Charlie Painter ’69 Leads High School Teams to More Than 500 Victories
Charlie Painter ’69 didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do with his life when he graduated from Wittenberg, but there were two things he did know: he wanted to teach, and he wanted to coach. Decades later, Painter owns more than 500 career coaching victories, but not in any of the sports he knew best while at college.
“I started my career coaching football and wrestling after I graduated from Wittenberg,” Painter said. “I really was not extremely interested in tennis and had never played.”
A few years later, fate intervened. A concerned parent asked Painter to tutor his daughter, who was struggling with physics at the University of Cincinnati. This college student not only ended up becoming Painter’s wife, Karen, but she introduced him to tennis, which led him on a most unlikely career path. “She was quite a good tennis player and was teaching for the Dayton Junior Tennis Foundation,” said Painter, now a member of multiple Halls of Fame for his high school and college tennis coaching. “She wanted to teach me to play, and I was not too interested in tennis. But she was cute. So, I began learning how to play.”
After acquiring an appreciation for the sport, Painter accepted the girls’ tennis coaching position at Carroll High School, despite the fact that the program was on the verge of being eliminated.
“I warned them that I thought that going from being a high school football defensive coordinator to a girls’ tennis coach was probably not a good idea,” Painter said. “But after 25 years, I am still coaching tennis and love it.”
Painter has gone on to accumulate 533 career wins (through March 2010) at various Miami Valley high schools and colleges. He has been inducted into the Dayton Amateur Tennis Hall of Fame, the Miami Valley Tennis Coaches Association (MVTCA) Hall of Fame, and in January he will be inducted into the Dublin Coffman Athletic Hall of Fame.
Painter is currently teaching and coaching both the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams at Beavercreek High School, but he has a variety of other obligations to the local tennis community, including a United States Professional Tennis Association certified teaching pro, United States Tennis Association referee, the Ohio Valley Girls Endorser, member of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Executive Board and founder of the MVTCA.
Painter attributes much of his success as a coach to being a good teacher who possesses the knowledge, respect and commitment to the game of tennis.
“The legendary football coaches, Dave Maurer and Bill Edwards, that I played for at Wittenberg motivated me toward my true love and taught me what a major affect that teachers and coaches can have on someone else’s life,” Painter said. “I hope that I have positively affected all of the athletes that I have coached.”