Tennis Coach Retires After 25 Years, 230 Wins

Roderick Daniels
El Vaquero Staff Writer

After 25 years and 230 wins and countless memories, Glendale Community College men’s tennis coach Bob Donaghy has decided to retire.

He still will teach his normal assortment of classes and help out the new tennis coach, plans to help his ailing father in Oregon who has Alzheimer’s disease, and write a book about tennis.
“Twenty-five years is long enough I think,” Donaghy said. “I just want to be able to focus on a couple of other years in life and career.

“It’s been an honor to coach here for 25 years,” Donaghy said. “The effort that the guys have put fourth and the success that we have had here, and to follow Chuck [Gibson] has been a real honor.
But why coach for 25 years?

“I thought the same thing about Chuck. Why not 20, why not 15?” Donaghy said. “But I guess everybody has a point where they know it is enough.”

With coaching for 25 years here, there have been many ups and downs for Donaghy, for instance when his team lost the championship to Santa Barbara. His team won four of the six singles matches, and only had to win one of the doubles matches, and lost all five.

The same happened against Rio Hondo College one year, and finished second in conference from 1981-87. However, when he won the championship last season, they were down 5-2, 4-5 in the third set to win against Ventura, and won.

“That was a championship we never should have won,” Donaghy said. “It was like a one-in-a-million shot. It always comes out even in the end.”

One would think that the players he has fond memories of would be the ones who won championships, or his no. one players. However, that isn’t always the case.

Damian Gallagher played for Donaghy in 1980 was the sixth man on the team, and back then, the tiebreaker was not best of 12 but best of nine. Down 4-0 in the tiebreaker, Gallagher came back to win the tiebreaker 5-4, and as it turned out, the team won 5-4; a match that Donaghy said he will remember till the day he dies. Last season, his number two doubles team of Jack Timourian and Boris Adzhamyan came back from down 5-2 as a team, and down 4-5 in their match came back to win the third set tiebreaker 10-8, and won the conference over Citrus College. Also, Jimmy Tasker, played Miguel Phelps from Allan Hancock and lost to him all four times they played from during the 1980-81 seasons, but down 1-6 after the first set, Tasker comes back to win 6-1, 6-0.

“That’s one of the few things that I have not figured out,” Donaghy said. “There were some great players that I have had who have put there all into it.”