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First-year Tabb Boys Tennis Coach Robbie Carmines’ heart has always been in sports, dating back to his time as an athlete at Tabb High School years ago.
However, Carmines’ heart was not always cooperative with his passion for athletics.
Carmines was born with a defective aorta, the main artery supplying blood to the body. Because of this defect, Carmines was forced to stop playing team sports in high school, instead adopting individual sports such as tennis and golf that were less taxing on his body.
With participating in athletics out of the picture, Carmines took up physical education teaching and coaching as a way to quench his thirst for competition.
Carmines has coaching experience at three of the four York County high schools, including Tabb, York and Grafton. Prior to taking his current position as Tabb’s boys tennis coach, Carmines coached Grafton’s golf team for seven years.
The path back to Tabb for Carmines was directly related to the retirement of Tabb Boys Basketball Coach Doug Baggett, who also taught physical education at the school in addition to coaching. Heading into the school year, Baggett, a close friend of Carmines, retired from his teaching position.
It has long been a dream of Carmines to teach and coach at Tabb simultaneously. With Baggett, a long-tenured instructor, still at the school, the prospects of Carmines getting to do both seemed bleak. However, when Baggett told Carmines of his retirement, suddenly the opportunity seemed attainable.
“When he told me he was going to retire, I just applied for the position and went through a couple of interviews,” Carmines said with a grin.
Now coaching Tabb’s boys tennis team, Carmines said he has big shoes to fill after previous head coach Jay Robeson stepped down late last year. The Tigers saw decent success under Carmines and, by all accounts, had good team morale while under his leadership.
Luckily for Carmines, he inherits a roster that features some familiar faces from last season, including No. 1 singles player Jimmy Qing, and talented newcomers like No. 2 Jacob Borowy.
And while Carmines said the transition to coaching tennis again has been “strange,” the experience has ultimately been rewarding.
“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s a great bunch of guys that are out here, and we have a lot of young kids. I think the future is bright out here as far as tennis is concerned.”