When the Marshall High School varsity boys tennis team takes the court next March, there will be a new face in charge of the squad: Luke Haen has recently been named the team’s new head coach, replacing long-time coach Stephen Moody.
Haen is in his first year teaching at Marshall after a stint student teaching at Chantilly High.
Haen is currently an assistant coach for the Marshall wrestling program, but has no tennis coaching experience.
Haen has, however, played some tennis, and ran cross country in college.
“I’ve always had a love for tennis,” said Haen, who teaches social studies. “I’m really excited to give it a shot.”
Former coach Moody will still be around and help out in an advisory role, ensuring a smooth transition. Haen has been taking advantage of having the former coach’s experience right at his fingertips.
“We sat down,” said the rookie coach. “I’ve been picking his brain, getting a lot of good pointers.”
After searching for a coach, Marshall High’s Activities Director Joe Swarm was energized by the possibilities that Haen presents.
One positive is that Haen is on campus, meaning better access and communication between him and student-athletes.
“It helps with the kids,” said Swarm. “They see him on a day to day basis.”
Swarm also added that Moody mentoring Haen is a plus, and sees the girls head coach Robin Crider as a valuable resource for the new coach to use.
“It’s an opportunity to nurture somebody,” said Swarm,
With the season still a few months away, Haen is spending the time leading up to then “just getting to know my players.”
“It’s a whole new ballgame,” he said.