Mark Faber has reached several accolades throughout his tennis career.
A graduate of Springfield High School, he was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 2002.
Faber has been the head tennis coach at St. Francis for 23 years. And most recently he was named the National High School Tennis Coach of the Year by Tennis Industry Magazine.
“It just means that I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of good kids. Great parents. That’s what makes it possible," Faber said. "Without the kids and their parents, what is success? Success is the kids wanting to play, and having a lot of kids wanting to come out and play tennis, and wanting to keep playing."
Faber is also coaching the Springfield girls tennis team. He’s the director of tennis at Twos Athletic Club and he serves on several state, Midwest and national tennis boards.
But it’s not just the balancing act that sets Faber apart, it’s his coaching style and “no-cut” philosophy.
“I think it’s about opportunity and we know, there’s been a lot of research done, and we know that kids like playing on teams, they like playing with their friends, it’s fun. It’s high on their list,” Faber said. “They wanted to represent their school, they wanted to have fun and play with their friends. High school is one of the only areas where kids can play on a team.”
After more than two decades coaching the sport he loves, every player feels grateful to be coached by him.
“He’s produced so many great tennis players in the past and it’s great knowing that I have the opportunity to be one of those tennis players,” said Gregory Leroux, St. Francis junior. “We focus on trying to control what we can control. Sometimes we’ll go out there, it might not be the best, but we just have to try and keep our heads up and control what we can control.”
For Faber, he enjoys the relationships that last beyond the time spent on the court.
“I’m fortunate enough to have some really good relationships with a lot of the kids still. You reflect back, each season has its own story,” Faber said. “You try not to compare season to season because all the kids are different, but you do think back about who the kids are and their parents, and all the special moments you have. It’s not about the wins and losses it’s about the memories that have been created during those times.”