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Isaac to leave Bethel tennis position after 10 years

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Lonnie Isaac, who just completed a decade coaching Bethel College Thresher tennis, has announced his resignation effective June 30, to take advantage of a new position and potential for advancement at another institution.

Isaac is a 1993 graduate of Bethel College, where he played under legendary tennis coach Marty Ward. He was a three-year letter winner and was inducted into the Bethel College Booster Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 as a member of the 1989 men’s tennis team, which won the first of 10 straight KCAC championships.

Isaac’s first coaching job was at Hillsboro High School, where he spent 16 years, sending 23 players to the Class 3-2-1A State Championships. He was named Class 3-2-1A Boys’ Coach of the Year in 1999 and overall Coach of the Year in 2001.

Before coming to Bethel, Isaac coached men’s and women’s tennis at Tabor College, Hillsboro, 2001-06.

At Bethel, Isaac’s women’s teams won six straight KCAC championships (2008-13) and qualified for five NAIA National Tennis Championships in Mobile, Alabama (2009-13). He has coached 37 All-KCAC women and 18 All-KCAC men at Bethel.

“I have been very blessed to have served at Bethel College over the last 10 years,” Isaac said. “This has not been an easy decision as a coach and alum but it is one that I feel is right at this time. As I have looked for God’s leading in my life, he has led me to an opportunity that I just can’t pass up.”

He continued, “I am very thankful to Diane Flickner [former Bethel athletic director] for giving me the opportunity to return to Bethel in 2006 to coach a program that I loved very much and still do. I also can’t thank the many players and their families enough for what they have meant to me and my family over the years.

“The many championships we were fortunate to win don’t compare to the relationships built along the way. Bethel will always hold a special place in my heart and I am thankful for the support of the other coaches, as well as the faculty and staff who support the athletic program in different ways.”

“It is always bittersweet to lose not only a great coach, but a great person like Lonnie,” said Kent Allshouse, Bethel athletic director, “but I am happy for him that he found a great opportunity. There can be no doubt Lonnie will be missed in the hallways of the athletic department, the tennis courts and campus. I wish Lonnie the very best with this new adventure.”

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.