All-Inclusive Coach

Michael Horowits’ class had been over for more than 10 minutes. But one by one, kids continued to walk through his classroom door at Central High School in Philadelphia.

One student  asked about an election project they were working on. Another about an upcoming school debate. A senior boy walked in to talk about the golf team. One more about a college recommendation. Then one of his tennis players, asking about uniforms.

You learn early with Horowits that his door, and his team, is always open.

Horowits teaches history, government and geography at Central. After school each day, he drops his lesson plans for his coaching hat, leading the golf team and the boys’ tennis team.

His schedule is nearly as hectic as the Central hallways after the final bell rings.

“If I’m going to be an educator, I want to help people,” said Horowits, who has coached the tennis team for 11 seasons. “It might be difficult, but the reward is worth it.”

Just as his classroom is always open to students and their ideas, Horowits keeps his tennis team the same way. Horowits is a registered USTA No-Cut Coach, meaning he doesn’t turn anyone away from being part of the team.

Earlier this month, the USTA honored Horowits by naming him to the 2016 No-Cut Coach All-Star Team, which recognizes 10 exceptional  middle- and high-school coaches through the nation who implement a no-cut policy.

“All of the coaches we have chosen to honor this year play a critical role not only in the development of student-athletes throughout the year, but in the success of No-Cut Tennis and the sport of tennis as a whole,” said Glenn Arrington, Director, USTA High School Tennis. “Each and every one of these coaches foster inclusion and continue to help shape today’s youth into well-rounded student-athletes.”

Horowits’ tennis background dates back to his childhood. He began playing the game at 8. He still remembers the old wooden Wilson racquet with orange print running throughout. He spent time coaching tennis at various organizations before settling into his role as a teacher and coach at Central.

Horowits says he doesn’t ever plan on cutting players.

“You want to win. It’s important,” he said. “But it’s not the most important. There’s something about seeing the kids grow. Seeing a kid come in and pick up a racquet for the first time, then a few years later, be a varsity player, helping the team win. We’re about cultivating lifetime opportunities. Tennis is one of them, and we shouldn’t turn anyone away.”

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