Phyllis Zilm steps down after close to two decades as Glenwood girls tennis coach
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Phyllis Zilm has so many memories from coaching the Glenwood Springs High School girls tennis team, she can’t remember all of them.
There’s one consistent memory, however, the Demons coach has after spending close to two decades as the girls tennis coach of the school.
“I always knew that the girls were going to get better,” Zilm said. “That’s what kept me going, was that commitment that the girls had taking the next step the next year.”
Zilm gave her letter of resignation to GSHS Athletic Director Craig Denney prior to last week’s regional tournament. She cited in the letter that she wanted to take more time to play tennis competitively, but she knew that continuing to coach wouldn’t give her that opportunity.
“I’m finally ready to go back to what I really love doing,” she said.
She already has a full slate of matches lined up. Zilm will play with a United States Tennis Association team out of Vail and with a team out of the Grand Junction area. On top of that, she’s already on the docket to play in a national tournament in Denver next month.
“I had a friend of mine joke with me that Wimbledon must be next,” she said, laughing.
Zilm, however, has had her share of successful players that she’s coached.
The coach couldn’t remember how many state qualifiers the Demons have had since she’s been coaching, but she could remember plenty of names. Among them was Jenny Queen — one of Zilm’s first players at Glenwood Springs who now works at Valley View Hospital. Another that came to mind was the No. 1 doubles team of Jenny Krohe and Desi DeGeus, whose “intensity during a regional match against Aspen,” Zilm said, helped them come away with a tough win.
In all, however, Zilm has many more memories she’ll take with her.
“It was such a joy and pleasure to coach all of these kids,” the coach said.
“Their commitment helped them to learn and get good at a sport that they can play all of their lives. All we asked was that they were the best athletes they could be and they gave it everything they had, and they did.”
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