Michol named Tennis Coach of the Year

Cameron Smale, Managing Editor

Coach of the Year is an honor given to one person, based on their ability to take players on a team and turn them into great athletes. With a boys team comprised of almost all new players, it was an easy decision for coaches to vote AnnMarie Michol as the 2019 recipient.

Although the award is highly honorable and always seen as a big accomplishment, Michol is no stranger to these recognitions. She has received a handful of these awards for league, regional and even state coach of the year.

Michol has a variety of different strategies that let her stand out from the other coaches.

“It is very important to focus on getting better and having the will to understand how important it is to be flexible when setting goals for a team,” Michol said. “This along with continually reworking goals and being realistic when setting them, are among the most important strategies when it comes to coaching.”

Michol is a tennis coach for both boys and girls. Players on both teams agree that Michol deserved this award and has done a fantastic job coaching. She has led multiple athletes to regional and state tournaments.

Michol’s husband, Joe Michol, is also a coach for Utica High’s swim teams. The two of them have been coaching for a long time and are very well known by the students.

“I’m so proud of her. Her hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for the sport is contagious,” Joe Michol said. “She inspires all athletes to compete at a high level, whether they are a first year player or a returning veteran. She is respected by all her peers as well as both of her teams.”

Senior Nathan Oke was fairly new to tennis, and after being coached by Michol this year, will go on to play college tennis as a freshman at Ohio Wesleyan University next year.

“I think she deserves this award because she dedicates a lot of her time into the tennis team, even though she is very busy at De La Salle, being in student council and being involved with other teacher activities,” Oke said. “I think it’s really cool that she gets the opportunity to play tennis with us and teach us about the game, as well.”

Over the years, Michol has earned these awards by taking extra time out of her day to make a huge difference into the Utica athletes performances as well as their lives. She has, and will continue to put her teams before herself, as she has coached for around twenty six years.

Senior Jared Jurkowski is an experienced tennis player who has been impacted by Michol’s coaching strategies and abilities.

“Coach really deserved the award this year,” Jurkowski said. “She really made a lot of us work hard and get better at tennis in ways we never could have thought of while also getting to know us and having a good time with us throughout the season.”

Michol currently has no plans of retiring soon and will keep progressing her athletes to improve their skills. She appreciates working with all of her athletes, and has already held a meeting for the girls season, which begins this spring.