Tennis Coach Bill Shine Takes a Trip Down Memory Lane


Leon Yao

Menlo tennis coach Bill Shine coaches members of the varsity girls tennis team in between matches at the Stanford Invitational in 2019. Photo courtesy of Leon Yao.

Danielle McNair, Staff Writer

Varsity boys and girls tennis coach Bill Shine began coaching the Menlo tennis programs in 1996. Since then, Shine has led the Knights to 25 Central Coast Section (CCS) titles, 20 California Interscholastic Federation NorCal championships and three national championships. As a result of his coaching success, Shine was inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 and the United States Tennis Association Northern California Hall of Fame in 2020. 

After 25 years as a Menlo coach, Shine struggles to recall just one match that he considers the most memorable. “It is really tough to decide which moment I would consider the most memorable,” Shine said. “It would not do the rest justice if I chose one.” 

A recent match that stands out to Shine is the varsity girls’ 4-3 victory over Saint Francis High School in November 2019. “When [senior Addie] Ahlstrom won the final match in the Central Coast Section championship, that [was] an incredible moment in my coaching career,” Shine said. 

The victory over Saint Francis High School was the varsity girls tennis team’s first CCS championship since 2015. 

“I think winning the Northern California Championship that same season was also huge,” Shine said. “The girls were all so proud of each other after that match. It is definitely a very memorable moment for me.” 

Shine also shared that his first match in 1996 is one of the most memorable. “There’s just something about that first match I coached at Menlo that is memorable. It started one of the best chapters in my life,” Shine said. 

Team camaraderie, like what Shine experienced with the 2018 Menlo varsity boys national championship team, is what makes Shine’s job as the tennis coach so rewarding. He is a firm believer in team spirit and buying into the process it takes to succeed. “[Tennis] is an individual sport, so for only three months out of the year, these players get to come together and form a team,” Shine said. “Playing together as a team is a whole different atmosphere. My players love to play for each other, compete against one another and win together.”

Shine coaches to witness the passion and enthusiasm of his athletes. “When one of my players is in the heat of a match, they don’t care what they look like or about the fact that they are dripping sweat,” Shine said. “They are just living in that moment. They get in this ‘zone,’ and the pure joy and sense of accomplishment they feel when they win is unmatched.”

Shine said that coaching is not all about the end result but rather the path to get there. Nonetheless, coaching feels most rewarding at the end of each match. “It is a great moment because there is nothing like being able to help them accomplish their goals. Every kid is different, but at the end of the day, being there for them is what makes coaching worth it,” Shine said. “The energy and emotions on the court — that’s why I coach, for those moments.”