Don Moravec '69 frequently relies upon the principles forged in a 31-year career as an educator in his current role as North Central's head women's tennis coach.
"Coaching is educating, but in a different setting," he says. "They both involve having knowledge of a subject and being able to demonstrate it to others. They both require repetition, and they both require good fundamentals, whether it's taking general math before algebra or having the proper grip on a racket before you serve."
Moravec believes that competition is important in both education and athletics. "In the classroom, you're competing for grades, and in athletics it's winning or losing a contest. They both involve lifelong learning activities. They say winning and losing aren't important, but it's part of life—you're preparing to compete in the real world."
Moravec's approach has led to unprecedented success for the women's tennis program. In the midst of his sixth year as the Cardinals' head coach, Moravec's teams have posted a record of 58-42-2 in dual matches and placed third at the 2009 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Championships, the highest conference finish in the program's history.
A former football player and wrestler for the Cardinals and a past coach of football, wrestling and girls' badminton at Downers Grove North High School, Moravec has a vast amount of athletic experience in other venues that translates onto the tennis court. The players appreciate both the knowledge and dedication of Moravec, along with assistant Ron Jakes, to the women's tennis program.
"The coaches have taught me to remain 100 percent focused on myself and my own match—those who stay concentrated are those who are successful," says Cory Schillerstrom '12, a three-time all-CCIW honoree. "Our coaches do so much for us, they always say that they just want to 'boost the program.' They have such big hearts. They have truly taught me how beautiful it is to be a selfless and generous person."