Fall Coach Fridays: Michael Augsberger on Serving Sportsmanship

Michael Augsberger, Head Coach of the PDS Girls and Boys Varsity Tennis teams, has brought his love of tennis full circle after a series of life-changing decisions along the way. In high school, he was forced to choose between baseball and tennis for his spring season sport. “I went to school in Delaware, and I was the best tennis player in the school during my junior year, but I wasn’t able to play for the team because varsity tennis happened at the same time as baseball,” he says.

In college, he decided to take a break from sports, and eventually returned to tennis and his high school as the head tennis coach, helping propel his team to fourth best in the state during his tenure. “I’m really proud of what we accomplished, but left to take a job in finance. Tennis pulled me back again and I continued my finance work while also adding tennis coaching at the college level. When it became clear that I couldn’t juggle both, I ultimately realized that tennis was what I really wanted to do full time.” 

At Tennis Central, an international tennis corporation where Augsberger currently works, he is a senior writer, editor in chief, coach, and Director of Competition. “Tennis Central facilitates employees pursuing their passion, and they supported my goal of coaching at an institution that had a very high level of play. Princeton Day School has always been one of the top teams in the area and has a strong athletics program with high-quality coaching colleagues,” he says.

Originally the Head Coach for the Boys Tennis team, Augsberger was offered the opportunity to coach the Girls team this fall. “I was really excited to take on the Girls team to extend our tennis philosophy throughout the entire program. They are an extremely strong and ambitious team, and they’re all eager to put in the work.”

This season, Augsberger has a heightened appreciation for competitive play: “Our biggest focus is sportsmanship, and we always want to compete as ambassadors for PDS. As we start to make a return to normal, I am most looking forward to handshakes coming back. Looking an opponent in the eye and knowing that you either won with humility or lost with dignity as you shake hands across the net—that’s sacred to me.” 

Check out this Flickr album of our Varsity Girls Tennis team in action!

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