Posted: Jun 07, 2019
SEGUIN, Texas – John Strahl has been hired as the new men's and women's tennis coach at Texas Lutheran University, Director of Athletics Bill Miller announced Friday.
Strahl comes to TLU from San Antonio's Winston Churchill High School, where Strahl led the Chargers to nine state semifinal appearances in team tennis and to three state runner-up finishes, also in team tennis.
Strahl coached tennis at Churchill for 31 years (1988-2019) and was the head tennis coach at Big Spring High School in Big Spring, Texas for five years (1983-87).
In addition to the team tennis success at Churchill, Strahl coached an individual state champion in Class 6A boys singles in 2012, a Class 5A state championship in boys doubles in 1998, a Class 5A state runner-up in boys doubles in 2005, and a Class 6A state runner-up in mixed doubles in 2012. Strahl's daughter, Taryn, was a member of that 2012 mixed doubles team.
"For the past 36 years, I have worked at the high school level, and I have longed for an opportunity to work with college players and coach at the collegiate level," said Strahl. "I have been fortunate to have more success than I should have been allowed, and I hope that transfers into this college coaching career. My father (John Strahl) was a college coach for 40 years, and now I have a chance to follow in my father's footsteps."
"This is not a coaching step-stone for me. Taking this job is the pinnacle of my coaching career. I am ready for this new challenge, and I look forward to it. I am excited, and I can't wait to get started."
Strahl was named the San Antonio Express-News High School Tennis Coach of the Year in 2012 and the Texas Tennis High School Coach of the Year for Class 5A in 1999. In that same year, Strahl was the runner-up for National High School Coach of the Year as awarded by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
"We are very excited to welcome John Strahl to the TLU Athletics family," said Bill Miller, TLU's director of athletics. "John's success as a tennis coach speaks for itself. He is a proven winner. I know that he will do great things for our men's and women's tennis programs."
Strahl succeeds David Schneider, who served as interim men's and women's tennis coach for the Bulldogs this past spring.
Schneider took over the program in January on an interim basis after Michael Hunt, TLU's head coach for eight-and-a-half seasons, accepted a position at the University of Texas at Austin. Hunt works in the university's Title IX Office.
Strahl is a 1983 graduate of Greenville College (Ill.), where he received a bachelor's of science degree in physical education. He earned a master's degree in educational administration in 1995 from Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Strahl, a tennis player in college, was inducted into the Greenville College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
Strahl and his wife, Deanna, have three adult children: John III, Wes, and Taryn. All three children played collegiate tennis. John and Wes played at Abilene Christian University, and Taryn played at the University of the Incarnate Word.