Gig Harbor High School’s new tennis coach has plenty of experience.
Lorrie Wood will take over the boys’ program this fall and the girls’ program in the spring after serving as the Pacific Lutheran University women’s head coach for the past 11 years.
The Fox Island resident was an assistant on the Gig Harbor staff before taking the PLU gig.
In 1979-80 she played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles at Green River Community College, placing first at regionals and second at state among Washington community colleges. Wood played at the University of Washington from 1981-82.
Stepping away from the PLU job freed up Wood to take the GHHS job.
“I wanted to coach a little closer to home and do a little more coaching,” Wood said. “With college, there’s a lot of recruiting and traveling. But I really enjoyed it and I’ll miss it. It was just a good time for me step back and coach.”
Wood is familiar with a lot of the area’s tennis players already, having put on various summer camps as part of the Fox Island Community Tennis Association.
“I’ve gotten to start a lot of these kids up with tennis, so I’m really excited,” Wood said. “Both boys and girls have come through my camps in the summer. It’ll be fun to follow up with them and help them at the high school level.”
Wood said the foundation is in place at Gig Harbor. She wants to carry on the tradition of strong tennis teams.
“I want to continue to work toward being one of the strongest teams in our league,” she said. “And just to take each player and help them to be the best they can be in their time there. I also want it to be a good team bonding experience.”
Wood has plenty of experience and knowledge to impart to the high schoolers, some of whom are experienced and some of whom come in fresh with little to no tennis experience.
“I’ll teach them as much as they can absorb,” Wood said. “Some are natural and might not need as much. I do have a lot of knowledge from playing a lot of years, going to tennis conferences. I’m excited to see what the learning curve is for these high school players. … I hope to create an environment where they get better and have a blast doing it.”