With a keen ability to relate to his players and an excitable and down-to-earth personality, Dave Shook enters his 17th season as the head coach of the Lehigh women’s tennis team. He is also spent the last 23 seasons mentoring the Mountain Hawks’ men’s team, but will now be able to devote his full time energy and experience to the women’s program.
Shook has posted a 132-140 career record as women’s coach from 1990-93 and 2001-12 and compiled a 248-209 record in his 23 seasons as the men’s coach. Shook holds the most coaching victories in Lehigh tennis history, earning his 300th total win in 2008. He enters the 2012-13 season just 20 wins shy of 400 combined wins for his career.
Last season, Shook watched a young Mountain Hawks squad battle and improve with every match. Sophomore Jenai Bilimoria earned All-Patriot League honors, while classmate Jill Sloand was a member of the Academic All-Patriot League team.
Under Shook’s guidance Julie Arthofer became the program’s first four-time All-Patriot League selection in 2010. She also became Shook’s second Patriot League women’s tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year and his third player to win the award overall. In 2011, Shook mentored his fourth Scholar-Athlete of the Year in Patricia Muething.
During his first four years, Lehigh finished with an overall record of 31-21 and finished above the .500 mark three times. He also coached nine All-Patriot League members, including Krsti Kungl, a two time member and first singles champion, Lauren Kosakowski, and Jen Mrozek
In his current stint as coach of the women’s team, Shook has posted an 89-95 overall record, which incorporated five straight winning seasons from 2001-2005. In addition, in 2004 Shook coached Kristen Nowicki to a 15-1 record as she was named the Patriot League’s Player of the Year. More recently, Shook mentored Gwen Dwyer, a three-time first team All-League selection who was named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2007.
“Coaching at Lehigh has been a very rewarding experience for me,” Shook says. “I have had the opportunity to work with tremendously talented student-athletes and formed great friendships with many of them.”
In 1991 Shook traveled to the Chinese Cultural University in Taipei, Taiwan to prepare their men’s and women’s teams for the Republic of China’s national championship tournament. The tournament is a major event in the Republic of China and is equated to the NCAA Tournament in the United States.
Prior to his arrival at Lehigh, Shook served as head tennis coach at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for four years (1986-90) where he amassed a 53-11 record. He also coached high school tennis at Salisbury High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania for three years (1987-90) where he led the Falcons to a sparkling 29-3 slate, which included a Colonial League championship in 1987.
Shook’s path to the sport actually didn’t begin until he finished college.
“I never intended to play tennis,” he says. “I didn’t play in high school or college. Actually I taught myself when I was 23 years old and then I started to play tournaments and was successful at it so I continued to play.”
Although he never played tennis competitively in high school or college, Shook was a very successful athlete at each level. Shook earned All East-Penn Conference honors as a senior in high school playing defensive end for the Easton, Pennsylvania High School football team. That team finished 10-0 and ranked first in the state. Shook continued his football career at the next level by playing cornerback at Parsons College in Iowa his freshman year. Shook then entered the Coast Guard for four years before finishing his collegiate career at Alvernia College, where he graduated in 1977 with a bachelor’s in criminal justice. He then earned his master’s in government from Lehigh in 1993.
In addition to his very successful coaching career, Shook has also excelled in a variety of other positions. For many years he has been the head tennis professional at the Silver Creek Country Club in Hellertown, Pennsylvania and continues to coach and facilitate clinics and camps for advanced and ranked junior players. Shook serves as a volunteer for the Lehigh Women’s Center and is an avid member of the local ski team as well.
Shook is a member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Intercollegiate Tennis Association and serves on the Collegiate Tennis Academy Board of Directors.
Shook served for 21 years as an Intensive Supervising Officer in the Northampton County Probation/Parole Division and for the last six years has been a member of the adjunct faculty, teaching criminal justice courses at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.
Shook and his wife Jeanne reside in Lower Macungie, Pa. with his daughter Alexandra.