Dash Connell Named Head Tennis Coach:
John-Paul "Dash" Connell, a former All-American tennis player for TJC, has been hired as the Head Tennis Coach for Tyler Junior College, the school announced today. Dr. Mike Metke, President of Tyler Junior College, made the announcement at the Chamber Board Meeting.
Dash served as the Interim Head Coach during the 2011-12 season, where he guided the women's tennis team to a national championship and the men's team to a national runner-up finish
"To be honest, I was very surprised that it happened today," said Coach Connell, who was not told in advance of the surprise announcement. "I feel very fortunate to be working at Tyler Junior College. I love working with the people I get to work with at TJC, and I cannot begin to describe how privileged I feel to follow Coach Peterson."
"I am very proud of Dash and what he was able to accomplish both on and off the court this year with his tennis teams," said Athletic Director Dr. Tim Drain. "Obviously I can't be more pleased with the National Championship on the women's side and the runner-up on the men's side. However, I am more pleased at the quality of person he and his coaching staff recruited to represent our college, and I look forward to Dash maintaining the tradition of excellence that has been established in Apache Tennis."
Dash joined the staff in 2009, serving as an assistant to Coach John Peterson. Upon Coach Peterson's retirement after the 2011 season, Dash was given an interim title and led both the men's and women's tennis teams to significant national success. Prior to returning to TJC, Dash was on the Willow Fork Tennis Professional staff in Katy, Texas.
Dash was born and raised playing tennis in the state of Texas. He attended Katy Taylor High School, where he was a part of two State Championship teams and won the State 5A Doubles Championship in 2001. He earned the Clarence Mabry Award, and was named the Art Faust Sportsmanship Award recipient at the Texas Boy's Super 18 Championships.
Dash went on to play for Tyler Junior College and helped the team win National Championships in 2002 and 2003. He was named an NJCAA All-American in doubles in 2003 after finishing No. 1 in the nation. After Tyler, he attended Texas A&M University and contributed to the tennis team in College Station in 2004 and 2005. He later received his Bachelor Degree in History at Texas A&M. He received his Master's in 2011 from UT Tyler in Health and Kinesiology. He received the Donnelly Award from Billy Jean King in 2003 and later the ITA Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award for the junior college level.
Dash is married to Shae Connell, and they have two sons, Mason (3) and Emerson (10 months).
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