Pasadena Poly's Howie Farer is named SCTA Coach of the Year
Tennis: Forty-five year career includes another accolade for former Panther.
Former 45-year tennis coach Howard Farer of Pasadena Poly was named this year's SCTA Coach of the Year earlier this week. (File Photo) (January 19, 2013)
The retired Farer was notified by mail that he was named the Southern California Tennis Association Coach of the Year earlier this week.
The award marks a rare first for the former North Hollywood High standout and current San Gabriel resident.
“Well, it’s obviously very exciting and I’m truly honored,” Farer said. “A lot of tennis coaches toil in anonymity. It’s a great feeling. I’m very excited and I was glad to see it.
“More coaches in our field should be recognized. They work hard and deserve to be recognized.”
Farer will be presented his award at the annual SCTA meeting held Monday, Feb. 4 at the Straus Clubhouse at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA.
Darren Potkey, SCTA Manager of High Performance, wrote to Farer that he was selected for “the example you have set by virtue of your exemplary conduct, leadership and expertise while representing your institution in the competitive arena, along with your support and assistance with programs conducted by the Tennis Association has earned you this substantial honor.”
Although retired, Farer is still active as a member of the CIF Southern Section tennis advisory committee.
“For me, this time of my life is my make-up time for my wife, Karen, for those last 45 years when I was very, very busy and didn’t have time to spend with her,” Farer said.
“Working with the CIF tennis advisory has given me an opportunity to continue to pay back and help high school tennis in Southern California while adjusting to retirement.”
The notice of Farer’s award was also well-received in the CIF Southern Section office.
“It’s wonderful recognition for someone who has given so much for high school sports,” said Rainer Wulf, the CIF-SS Assistant Commissioner, of the award. “[Farer] has certainly won his share of league championships and CIF championships, but this speaks more of the impact he’s made on the game.”
Farer totaled 948 victories as the combined head coach for both boys’ and girls’ tennis at Poly along with seven CIF-SS titles over 16 appearances. Farer’s teams also won 14 CIF-SS Academic team championships.
Perhaps Farer’s greatest legacy to his sport was his successful lobbying and implementation of the substitution rule in 2001, which allowed for more than nine players to participate in any given match, which was particularly critical in regards to injuries.
In his final year at the helm, his 2011-2012 boys’ tennis team finished 12-7 and second in the Prep League before falling to Arcadia, 12-6, in the second round of the Division II playoffs.
His final girls’ team of 2011 finished 14-7 overall and second in the Prep League and picked up two upset playoff victories – including over Sea View League champion El Toro – before falling to Diamond Bar in the Division II second round.
“Even though I haven’t coached the kids in a year, I still go down to a few Poly matches and support them in my own way,” Farer said. “I’ve always been passionate about the kids. I’ve always treated the boys like they were my sons and the girls like they were my daughters. Even if I’m not coaching, they’re still part of my family.”