his wife, children and close family. “I was absolutely shocked by that. I had received the Midwest Coach of the Year and was blown away by that. This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I’m speechless.”

Betts played soccer and tennis at McHenry, then at NCAA Division III Knox College in Galesburg. After graduating from college, he landed a teaching job at Jacobs and became the girls tennis coach.

The process began with Betts receiving the Illinois High School Tennis Coaches Association Coach of the Year award. His girls team in the fall of 2016 was 24-1; the boys were 21-2 in the spring. Betts also conducts community tennis clinics to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Special Olympics. He also is the president of the Algonquin Community Tennis Association and the secretary of the IHSTCA.

“When I received the Illinois and Midwest awards, those awards are earned by the players,” Betts said. “I’m fortunate to have great groups of young men and women who put in the extra effort above and beyond anything I’ve asked. I’ve been blessed to have the players I’ve had. It’s a big credit to the work they put in.”

Betts traveled to Orlando with his wife (Stephanie) and three children (Grace, 7; Claire, 6; and Henry, 5), along with his parents (Dave and Kim Betts) and his proud grandmother.

“It was our first family vacation we’ve taken, the first time the kids flew,” Betts said. “We went to Sea World on Tuesday and Disney World on Saturday. It was a pretty incredible event, great to be a part of.”

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