Joshua Schaan is the new high school boys tennis coach


Joshua Schaan has been named boys varsity tennis coach at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. Mr. Schaan played high school tennis in Seattle, Washington, and college tennis at The University of Mary in Bismarck, N. D., and he has extensive coaching experience at junior and high school levels.

Mr. Schaan graduated in 2006 with a degree in theology and has worked with Catholic youth ministries in Seattle and in North Dakota. He came to the Island last August to work in Catholic youth ministry here.

In a telephone interview this week, Mr. Schaan said he was planning to meet with former boys tennis coach Ned Fennessy, who retired this year after 23 years and back-to-back Division III state championships.

“I’m looking forward to meeting and talking with Mr. Fennessy,” Mr. Schaan said. “His tennis program has a great history, a strong program. High school sports to me is about character building. I like to win and kids are competitive. I believe the tennis court is a constantly changing environment that teaches how to win and how to lose gracefully. High school sports is a great supplement to a balanced life. That’s important to me because my full-time job is working with kids. I see the pressures they’re under, whether their interest is sports, dance, or theater. I’m looking forward to March 17, the first day of practice.”

Asked whether the Island winter is daunting, Mr. Schaan chuckled. “I grew up in North Dakota. Winter is not a problem for me.”

Athletic director Mark McCarthy said the addition of Mr. Schaan nearly completes the coaching roster at the high school. “We actually had four potential vacancies at one time, but Connie McHugh, assistant coach for girls tennis, and Ben Lima, assistant baseball coach, are returning,” he said. “Emily Walkenstein has joined us as assistant girls lacrosse coach, and Samantha Burns has returned to the softball program as assistant coach, where she’s coached with us in the past.

“We may have an opening for an assistant coach in boys junior varsity lacrosse.”