Missouri Valley / Iowa

Lawrence Eyre Goes Full Circle In Growing The Game

August 28, 2020

To honor their 100th anniversary in 2020, the USTA Missouri Valley is recognizing 100 deserving recipients with the Gold Star Award. This award recognizes contributions that recipients have made in growing the game of tennis in their community. 


This August, Lawrence Eyre of Fairfield, Iowa, was recognized with a USTA Missouri Valley Gold Star award. The Maharishi School teacher and USPTA pro has served the game on a multitude of levels, whether it be through officiating, coaching juniors or college-level players, volunteering at adult tournaments, providing tennis in schools, and even starting the first Community Tennis Association in Fairfield years ago.


“When I think of the saying “giving back to tennis,” there’s a few individuals that come to my mind very quickly—and Lawrence is one of them,” USTA Iowa Tennis Service Representative John Terpkosh said. “He’s a great spirit.”


Eyre was born in Davenport where he first experienced tennis through the Moline Park and Recreation department lesson program.


“I think I felt at home on the court from the moment I stepped on it and I have no idea why,” he said.


He clearly grew very comfortable in that home, excelling in multiple state high school championships and joining the Yale men’s tennis team. After college, Eyre continued his tennis ventures as a teaching pro and coach, starting at Maharishi School in Fairfield where he turned a brand new tennis program into a statewide high school tennis powerhouse.


After 25 years of high school coaching, Eyre joined the Grinnell College tennis program as assistant coach and then served as head men's and women's coach at Knox College. After retiring from Knox College in 2017, he just couldn’t give up growing the game and soon found himself back where he started—serving the youth of Maharishi School.


“I’m now teaching the children of my former players,” Eyre said. “It’s a delight. Just full circle happiness and joy from getting to teach many generations of tennis.” 


Eyre used to run both the boys’ and girls’ tennis programs at Maharishi, but the coach has since handed the reins of the girls’ program over to his wife. Together, the duo continues to run a successful tennis program at the school which was all originally founded by Eyre years ago.


“I’m just delighted that [the program] worked out so well,” Eyre added. “The smallest school in the state can do anything if the kids set their minds to it.”


Alongside his coaching ventures, Eyre continues to advocate for the game as he has for many years. According to his calculations, Eyre has taught tennis to 15,000 individuals through his coaching, outreach programs and various tennis camps.


“I’m just really grateful for the friendships and the good health,” Eyre reflected. “It’s been a joy to teach, a joy to coach, and a joy to play. It really is fun.”


USTA Iowa is proud to recognize Eyre as a Gold Star award recipient, and we are grateful for everything he does to grow the game of tennis.

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