With a keen ability to relate to his players and an excitable and down-to-earth personality, Dave Shook enters his eighth season as head coach of the Lehigh women’s tennis team. He is also entering his 16th season as the men’s coach. Shook has posted a 74-47 career record as women’s coach from 1990-93 and 2001-04 and he has compiled a 172-120 record in his 15 seasons as the men’s coach. Shook currently owns the most coaching victories in Lehigh tennis history.
During his first four years, Lehigh finished with an overall record of 31-21 and above the .500 mark three times. He also coached six All-Patriot League members, including Kristi Kungl, a two-time member, and first singles champion, Lauren Kosakowski, Jen Mrozek, Carrie Zegarski and Rachel Samson.
During his second tenure as coach of the women’s team, Shook has already posted an equally impressive 43-26 overall record, which incorporated three more seasons of winning records, including an 13-5 overall record and appearance in the Patriot League Tournament semi-finals this past year. In addition, Shook coached transfer Kristen Nowicki, arguably the best female player in the league, to a 31-2 singles record which led her to be a two-time All-Patriot League First Team selection, as well as the Player of the Year in 2004.
“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 have formed great friendships with many of them. I look forward to expanding that those friendships and experiences with the women’s team this year.”
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.
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. Shook 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. In addition, Shook serves as a volunteer for the Lehigh Women’s Center and also is an avid member of the local ski team.
Shook is also 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).