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Tennis Coach Bill Shine Retires After Illustrious Career

Tennis+head+coach+Bill+Shine+talks+with+senior+Octave+Moha+after+the+Knights%E2%80%99+match+against+Pinewood+School+on+April+19.
Devon Schaefer
Tennis head coach Bill Shine talks with senior Octave Moha after the Knights’ match against Pinewood School on April 19.

As Bill Shine’s dedicated 29-year head coaching career at Menlo comes to an end, the varsity boys tennis team is still yet to lose a league match during his tenure. In fact, the last coach to defeat Menlo’s varsity boys team in a West Bay Athletic League match was none other than Shine while coaching at Pinewood School in 1994. 

Shine accepted the position to become the head coach for the boys and girls varsity tennis teams at Menlo in 1995 and has continued in that role since. Upon his arrival, Shine says that it took a few years to change the culture and attitude around the tennis program before the boys and girls teams really began to take off. 

Shine has led the teams to a combined 28 CCS Championships and 23 NorCal titles. “​​We always just talk about getting better and better every day and then the championships will follow suit,” Shine said.

Reflecting on his years of coaching at Menlo, Shine’s most cherished memories are those involving his players. “It’s the relationships that I’ve developed over the years with all these kids that mean the most to me,” he said. “Unless you [coach], you just don’t understand how fulfilling it is to watch all these great kids come through here.”

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Addison Ahlstrom (‘21) played number one singles for the girls varsity team under Shine at Menlo and is currently a part of the womens tennis team at Brown University. Ahlstrom says that Shine was one of the most influential people during her time at Menlo. “He has such an amazing perspective on tennis, but also life,” she said. “He was super inspirational for me.”

Ahlstrom said she thinks that Shine’s leadership qualities have been a major factor towards his coaching success. “He really knew how to bring us together as a team and rally toward a common goal,” Ahlstrom said. “He always found a way to push us to be the best version of ourselves.”

Senior Arjun Saluja, who is in his second season on the boys varsity team, believes that the team culture that Shine promotes is an incredibly valuable part of the team. “I think it’s a perfect balance of discipline and wanting to win with fun and enjoyment,” Saluja explained. “We obviously have a big emphasis on success, but it’s also really growth-based as well.”

Saluja appreciates Shine’s dedication to each and every player on the team’s roster regardless of talent level. “He really pays attention to the whole team and cares about all the players,” Saluja said. “I think that’s allowed every player to develop and enjoy playing on the team.”

The 2024-25 academic year marks the first year that the champions of Northern and Southern California will play against each other for a State Championship in tennis. “We definitely want to send [Shine] off with a state championship and we’ve been very explicit and clear that that is our goal,” Saluja said. “I think it would be poetic.” In the fall, the girls varsity team won NorCal, but fell in the State Championship to SoCal winner Mater Dei High School.

Shine is forever grateful for his time coaching at Menlo. “I’ve never considered this a job,” he said. “It’s been really fun just learning from the kids every day; they keep me young. It’s just been a great ride.”

Although his plans for retirement include traveling to the Australian Open, Shine promises to stay involved with the program from the outside. “I tell the kids that I’m not moving, I’m just not coaching, and I’m going to be over here, I’m gonna be their biggest fan.”

This story was originally published on The Coat of Arms on May 2, 2024.