Father, son making a name on Shires tennis courts
BENNINGTON — A father-and-son coaching duo are tearing up tennis courts in both the Northshire and Southshire this season.
The father, Jeff Grimshaw, is in his fourth season, leading a Burr and Burton girls team that is 5-1 in Division II, while the son, Trevor, is the second-year coach for the 7-1 Mount Anthony boys team.
While both are having success with the Patriots and Bulldogs, each has their own style. Jeff is more hands-on, while Trevor is much more laid-back and lets the players do their thing.
"We have two tremendously different coaching styles, I engage with players a lot and he lets the horses run," Jeff Grimshaw said. "He would claim I over-coached him in the juniors. It's tough to be a dad and a coach, between the lines, you have to be a merciless coach at that level, and a Dad when they come off the court. I wish I could rewind on that."
Jeff Grimshaw, who is originally from Wilton, Conn., played tennis growing up and into high school but got away from the sport some, deciding to try hockey at a higher level.
"I was much more gifted at tennis, but I was determined to play hockey," said Grimshaw, who is 61. "I was a mediocre hockey player, but I put all of my attention to hockey."
As he got older, he returned to tennis, playing recreationally and started to get a better feel for his game, and in the same vein, learning tactics to help the players he coaches today.
"I played a lot more, started to really play around 19," Jeff Grimshaw said. "I started to understand technique and you need that and not just the will [to be successful]."
Trevor was born in 1989 and when he was three, he started playing and quickly rose through the junior ranks, up until middle school. Jeff coached him and he got ranked as high as 72nd in the country as a pre-teen.
"I played in the Mid-Atlantic in the [United States Tennis Association], traveled through the east coast," said Trevor Grimshaw, who also works as the Director of Golf at the Mount Anthony Country Club. "Once I got past 12, it was tough to keep going, but it was an awesome experience to play that caliber of tennis."
He played in high school in Maryland, working his way up to the No. 1 spot in his junior and senior season, then went to college in Texas, getting an associates degree in tennis management. During that time, he helped coach at John Newcombe's tennis ranch, a high-level junior and senior academy in New Braunfels, Texas.
"A lot of the philosophy I have in coaching comes from different coaches I learned from in Texas," Trevor Grimshaw said.
Trevor was familiar with southern Vermont, as he had come up during the summer to his aunt's home in Shaftsbury.
"I had a lot of good childhood memories up here and I wanted to get out of the rushed lifestyle of the DMV [the Washington D.C. metro-area]," Trevor Grimshaw said.
He got a job coaching at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where he stayed for four seasons coaching the men's team. He took a team that was winless in the first two years and got them to the playoffs by the end.
At the same time, he was working at the Bennington Tennis Center, teaching some of the kids that he is coaching this season.
"I was fortunate to work with some talented kids," Trevor Grimshaw said.
Then long-time Mount Anthony coach Ken Turn retired and he recommended Trevor become the next coach of the Patriots.
"I had already worked with MAU guys and Ken had already recommended me, so I got a call from [former] athletic director Tim Brown asking if I was interested."
Last year, the MAU boys were 6-7 overall, but Trevor Grimshaw won the Marble Valley League's coach of the year award.
That makes two coach of the year awards for Trevor — he won one at MCLA as well — and zero for his dad.
"I've never won one of those coach of the year awards," Jeff Grimshaw said with a laugh.
Jeff said he's actually glad that he coaches the girls and Trevor coaches the boys.
"I'd love to coach against him, but I don't know if he feels that way," Jeff Grimshaw said.
Trevor said they do exchange information, but it's a little different because they wouldn't coach against each other.
"Sometimes we give each other tips and tricks, but we're both really busy right now," Trevor Grimshaw said. "We've shared some practice tips, but we have our own formulas for coaching. We have a lot of the same philosophy is coaching, but how he does it is different."
And of course, if the teams remain on the track they are on, they could both be watching each other coach for a state championship.
"I'm looking forward to the playoffs and to see what we can do, I think we can do pretty well," Trevor Grimshaw said.
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