Published: Aug 04, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Aug 03, 2012 05:04 PM
Carrboro High School has a true professional taking over its tennis program.
Jon Noyes, a teaching pro at the Chapel Hill Tennis Club, has been named head coach for the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams at Carrboro.
“I’m certainly excited about this,” says Noyes. “I’m a tennis nut. If I’m not playing it or teaching it, I’m watching it.”
He succeeds Patti Fox, a long-time fixture on the local tennis scene who led the Jaguars to their first N.C. High School Athletics Association playoff success in the sport. Her family is moving to another state this week.
Noyes, 60, will continue in his role as a pro at the tennis club, which despite its name is actually located in Carrboro, almost within shouting distance of the high school.
An enthusiastic proponent and proselytizer for the sport, Noyes also hopes to stay on a two-fold path of organizing events at the club for the Durham-Orange County Tennis Association and Quickstart tennis for junior players, much the same way Fox did during her tenure as a Carrboro coach.
“As a tennis pro, my mission is get as many young people as I can involved with playing tennis,” Noyes said.
Noyes said he came to coaching later in is life than most people, beginning after he moved from New York to Chapel Hill in 1988. He credits a chance pairing in 2002 with Wimbledon veteran Don Johnson at a tennis club pro-am with sparking his career. After their match, Johnson introduced Noyes to University of North Carolina head coach Sam Paul, and Noyes eventually started helping at UNC tennis camps.
Before taking the Carrboro job last month, Noyes served eight years as an assistant coach at Chapel Hill High School — first under Nick Walker and last year with Neil Alderman.
Carrboro High, still in its first decade of existence, enjoyed steady progress in tennis under Fox. Her female Jaguars were the first varsity team at Carrboro to record a win, and she guided the fledgling program to its first playoff spots in both the NCHSAA individual and dual-team tournaments.
Carrboro reached the boys’ dual team NCHSAA semifinals in 2011 year and last spring finished 19-4 after reaching the state championship final. Three of Carrboro’s top six players from last spring were freshmen: Max Fritsch, Tarek Zikry and Hans Singh.
Noyes said he looks forward to meeting his players this week. Tryouts for the girls’ fall season begin Monday, with the first practices running 8-10 a.m. at Carrboro High.