Albert Lea district announces new head girls’ tennis coach

Published 2:46 pm Thursday, July 27, 2023

Albert Lea Area Schools on Thursday announced the appointment of Olivia Schafer as the new head girls’ tennis coach for the upcoming season.

Olivia Schafer

Schafer, a familiar face in the tennis community, is no stranger to the Tiger tennis program, having previously served as the assistant coach under Jennessa Runia-Bade last year.

According to a press release, Schafer brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to her new role.

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A proud alumna of Red Wing High School, she honed her tennis skills during her time in the school’s tennis team from seventh to 12th grade. She further nurtured her passion for the sport by attending Gustavus Tennis Camps every summer, which allowed her to excel in her game.

After high school, Schafer pursued her academic aspirations at Bemidji State University, where she earned her elementary education degree. Throughout her college years, she remained involved in tennis as she played club tennis and continued to grow her knowledge of the game.

Presently, Schafer is a fifth-grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School, entering her fourth year in the district.

“Her love for her school, colleagues and students is evident in her commitment to their growth and success,” the release stated.

Last season, as the assistant girl’s tennis coach, Schafer worked alongside Runia-Bade and the team. This experience provided her with invaluable insights and the chance to learn from a seasoned mentor.

With deep gratitude for the knowledge gained, Schafer is eagerly embracing her new position and is determined to build meaningful relationships with her players while continuing to foster their tennis skills.

Schafer’s coaching philosophy centers around the holistic development of her athletes. Her aim is to nurture well-rounded individuals who not only excel as tennis players but also grow into better people. 

The release stated the district expresses its utmost confidence in Schafer’s abilities to lead the girls’ tennis program to new heights.

“Her passion, dedication and commitment to fostering excellence align perfectly with the school’s values,” it said.