TC Central’s Nykerk Retiring After 50 Years
TRAVERSE CITY – Veteran Traverse City Central tennis coach Larry Nykerk announced his retirement on Tuesday after 50 years of coaching.
A 28-time regional coach of the year and three-time state coach of the year (1984, 1997, 2007), Nykerk led Central’s boys and girls tennis programs over the years, recording more than 1,000 career wins between the boys (542) and girls (508) teams. Nykerk’s teams have combined to qualify for the state finals 73 times (boys 38, girls 35).
“Few people have been blessed as much as I have been to absolutely love and have passion for what I do,” Nykerk said in a release. “I will carry that with me and I will remain a Trojan for life.”
Under Nykerk’s leadership, 65 players have recorded 100 wins or more, with 13 becoming individual state champions and 42 having gone on to continue their careers collegiately.
Nykerk also helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for tennis facility upgrades and started a youth summer camp in 1976 that still operates today.
“Larry’s long list of successes and the significant contributions he has made as a coach over the years are part of the proud tradition of excellence that is the Trojan athletic program,” Traverse City Central athletic director Mark Mattson said in a statement. “Coach Nykerk is a true legend and his legacy will continue on as future Trojan tennis players benefit from his lasting imprint on the program.”
Nykerk plans to continue working with the Friends of Tennis group, his summer tennis program and with Traverse City’s youth tennis players.