VARSITY BOYS TENNIS COACH ERIC GAJAR INDUCTED INTO MICHIGAN HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS COACHES ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME
Greenhills School Varsity Boys Tennis Coach Eric Gajar was inducted into the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association (MHSTeCA) Hall of Fame on Friday, January 27, 2023. At the ceremony in Holland, Mich., Gajar and the three other inductees became part of a distinguished group of fewer than 140 other coaches who have been included in the Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame.
“This is one of the greatest honors of my coaching career,” said Gajar. “I’ve looked up to and learned from so many of the tennis greats in the hall of fame, and I never thought I’d be listed alongside them.”
Gajar joined Greenhills as a teacher and head coach of its varsity boys tennis program in 1994. In the 28 seasons he has coached at Greenhills, his teams have won 26 regional championships and 14 state championships, and have been runner up for the state championship seven times. His teams have also earned all-academic honors and qualified for the state tournament in each of the 28 seasons Gajar has coached at Greenhills.
“The wins have become less and less important over the years,” Gajar said, “which is ironic because our program continues to see more and more success. That shift in perspective has made me a better coach. I’m still as competitive as ever, but I’m even more focused on developing good players, good human beings, and being an ambassador for the sport of tennis.”
Gajar has been consistently recognized as one of the best coaches in the country. In addition to being a 10-time MHSTeCA Coach of the Year, he was named the Michigan High School Coaches Association Tennis Coach of the Year in 2012, 2015, and 2020, and was also a National High School Coaches Association Finalist two of those years. In 2016, Gajar was honored as the National Federation of High Schools Coaches Association Coach of the Year.
“No surprise that Eric has the respect and admiration of his peers around the state because he certainly has that here at Greenhills: from his players, their parents, his students, and his colleagues,” said Peter B. Fayroian, head of school at Greenhills. “Aside from his deep knowledge of the sport, Eric is first and foremost a teacher, and he has always approached teaching and learning on the court as he has in the classroom: it’s about growth, and taking responsibility for both one’s personal growth and for that of one’s teammates. Eric represents the best of high school sports; his teams win with class, and when they lose—which doesn’t happen that often—they do so with dignity and respect. We’re very proud of this recognition and of Eric.”
As Gajar has developed a dominant tennis program, his leadership has been sought out at the local, state, and national level. He has served on the MHSTeCA board for 20 years, including as president, and he is a 10-year member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) tennis committee and seeding committee.