By RICK PETERSON
Andrew Davids was an honor student at both Topeka West and Emporia State, including earning MIAA Scholar-Athlete recognition at ESU, but challenges in one particular college class started Davids thinking about joining his parents in education.
It's a decision the former tennis standout for the Chargers and Hornets and the current head coach at Olathe South will never regret.
"It was honestly because of calculus,'' Davids said during Tuesday's Topeka West Invitational at Kossover Tennis Center. "My original major was physical therapy. I didn't get the grade I needed in calculus and I didn't want to re-take calculus, so I switched my major. It turned out to be a good decision.''
Andrew's father, Kurt, is a longtime teacher and boys and girls tennis coach at Topeka West while his mother, Katie, is also a longtime teacher and coach and is currently the activities coordinator at Landon Middle School.
Calling his parents to tell them he was switching majors wasn't necessarily an easy call for Andrew to make, but he said they took the news exactly the way he hoped they would.
"They were actually pretty excited about it, excited and supportive obviously, as good parents are,'' said Davids, who coaches chemistry at Olathe South along with his coaching duties. "In the back of my mom's head she said she always knew that I had that kind of personality and the teacher attitude and mentality, so she wasn't surprised I don't think.''
Davids, who was an assistant coach two years at Arkansas City before moving to Olathe South, said not a day goes by that he doesn't feel his parents' influence on him.
"Every day, both in the classroom and on the court,'' Davids said. "I had the pleasure of having my dad as a teacher in high school and there are things that I do and say that I specifically remember him doing and saying, and then on the court as well.''
Andrew ended his high school career with a state record for total doubles victories (147) while playing for his father at West and he teamed with his younger brother, Austin, to set a single-season state record with 41 doubles wins.
Davids, who was a multi-time All-MIAA pick for Emporia State, said there's a lot of similarities between the coaching styles of himself and his father.
"I do a lot of the same drills that we did in high school,'' Andrew Davids said. "I coach my girls in a lot of the same ways that he coaches his. That apple doesn't fall far from the tree in that sense.''
Now in his fifth year at Olathe South, Andrew has no doubt he's where he needs to be.
"I have on more than one occasion had conversations with my parents and myself and my wife, and I couldn't see myself doing anything else,'' Davids said.
"I look back and yeah, it would have been nice to be a physical therapist and make a little bit more money and all of that, but this is definitely what I'm supposed to be doing -- teaching and coaching.''