With a keen ability to relate to his players and an excitable and down-to-earth personality, Dave Shook enters his 16th season as head coach of the Lehigh men’s tennis team. Shook has compiled a 172-120 record while at the helm of the Mountain Hawks. Under Shook, Lehigh has recorded 10 or more wins in five of the last eight years and recorded double figure win totals in nine of Shook’s 15 seasons as head coach. Shook has coached eight All-Patriot League members including Ryan Gelrod, Bill Cooper, Matt Potts, Saleem Saab, Cameron Taylor, Ty Esler and Randall Smalley. In addition, Gelrod (1st singles), Cooper (4th singles) and Eric Perlmutter (5th singles) all won league singles titles. Just this past season, Shook added another cap in his feather, as he coached his first-ever Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year in Esler.
“Coaching at Lehigh has been a very rewarding experience for me,” Shook says. “I have had the opportunity to work with tremendously talented student-athletes and formed great friendships with many of them.”
In 1993 Shook led Lehigh to a 13-5 record and a second place finish in the Patriot League Tournament. Following the 1993 season, Shook was named, Co-Coach of the Year by his Patriot League peers.
Most recently, Shook’s four years of work with Cameron Taylor culminated in the senior winning the 1998 Patriot League Individual Singles Tournament.
In 1991 Shook traveled to the Chinese Cultural University in Taipei, Taiwan to prepare their men’s and women’s teams for the Republic of China’s national championship tournament. The tournament is a major event in the Republic of China and is equated to the NCAA Tournament in the United States.
Shook also coached the Lehigh women’s tennis team from 1990-93 and assumed the duties once again after the 2000 season. He has compiled an overall record of 74-46 as the women’s coach and is currently the all-time winningest tennis coach in Lehigh history.
Prior to his arrival at Lehigh, Shook served as head tennis coach at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for four years (1986-90) where he amassed a 53-11 record. He also coached high school tennis at Salisbury High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania for three years (1987-90) where he led the Falcons to a sparkling 29-3 slate, which included a Colonial League championship in 1987.
Shook’s path to the sport actually didn’t begin until he finished college.
“I never intended to play tennis,” he says. “I didn’t play in high school or college. Actually I taught myself when I was 23 years old and then I started to play tournaments and was successful at it so I continued to play.”
Although he never played tennis competitively in high school or college, Shook was a very successful athlete at each level. Shook earned All East-Penn Conference honors as a senior in high school playing defensive end for the Easton, Pennsylvania High School football team. That team finished 10-0 and ranked first in the state. Shook continued his football career at the next level by playing cornerback at Parsons College in Iowa his freshman year. Shook then entered the Coast Guard for four years before finishing his collegiate career at Alvernia College, where he graduated in 1977 with a bachelor’s in criminal justice. He then earned his master’s in government from Lehigh in 1993.
In addition to his very successful coaching career, Shook has also excelled in a variety of other positions. For many years he has been the head tennis professional at the Silver Creek Country Club in Hellertown, Pennsylvania and continues to coach and facilitate clinics and camps for advanced and ranked junior players. Shook serves as a volunteer for the Lehigh Women’s Center and is an avid member of the local ski team as well.
Shook is a member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Intercollegiate Tennis Association and serves on the Collegiate Tennis Academy Board of Directors.
Shook served for 21 years as an Intensive Supervising Officer in the Northampton County Probation/Parole Division and for the last five years has been a member of the adjunct faculty, teaching criminal justice courses at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.
Shook and his wife Elaine reside in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with their daughter Alexandra (17).