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Southern leaves Bethel head tennis coach position

September 18th, 2018

Richard Southern at tennis building dedication

Richard Southern, who just began his third season coaching Thresher tennis, resigned effective Sept. 17 to take a coaching job in Phoenix.

“I want to thank Richard for his contributions to our tennis program over the past two years,” said Tony Hoops, Bethel athletic director. “He has brought great energy and passion to this position that our student-athletes will miss.”

Before coming to Bethel in July 2016, Southern served a brief stint as tennis coach at Central Christian College, McPherson. Before that, he was assistant coach for men’s and women’s tennis and recruiting coordinator at Southwestern College, Winfield, since 2013.

While at Southwestern, Southern worked with two women’s teams that qualified for Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference post-season play, with one of those teams finishing in second place.

In 2015, Southern was the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Region IV Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year.

“I want to thank the entire Bethel College community for the opportunity to be the head tennis coach here,” Southern said. “This decision comes with a heavy heart, as my wife and I have truly loved our time involved with Bethel. I am excited to watch the athletic department continue to grow from a distance.”

A native of Texas, Southern is a 2012 graduate of University of the Southwest, Hobbs, New Mexico, with a B.A. in business administration. He was a four-year letter winner, a Top-6 player and men’s tennis team captain for two years while at University of the Southwest. He also has an MBA from Southwestern College.

“The search for a replacement will begin immediately to fill this position in a program filled with a rich tradition of excellence,” Hoops said.

Bethel College is the only Kansas private college listed in the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, both for 2018-19. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

In sports, Bethel competes within the 13-school KCAC, and the NAIA. For more information, see

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About Bethel

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.