Women’s tennis volunteer burns midnight oil


Laura Willis/The Daily Iowan
Iowa volunteer assistant tennis coach Chris Lueth discusses the upcoming Florida tournament on Tuesday. “Practicing outside will help the team be better prepared this weekend,” he said as the team practiced on the outdoor courts at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex.
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The days are not nearly long enough for Iowa women’s tennis volunteer assistant coach Chris Lueth.
Lueth, both an Iowa and Drake alum currently enrolled in a master’s program at the UI, coaches and teaches class while studying for the CPA exam for his accounting certificate.

“I have a lot of small things on my plate right now, not any one large thing, which is obviously going to change when you go out and get a job,” Lueth said. “Your job is the one very large thing on your plate, and everything else has to get a little bit smaller.”

His “plate” has always been full, though.

Born in Ames, where he attended high school, Lueth played both tennis and baseball and also engaged in cross-country skiing. He found time to compete in triathlons during the summer as well.

He graduated from Drake in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, making the president’s honor roll with a 4.0 GPA. He also played tennis at Drake, winning two conference championships and earning an invitation to the NCAA tournament his senior year, an experience he described as a nice “last hurrah.”

Now enrolled in the Tippie College of Business as a graduate accounting student, the 25-year-old isn’t pursuing his first degree at Iowa, nor is he tackling his first collegiate coaching experience.

Lueth coached the Hawkeyes during his first year of law school at Iowa, which came immediately following his time at Drake.

“It was more of a time commitment than I thought I had available,” Lueth said. “Then after graduating [from law school], I decided I had enough time to go back and help out again.”

Lueth’s career at Iowa resulted from being in the right place at the right time — or rather wearing the right thing at the right time.

“I was out at the tennis center one day just playing some tennis, and the head women’s coach at the time, Daryl Greenan, saw me, and I think I was wearing a Drake tennis T-shirt ,” Lueth said. “They were in need of a volunteer assistant, and so he came over and asked me if I was interested.

“It was not something I searched out to take part in, but Daryl approached me, and we got along really well, and I got along with the girls really well.”

Things won’t get any easier for the third-year Hawkeye volunteer either. Previously, Lueth adhered to a strict schedule, which included class and commitments to the business school.

Then, following Greenan’s departure, assistant coach Mira Radu and Iowa Senior Associate Athletics Director Jane Meyer asked him to manage an increased workload.

“Part of that is that I get along pretty well with the girls,” Lueth said. “They’re fun to be around. They’re fun to coach because for the most part they are there to get better at tennis and work hard. That’s the kind of attitude that makes it easy to coach people.”

Junior Jessica Young noted the effect Lueth has had on the team. She said she has a good connection with him because of his ability to communicate with the team.

“He has really helped our team stay positive and together especially when Mira had to travel to California with Sonja,” she said. “We didn’t have anyone officially assigned to us, and Chris was nice enough to donate his time and make sure we had our practices and stayed on track.

“He even woke up at 6 a.m. to coach us on Monday. All of his time is volunteered, which is amazing to me.”

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