Huskies win one for coach

NIU tennis coach Chuck Merzbacher couldn’t be there when his team gave him his first Big Ten victory.

Merzbacher learned of his father’s death and had to leave town Saturday, the day before the meet against Purdue.

On Sunday, the Huskies played on guts and emotion to beat the Boilermakers 8-1. It was the same team which had beaten what might have been a tougher Huskie team 6-3 last year.

It was a key meet for the Huskies, two-time Mid-Continent Champions, who are trying to reach a new level Merzbacher has been pushing them to.

There aren’t many coaches who take such an active role as Merzbacher in overlooking a player’s development. Merzbacher, a former touring pro, is the best player on the team. He practices with his players; he competes with them.

Probably no other player has reaped the benefits of having Merzbacher as coach than junior Dustin Dobrin, who probably best represents Merzbacher’s three years at NIU.

He was a good player coming out of high school and with hard work and Merzbacher’s guidance, he’s now a winning Division I college player.

“My game has improved so much,” Dobrin says, “I’ve run into a lot of guys I used to lose to in the juniors, now I’m beating most of them.”

“It’s great having Chuck as a coach, he relates a lot of his experience at the tour into our practices.”

Sunday night, Merzbacher called his players to congratulate them on their win and thanked them for winning one for the coach.

But the Huskies probably would have never won without him.

I’ve never met Merzbacher’s father, but I’ve heard the son represents what kind of a person the father is … Charles Merzbacher Sr. must have been a wonderful man.