Conway Springs High School girls tennis coach Chris Bellar receives the Kansas High School Girls Tennis Coach of the Year award at a recent basketball game.
By Jen Bookhout Conway Springs High School girls tennis coach Chris Bellar has been coaching at CSHS for 23 years. This year, he received the “Kansas High School Girls Tennis Coach of the Year” award from the National Federation of High School Coaches Association. “He’s a leader at the state level,” CSHS Principal Lelin George said. “He’s done a tremendous job building and maintaining a tennis program that has been competitive across the state of Kansas.” CSHS presented the award to Bellar during the boys basketball game on Feb. 14. While he knew that someone nominates coaches for this award every year, he didn’t consider the possibility of receiving it himself. “I was not expecting it,” Bellar said. “When a team has success on the courts, sometimes the coach gets some credit, but the kids have had some good successes the last few years, so it’s been a team effort.” While Bellar appreciates the surprising award, he attributes the success to his players. The best part about coaching is watching the kids develop, form friendships and go on to compete at higher levels in the sport, he said. “Mostly this honor is the result of the team’s working hard and enjoying being with each other, this is just a bonus for me,” Bellar said. “Something like this wouldn’t happen without the kids responding to your coaching, and a lot of hard work.” Over the years, Bellar has coached several successful teams, a record for which George commends him. “He’s a tremendous man, a tremendous asset to our community and a tremendous leader to the students at our school,” George said. “I think that’s been important to his coaching and level of success.”