HighFIVE: Phillip Sparer
The new driving force at Lebsack Tennis Center: Phillip Sparer
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, which seems to be the case for Phillip Sparer and his relationship with tennis. After almost a decade of pursuing professional passions away from tennis, he came back to coaching in 2019 and, in 2020, took over as Director of Tennis at Lebsack Tennis Center in Highlands Ranch, one of the most successful tennis programs in Metro Denver.
The Cincinnati native grew up playing competitive tennis, including three years on varsity in high school, earning Co-MVP honors as a senior. He landed in Denver to study at Regis University where he earned a BA in English Literature. While at Regis, he was mentored by Irwin Hoffman, Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame member and longtime Director of Tennis at Green Gables County Club and, after graduation, founded his own coaching company and coached the Evergreen High School boys’ JV team for a season.
Phillip then took a detour to explore other avenues, including social work program management, founding a musician’s rehearsal studio/performance venue, singing in bands, and working on a Masters in Education degree. But two years ago, Phillip “got my coaching legs back under me at Lebsack, Homestead Farms II, Gates Tennis Center, and Colorado Athletic Club Monaco.” He was quickly back in the tennis industry game and, just one year later, accepted the new challenges that came with the role of being Director of Tennis.
Phillip created a new user-friendly website and implemented a new court reservation system for Lebsack and now spends much of his time hiring, training and supervising instructors, as well coordinating all tennis programming, including expanding their USTA adult league and Junior Team Tennis offerings.
“I’ve added adult and teen beginner drills, and Fall/Winter adult in-house Top Dog doubles leagues,” said Sparer.
The growth of tennis under Phillip has not gone unnoticed. Mary Brennan, USTA Colorado District League Coordinator says, “Lebsack currently has 14 teams for Fall Junior Team Tennis which is more than any other facility. Phillip’s dedication to the sport and to the junior program, in particular, has been apparent since he joined Lebsack and I’m looking forward to the future with him in the driver’s seat.”
Tennis has always been about a fun, friendly, positive environment for Phillip. Some of his fondest tennis memories are “endless summer nights of sweat-soaked sets with my father” and attending the Western & Southern Open, where he served as a volunteer in high school.
“During a rain delay in 2001, I actually played pool with a young Andy Roddick!” says Sparer.
With the support of the Highlands Ranch Metro District, he is bringing that fun community feel to Lebsack by adding catering and live music to the monthly socials.
“Phillip is a joy to work with and he’s very attentive to his programs and teams. You can see how much the Lebsack community respects and admires him,” says Brennan.
Whether it’s coaching or exploring “the creative challenges and entrepreneurial opportunities of running a tennis programming business”, Sparer says he “looks forward to contributing to and collaborating with the Colorado tennis community for many, many years to come.”
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