Coach’s Q&A: Brian Ostrander, Sandburg boys and girls tennis
February 7, 2013 1:44PM
Sandburg tennis coach Brian Ostrander. | Supplied photo
Updated: March 11, 2013 6:01AM
Brian Ostrander coaches boys and girls varsity tennis at Sandburg High School in Orland Park. He has been at Sandburg since 2000.
Ostrander is a Bremen High School and Chicago State University graduate.
He began coaching in 1994 at Mother McAuley High School and also coached the boys team for three years at Bremen.
Why/how did you originally get into coaching?
My love for the sport comes from my Dad. I started teaching tennis in 1990 under The South Suburban Tennis Academy.
Have you seen high school sports change since you started coaching? If so, how?
The biggest change I have seen is there are more so- called professional instructors in the area. When I first played in the 1980s and my sister first started there were only a handful of qualified instructors. Now, there are more pros than players.
If you had free rein to do so, would you change anything about tennis in the IHSA (rules change, classes)? High school sports in general?
I would shorten the scoring format in tennis, no add and tiebreakers for the third set for all matches. Also, I would allow players to compete in singles and doubles.
Any favorite match, memory, player, practice story?
One of my favorite stories had to do with a boys team that I coached from Bremen. We went undefeated and won the conference tournament that Oak Forest had previously won 27 years in a row.
Players like playing certain teams/opponents. Do you have a favorite match/rivalry you look forward to?
At Sandburg, there are usually three teams that we would consider a rivalry; Andrew, Lincoln-Way East, and Lockport.
Have the south suburbs changed since you started coaching? Is there any reason the area’s never had an individual boys tennis champion?
Once again there is such a division with instruction in the south suburbs. Many of the best tennis players in this area go to several different clubs or pros. It would be nice to have a central club where they could compete and learn.
Is there a difference coaching-wise coaching both the boys and girls teams?
Girls are far more team oriented in terms of spirit, lasting memories, team parties. Boys could care less about the weather, and they tend to hang around the courts longer.
What are you most proud of as a coach?
The sport is bigger than all of us. Be humble, classy and display great sportsmanship on a daily basis. Tennis is a sport of a lifetime and the players that I coach hopefully love the sport first.
As told to Tim O’Brien