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Longtime tennis coach’s career is a resounding success – Cross Timbers Gazette | Southern Denton County | flower hill

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Kelly Langdon’s journey to become one of the most highly decorated tennis coaches in the state of Texas began as a fluke, and he said he wasn’t initially looking for the Marcus High School coaching job in Flower Mound.

“I coached one of the Marcus players privately and was asked by her mother if I was interested in coaching the team,” Langdon said. “I thought it would be fun, and I had coached at a private school earlier in my career, but I didn’t really think about it.

In the summer of 2001, out of the blue, I get a phone call from Marcus’ athletics coordinator asking if I’m interested in coaching the team. Two days later I interviewed and was offered the job. I really thought I would only do it for a few years.”

Twenty-one years later, the five-time United States Professional Tennis Association Coach of the Year for Texas is still at it and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Langdon will receive the prestigious Lloyd Sessions Educational Merit Award later this month in Fort Worth.

The award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the sport of tennis and also demonstrates outstanding professional skills in building stronger tennis at all skill levels.

Marcus High School Tennis Coach Kelly Langdon (Photo by Lynn Seeden/Seeden Photography)

“I’ve always enjoyed helping players achieve their goals in tennis, whether they’re beginners or rank players, adults or juniors,” Langdon said. “I was lucky enough to get an assistant pro at the age of 19, working with some really good tennis professionals from whom I learned so much, both technically and tactically. By the time I was 21, I was working with several top-ranking juniors in Texas, along with some nationally ranked players in the US and Mexico.

A former player, Preethi Kasilingam, a four-time first-team roster from all districts in high school who also finished third in the state in the mixed-doubles competition in 2014, said Langdon’s impact on her life is immeasurable.

“The coach really helped me with my analytical skills on the pitch,” said Kasilingam. I’d say he’s a great quarterback, and I took that to college tennis. As a person, Coach has been like another father to me. He has always looked after me and checked in with me over the years.

He is generous and sincere about giving back to the community. He helped a lot with my confidence as a player and always told me I could compete with anyone on the pitch. It was actually something I was going to miss in college.”

Langdon, 54, eight-time District Coach of the Year, grew up with the intensity and determination of the likes of Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe.

Stylistically, the Grapevine native always liked to watch Andre Agassi.

However, this was also the time of Tony Dorsett, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and Langdon said he also loved football and basketball.

But when it came time to choose, there was always something special about tennis for him.

“Tennis appeals to me because there’s no one else to blame or take credit for a game,” Langdon said. It is you alone fighting with another. There is no time limit like many sports, so there is always a chance of a comeback. Tennis is also such a wonderful combination of intelligence, athleticism and determination.”

The former Wilson/Texas Tennis Coaches Association Coach of the Year said that despite the success he has had throughout his career and the passion he has for the sport, it is not without its challenges.

“When the game changes, whether it’s racquet technology, playing styles, improvement in fitness or hitting technique, it can be difficult to ensure you keep pace and teach your students the most current and productive lessons,” Langdon said. “Also, just the long and often odd hours of a pro/coach are demanding.

Finding time for yourself and your family can be difficult. Fortunately, I spent many of those long days and weekends with my son Sebastian. There is nothing better than having your son at work with you.”

Sebastian Langdon, who graduated from Marcus High School in 2015 and was the other half of the mixed-doubles team that finished third in the state in 2014, went on to compete at Abilene Christian University.

“My father has coached me all my life from the age of three and even today, when I play the occasional tournament, Sebastian said.

Just a few weekends ago I was taught by him because I needed help to improve my service. I am very lucky to have had my father as a coach throughout my high school and high school careers not only because he was my father but also because he is one of the best coaches and it was a special time.

Langdon, who also received the Wilson/TTCA Jim Longbotham Award for Leadership, said the hardest part of coaching high school tennis may seem a little strange.

“Because tennis is an individual sport, it’s always a challenge to create a sense of team,” Langdon said. Players play tournaments on weekends and their results affect only them. But in high school tennis, every individual game counts toward the team’s victory. Getting players to buy into the fact that others depend on them to always give their best is an ongoing process from year to year.”

One man who witnessed that process firsthand on many occasions was former Grapevine High School and current Texas Wesleyan University tennis coach Angel Martinez.

Martinez, a former non-conference rival, said Langdon deserves a lot of credit for making the Marauders tennis program a perennial state power.

“When he got to Marcus, he not only provided stability, but also built it into a state-ranked program,” said Martinez. They grew into one of the best programs in the state.

Langdon, who said he will continue to coach as long as he is “physically able”, said the Lloyd Sessions Educational Merit Award means a lot to him.

I’m not going to lie, I was very excited to hear that I had been selected for the award, Langdon said. It was established in 1973 and is one of the most prestigious awards out there. When I look at the names on the recipient list, they are all coaches and professionals that I respect and look up to as a junior and when I started my career.

Also, as with any individual award, it provides an opportunity to thank all the agencies needed to make the award possible: the Lewisville ISD and its leadership, Marcus High School and its leadership, parents, congregations, the TNT- crew, my family, the Lord, and of course all the countless players over 35 years of age.”

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