Mt. Pleasant tennis coach earns national award
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Tony Splendore has spent much of his life coaching and teaching students at the Mt. Pleasant Area School District. That dedication, especially when it comes to coaching, has not gone unnoticed as Splendore recently was named the 2013 boys tennis Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association.
“I'm shocked that I have received this award,” Splendore said. “I'm very honored to receive it, and I attribute it to the thousands of kids I've coached over the years at Mt. Pleasant.”
The NHSCA, founded in 1989, each year selects coaches of the year from across the country in 20 boys and girls scholastic sports. Splendore, along with all of the coaches of the year, will be honored at the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum in Easton.
Splendore, who has also spent many years coaching various levels of basketball within the district, has had a tremendous amount of success as the school's tennis coach for both the boys and girls teams. A 1968 graduate of Mt. Pleasant, Splendore has coached tennis for 39 years, beginning in 1972.
“I've had so many good players and teams over the years,” he said. “One thing that I always remember was my first match in 1972. We didn't have courts at the school, so we played at a church camp. We played Norwin and we won, 3-2.”
Splendore also noted that his most crushing defeat was a 3-2 loss to Sewickley Academy during the boys 2009 WPIAL Class AA championship match.
Splendore has coached 54 seasons (boys and girls combined). His teams have had 40 winning seasons, 17 section titles and 667 victories. In the WPIAL playoffs, the boys teams have two second-place showings, two third-place finishes and three fourth-place finishes. Three of his boys teams have qualified for the PIAA playoffs. Splendore has served on the WPIAL tennis committee for 13 years.
Splendore said he has tried to always remain positive when working with the Mt. Pleasant athletes.
“I always try to instill in them to have fun,” Splendore said, explaining he has always been reluctant to cut players. “I've always tried to keep as many players as I can because tennis is a life sport, and you can always play tennis. I try to make it simple and have fun.”
Splendore also gave credit to the school district. He noted that each year, the four-court tennis facility receives an upgrade, and he is proud of the way the sport has grown within the district.
Splendore, who credited the late Sam Freed (former Mt. Pleasant athletic director) for getting him interested in tennis, has no plans of giving up the sport anytime soon.
“I really enjoy being with the young students,” Splendore said. “Being an elementary school teacher (he retired seven years ago after 34 years of teaching at Ramsay Elementary School), I've seen the kids progress, and I'd like to keep going. I'm 63, but the kids rejuvenate me.”
During his career, Splendore has coached seven individuals who have competed in the WPIAL finals and the PIAA championship tournament. David Cenkner was one of those players, and his 89 victories rank first among players who Splendore has coached. Cenkner believes Splendore is deserving of the award.
“I'm very humbled by this,” Splendore said.
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers interested in playing internationally again
- Struggling Pirates SS Mercer finding himself out on infield’s left side
- Trooper fatally shoots burglary suspect inside Somerset grocery store
- Baldwin-Whitehall teacher charged with assault for hitting male student in chest
- Steelers offensive line targeting injury-free performance as key
- Starkey: Patriots’ legacy forever stained
- Penn Hills teens risk arson charges, set car on fire for music video
- Pedestrian struck, killed by train in Coraopolis
- Officials envision reinvigorated Allegheny County Airport
- Hampton High dance event doubles fundraising goal
- Shaler Area incumbent out following primary voting