Stonington's Crouse named National H.S. Coach of the Year in girls' tennis
Stonington High School's George Crouse, who reached a pair of coaching milestones this spring, has been named 2019 National High School Coach of the Year in girls' tennis by the National High School Coaches Association.
Crouse is the first Connecticut coach to win the national honor in girls' tennis, an award he'd been nominated for three times in the past.
"It's very nice. I've been smiling a lot today and a lot of friends and former players have been texting me,'' said Crouse. "That's the nicest part. Hearing from other coaches and a wide variety of people.''
Crouse earned his 500th career win as Stonington's girls' coach this spring while also surpassing 800 career wins as coach of the boys' and girls' teams. He is 510-106 as the girls' coach and was 304-114 as the boys' coach from 1974-2000. The courts at Stonington High were named in his honor in 2016.
"The tennis courts honor is rare, but this is the highest coaching honor,'' said Crouse. "I'm very thankful for the players I've had and the way they've competed for me.
"It's a lot of hard work and a lot of energy and, thankfully, I've had student-athletes who listened to a very competitive coach,'' said Crouse, who thanked long-time assistants Glen Herbert and Joe Ciriello.
"We are extremely pleased to honor Coach Crouse," said Eric Hess, executive director of the NHSCA, in a release. "He has established Stonington as the best in girls' tennis in Connecticut. He exhibits a strong dedication to supporting and developing his high school student-athletes in the classroom and outside of it."
Stonington shared the 2019 Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I title with Woodstock Academy. The Bears have won or shared six straight ECC divisional titles and 14 in the last 15 years. Stonington won the 2013 Class S state championship.
Crouse retired from the social sciences department at Stonington High in 2003 and served six years as a selectman in town, capped by being first selectman in 2014-15. And there's no end in sight to his coaching career.
"This is the way to keep me going and keep me interacting with the younger generation,'' said Crouse. "I truly enjoy it.''