New Colby College men’s and women’s tennis head coach Adam Reeb said his United States Sports Academy master’s education was practical and helpful as he advanced in the collegiate coaching ranks.
Reeb, who earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports studies from the Academy in 2010, was recently hired by NCAA Division III Colby College in Maine after spending the previous three years in the same position at Seattle (Wash.) University.
“The Academy was a blessing for me because I was able to continue working as a coach while I learned the skills that would immediately help me in my career,” Reeb said.
“I was able to mentally dive right into the material, then immediately use what I learned the next day on the court. Everything I learned from the Academy has been applicable to my career in a practical way. I’ve been able to put into practice all the skills I learned from the Academy.”
Reeb earned his master’s degree while working as an assistant coach at McKendree University, where he was named the 2010 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) NAIA Men’s Region III Assistant Coach of the Year. He later served two seasons as the head coach at McKendree. He said the Academy’s option to “earn while you learn” was helpful to the advancement of his career as a collegiate coach.
“I was an assistant coach at McKendree while I earned my master’s degree from the Academy,” Reeb said. “It was a real blessing to be able to continue working in the field while I studied.”
At Seattle, Reeb was named the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Pacific Northwest Division College Coach of the Year in 2016. During his time there, Reeb collected more than 60 wins between the teams and both teams earned the 2017 ITA Division I Northwest Region Community Service Award. The women’s team made the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament semifinals three consecutive years. The men’s team also made the WAC semifinals in 2016.
“I like being a coach because I like being around student athletes who are willing to push themselves in both the classroom and on the tennis court,” Reeb said. “I like to help them grow not only as tennis players, but also as people. There are a lot of responsibilities on the shoulders of a collegiate athlete. I try to teach them to be generous, caring people as well as good tennis players. I want my athletes to take what they learn on the court and apply it to their lives and careers one day.
“I like tennis because it combines a lot of different skills into one sport,” he said. “There’s the physicality of it, the agility and conditioning. But I also like it because in competitive tennis, most of the time the biggest opponent you face is yourself. The mental aspects of the game are very important to understand if you want to compete at a high level.”
Reeb, a Missouri native, earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Saint Louis University, where he was named the outstanding senior in management by the John Cook School of Business.
“I took very seriously the title of ‘student-athlete,’” Reeb said. “So as a coach, I always stress academics along with the athletic side. Colby College seemed like a good fit for me because historically, it has a great academic tradition as well as great tradition in tennis. Colby has both elite tennis and elite academics, so that was very attractive.”