Recently, Jason Chapman was awarded Coach of the Year in the NWAACC conference.
It’s not hard to see that Chapman is passionate about the game. He said that’s what people notice about him when he is coaching.
Chapman has been coaching at Bellevue for the past nine years and has led the Bulldogs to eight NWAACC Championships wins in a row.
Chapman became a coach because he liked being able to work on things in practices and apply them to matches. He also wanted to be someone who could make a difference in players’ careers.
Chapman has played a lot of tennis over the course of his life and he definitely isn’t an unfamiliar face in Washington state tennis.
He is a tennis professional at Robinswood Tennis Center, and has been since 1999. He was also in a United States Tennis Association tournament where his team took fifth in the nation in 2001.
Getting an award like this is a very big deal, but Chapman seemed to be very soft-spoken and humble.
When asked if he deserved this award he said, “I don’t know if I deserve this award, I know that I work hard to make sure the team is ready for all matches and especially the NWAACC Tournament.
“It’s a team award.” It’s obvious he has a lot of respect for his players and loves coaching them. He said that his relationship with the players is really good. “They know when they finish playing two years of tennis for me that they can count on me to help them with anything,” said Chapman. But the downside to coaching for Chapman is that he is coaching at a community college.
“The hardest thing for me is only having the girls for two years instead of four years. Just when I feel like they are at the level I am hoping for they have to transfer to a four-year school,” he said.
Chapman’s experience on the court, which came from playing four years of varsity tennis at Eastern, helps him be a better coach and understand what he has to do to making a winning team.
“Experience comes into play at almost every practice and match. I feel like I can do a very good job of making adjustments with my team to win matches,” said Chapman.
A winning team and great drills is what Chapman believes he brings to the Bellevue College Tennis program.
But with that being said, Chapman demands a lot from his players.
For example they need to be on time to practice, give 10o percent effort during practice, listen and make eye contact with him during match play, and never give up on a shot.
Anissa Bryant-Swift, one of Chapman’s former players who received a full ride scholarship to play tennis at Boise State University says, “
He definitely deserves the award, hands down. He puts so much time and effort into every team he coaches, not just us, and the results show. He is a great coach who makes sure that everyone feels as if they are part of a caring team.”
Chapman is looking forward to another year with the women’s tennis team. He has been here for nine years and has won eight NWAACC championships.
The women’s tennis team is looking to start out strong next year in February. But with only three freshmen returning next year, the team needs to fill in some gaps.
But with Coach of the Year Chapman in charge, the girls are looking to be at the top of the NWAACC conference next year.