Sterling College adds tennis, Isaac named coach

By Steve Sell
June 30, 2016

STERLING – Sterling College has announced the addition of a men's and women's tennis program, beginning in 2017.

Lonnie Isaac has been named head coach. He had been the head coach at Bethel for the past 10 years.  

"We are so excited to add these tennis programs to Warrior Athletics at Sterling College. We are also pleased to have a coach of Lonnie's character and experience, who is respected and known statewide. He brings with him values that fit the mission of Sterling College. We look forward to a bright future for our tennis program led by Coach Isaac," Sterling Athletic Director Gary Kempf said.

Isaac will also provide experience and service to the Sterling College Office of Admissions as an athletic representative and liaison for recruiting during the 2016-17 academic year.

Isaac was the head coach at Bethel College for the men's and women's tennis programs since 2006. He coached the women's team to eight straight KCAC Championships, winning six in a row from 2009 to 2014 and qualified for the NAIA National Tennis Championships five times. The women's team won 37 straight KCAC dual matches between 2009-2014 and the men's team also played in the KCAC Championship match in 2007 and 2010. His overall women's coaching record is 163-100 (76-26 in the KCAC) and his overall men's record stands at 115-122 (57-47 in the KCAC).

Isaac coached 57 KCAC All-Academic athletes, as well as 28 NAIA Scholar Athletes. He also coached 37 All-KCAC women's tennis players and 18 All-KCAC men's tennis players. In addition, Isaac had five players named KCAC Freshman of the Year and seven named KCAC Player of the Year.

He coached at Tabor College from 2001-2006, winning the KCAC men's championship in 2003. There, he coached 21 KCAC All-Academic players, while having 16 athletes named NAIA Scholar Athletes. He also had 16 women and 12 men named All-KCAC, as well as having the 2005 KCAC Freshman of the Year.

Isaac started his coaching career at Hillsboro High School from 1995 until 2001, where he sent numerous players to the Class 3-2-1A State Championships. During his time there, he was named the Kansas Coaches Association Boys' Tennis Coach of the Year in 1999 and the Class 3-2-1A Overall Coach of the Year in 2001.

As a player at Bethel, Isaac was a member on the 1989 men's tennis team who won the first of 10 straight KCAC Championships. His team was also inducted into the Bethel College Booster Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004. He has served as tournament director for USTA tournaments and is currently coaching a Kansas District Tennis Association and a USTA 14 and under Junior Tennis team this summer.

"I am very thankful to Athletic Director Gary Kempf and President Scott Rich for providing me with this opportunity,” Isaac said. “Sterling has a strong reputation both athletically and academically but most importantly, is a strong Christian community that is consistent with its message and mission. It will be refreshing for me to focus on recruiting for the college and the tennis program this upcoming year. I can't wait to get started and look forward to what God has in store for my family and me as a Warrior," he said.

Isaac is a graduate of Bethel College and is a Hillsboro native. He and his wife, Tracy, reside in Hesston with their three children: Tessa, Rhain and Logan.