Many high school athletes dream of playing sports at the college level. That dream was the same for assistant tennis coach David Price, but the college of his choice was a little more than a drive away.
Price grew up in Australia where he fell in love with the game of tennis. After dropping out of high school when he was 17, Price didn’t have a solid plan. That was when a couple of his friends decided to sell their belongings and come to the U.S. They wanted somewhere that would give them an opportunity to play tennis.
Price jumped on board with the plan and sold everything he owned to buy a plane ticket.
“We wanted to go to America since Australia doesn’t have collegiate sports. Most countries in the world don’t have collegiate sports,” Price said.
When they left Australia, they heard about a place in Texas that would teach them how to play tennis better and give them a platform to play at the next level.
“We didn’t really know where we were going because we didn’t have a GPS to tell us where we were going. We heard of this ranch ran by John Newcombe, who was a star tennis player and won a couple major tournaments,” Price said. “We stayed there until someone noticed us. After some time had passed, a coach from Washburn learned about the camp and came down to see what kind of talent we all had. The coach came down and saw us and I was fortunate enough to be able to sign with Washburn.”
As a player, Price earned honors. He even worked his way up to a national ranking of 19. His time at Washburn created lifelong friends, which includes the current head tennis coach, Lance Lysaught.
Not many coaches also teach on the side, but Price is an exception. In his case, it is the other way around. Price is an associate professor of marketing in the School of Business at Washburn. He said that teaching takes up more of his time than coaching does.
Despite the challenges he has overcome, moving to the U.S. hasn’t always been easy.
“Living this far from Australia is not easy trying to see family, but it’s not that much of a change from when I lived in Australia,” Price said. “We didn’t really see each other that much. The only real difference is on holidays where we aren’t able to go back.”
When he’s not in the classroom, he can still be found following his dreams on the court. Price is a player’s coach, and junior Paul Hasse agrees.
“There are a lot of things to love about coach Price. First of all, I love his Australian accent. What I also love about him is his ‘always positive’ attitude,” Hasse said. “It shows that he believes in you and that helps a lot to stay calm in important situations on the court, but in practice he is also challenging sometimes, and that helps us to improve as a team.”
Price and his family currently live here in Topeka. When he played for the Ichabods, Price met his wife, Darla. They have two sons, Benjamin and Peyton.