Questions and Answers with Fairfield Coach Ed Paige
by James Hill, 24 August 2009
Ed Paige recently completed his third season as head tennis coach at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn.
Last season, his women's team won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament, giving the squad an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I team event. Paige's men's team also set a school record for most wins in a season and finished as MAAC regular-season champions.
Paige has been involved with the sport of tennis for thirty years - as a player, coach and writer. He spent six years as an editor of World Tennis magazine, and he was also the editor of Tennis USA, the USTA's former monthly newsletter. Paige served for two years as the director of junior tennis for the town of Fairfield, Conn. In addition, he was an assistant coach for the boys' junior varsity team at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, Conn.
He has two sons who compete at the national level: Nolan (16s) and Sayer (12s).
Many of the top juniors are either home-schooled or attend tennis academies. It is not surprising that these players are prominently mentioned in TennisRecruiting.net, as they are at the top of their field.
Paige believes, though, that there is much to be gained by attending a regular high school.
I recently spoke with the Fairfield coach about this issue.
Questions and Answers
James Hill: Why do you believe young tennis players are better off attending a regular high school, as opposed to tennis academies and studying online?
Ed Paige: Let me say, I know there are many fine schools associated with the tennis academies. At these schools, the players often practice before school, attend classes, then practice again. Often, the daily practice sessions can be longer than the daily four-hour limit the NCAA has for college.
In college, academics come first. But social interaction is important too. Success here can first be learned in high school. In the long run, education can and should be more than tutoring or online classes.