Entrepreneur and high performance tennis instructor, Brian Ruffner, 50, is our well-deserved Coach of the Week. The first tennis coach to receive the Coach of the Week honor, Ruffner prides himself on talking the talk and walking the walk. And indeed he has, with more than 28 years of coaching experience.
Currently in his second year as head coach for the Lake Oswego High School Boy’s tennis team, he originally began coaching youth players as a volunteer during his high school years. From the first moment he led players onto the court, Coach Ruffner has believed that: A good coach develops your game, but a great coach improves your life.
His long-standing relationships with former players, including four members from the first high school team he coached in 1982, only add to Coach Ruffner’s “talk”
“Being a coach means you are a teacher and must live your life as positive role model for the youth you work with,” wrote Coach Ruffner reiterating that he takes his mentor role to heart.
Just as he considers his three sons (two in college and the youngest in 8th grade), to be his highest priority, Coach Ruffner also believes his students internal well being to be his prime concern. Motivating his players is just as important as encouraging enjoyment of the game. With a masters in education and multiple tennis certifications, association memberships and honors, it’s clear that Coach Ruffner has found his calling.
Which is why the Lake Oswego High School Lakers have been so successful. Just this season, more than 50 young men tried out for the tennis team – a 40 percent increase from last year. Better yet, the team has the potential to win their district and even produce a sophomore, Scott Goldner, as a 6A state singles title challenger. Pretty impressive considering Coach Ruffner’s two short years working with the team.
Besides coaching tennis, Ruffner is also the founder and director of LiveWire Tennis Academy and Pro Shop. Oh, and he also co-owns an electrical contracting firm in his Portland suburb community. But if there’s one thing that will define Coach Ruffner’s legacy, it’s his commitment to challenging his players to be winners --by conducting themselves with character and a high level of effort before and during competition.
Walk that sweet walk Lake Oswego Lakers! We look forward to following your 2010 season on Weplay!
Coach Ruffner’s Keys to Success:
•My goal is to touch every student's life in a positive way through tennis and a commitment to developing life skills.
•Athletes First, Winning Second.
•Never focus on winning on the scoreboard, focus on game excellence.
•Winning means you work hard at getting better every day.
•Be willing to give your best effort, and prepare to play as well as you can during play.
•Be a great teammate and help others get better.