Varda serves up an ace for LPHS
Slicer Tennis has had a long list of incredible coaches. Don Varda fits among that list.
Varda has been involved in tennis since he was young. He started out playing at Calumet High School and played recreational tennis at Purdue. Varda then traded his racket for a whistle and began coaching in 2010.
Varda has been coaching for the last nine years, but he didn’t start coaching at LaPorte until five years ago. Originally he coached at Michigan City High School, and was their head tennis coach for four years.
Michigan City had many great successes under the leadership of Varda, like winning four Sectionals, two Highland doubles tournaments. The Wolves were Regional runner ups, and Academic All-State each year.
Before working at LPHS, Varda worked at the Michigan City Library, which operated a television station, for 25 years. His background and expertise in radio and television led to his next move.
Varda wanted to change his career and pass his expertise on to others. He was interested in teaching video and film, and LPHS provided that opportunity, with revitalization of the broadcast program.
Varda teaches four classes at LaPorte High School: Intro to Communications, Design Fundamentals, and Radio TV 1 and 2.
After a long day of teaching, Varda leads the boys’ and girls’ tennis team. Varda loves the competition and being strategic. He also loves the fact that players compete as an individual, but win as a team.
“I like the life lessons that tennis can teach you,” Varda said.
Varda has many goals for the upcoming girls’ tennis season this spring. He hopes to repeat as Duneland Conference champs and to go undefeated again, which had not happened in 41 years prior to last year.
Not only does Varda like playing tennis, but he likes to share his knowledge of it with others, which led him to start writing the book, Tennis Gold. In this book, it has interviews with top junior, high school, college, pros, and grand-slam champions. His book is for players, parents, and coaches. The goal is for the book to be out in March.
“I’m very excited about it, and I’m working very hard on it. It was a labor of love,” Varda said.
Whether he’s in the classroom or on the tennis court, LaPorte is fortunate to have such a committed teacher and coach like Varda.