by Terry Nielsen
Reid Hans, a three sport high school
athlete, is being honored with the SD Tennis Achievement Award
for over 25 years of varying contributions to grow the game.
The novelty is this: he knew NOTHING about tennis until after
graduate school at St. Cloud State University at the age of 29.
Friend and boss Noel Olson, the athletic
director at St. Cloud, had just hired Reid following Hans
earning his masters in health, physical education and
recreation in 1975 to be business manager at the college, and
assist with coaching basketball and baseball.
St. Cloud’s tennis coach quit just before
practice started for the spring season in 1978. Olson told
baseball coach Jim Stanek he’d like to move Reid from baseball
to head up the tennis program. On the way home from the hiring,
Olson said, “if you are going to coach tennis, you’ll need your
“We stopped at the local hardware store,”
said Reid, “and he bought me one for $2.95.” Noel told Coach
Hans, at a minimum, keep order with the team and drive the van
safely. Reid looked at the schedule and saw the second match
was with the University of Minnesota of the Big Ten Conference.
“I called Gopher coach Jerry Noyce,” said
Reid, “introduced myself as coach at St Cloud, and that we play
you in a couple weeks, and I know nothing about tennis.” Noyce
invited Reid to the Gopher campus and helped him get started.
So you had the rookie tennis coach at the second biggest
University in the state, getting helpful hints from THE biggest
University in the state, a perennial power of the courts. That
relationship between Hans and Noyce would prove to be a key to
Reid’s future in the world of tennis.
Looking over his sports career finds many
Reid, son of John and Signe Hans, was the
youngest of three children who grew up in Clinton, MN (20 miles
northeast of Milbank, SD). He graduated with 33 other students,
where he was the quarterback in football, the point guard (at
6’-1”) in basketball and pitcher on the baseball team.
Then came two years playing hoops and
baseball at Fergus Falls Community College. With visions of
being a teacher and coach, he was recruited to St. Cloud by
Olson where he played both basketball and baseball, graduating
in 1971 with a teaching certificate in HPER. (He practice taught
at Minnetonka High School where he helped influence Keith Nord
to come to St. Cloud State. He relished watching Keith later
have a nice career as a defensive back with the Minnesota
Before grad school Reid took his teaching
skills to Bertha-Hewitt High School, 60 miles north of
Alexandria, MN, where he taught physical education and was head
basketball, head baseball and assistant football coach for two
In 1974-75 while working on his masters
degree, Noel named Reid athletic business manager, along with
other coaching duties. Noel said, “when I named him tennis
coach in 1978, he couldn’t win a game off me, having never
played. Soon, of course, with his athletic ability, the tide
turned and he’s been one of the better adult players ever
The “business” of tennis really took off
for Reid when he was hired in 1978 at Augusta Tennis Club (while
still coaching tennis at St. Cloud) to be club manager and
partner. “It was then that I really developed a wonderful
tennis relationship with Noyce and Jack Roach,” said Reid.
“During a 30 week period, they never missed a Saturday of
coming from the Cities and holding group lessons all day for
adults and juniors. That is where I really first learned about
group tennis instruction, teaching 8-10 at a time.”
When Olson moved to Sioux Falls as
commissioner of the North Central Conference, friend Hans soon
joined him, starting in 1984. Hans is credited with saving a
laboring tennis club, Woodlake, from being a carpet
warehouse. He sold the business in 2003 and the club was
renamed Sioux Empire Fitness, a full service club with emphasis
on fitness and also swimming, to go with tennis. By 2009 the
club was in financial straits, headed toward again becoming a
carpet warehouse, when Reid returned and started over again,
from scratch, rebuilding the club.
Hundreds of juniors benefited from the
chance to play year round, indoor tennis in South Dakota.
During his return to Sioux Falls, Reid was also involved with
Midtown Athletic Club in Sioux City, IA. In addition, over the
years, he has worked as a manager/ consultant at clubs in
Louisville, Evansville, Grand Forks, Fargo and Green Bay. “The
whole key is managing tennis pros,” said Reid.
Reid’s short time from work is spent in
Eden Prairie, MN on weekends where he lives with his significant
other, Patsy Redfield. He drives to Sioux Falls Monday to be
at work by 9 a.m. and drives back “home” Friday afternoon.
Looking back, Reid is also proud of his
many years of service to what is now called the Northern
Section, USTA. In the day, it was the Northwestern Tennis
Association, which reached its lowest point, financially, as an
organization in the late 1970’s. Reid, who’d served on the
Section’s board of directors as one of the few outside the Twin
Cities, recalls a very important annual meeting.
“I was in town for a tennis event when a
winter storm hit and only a handful of members were able to make
it to the annual meeting. The Section was several thousand
dollars in the hole and those of us there made a pact to save
the Section, as there was talk of disbanding and joining the
Midwest Section. Jerry Noyce, Bob Larson, Dave Mathews, and
notably Steve Champlin, the financial guy, worked through
several ideas to ‘save the day,” including hiring Marcia Bach to
be the new executive secretary. What a great hire Marcia was!”
From Noyce and others, Hans learned about
running tournaments and has had a hand in several Sectional
events, both in Sioux Falls and St. Cloud, the National Public
Parks in Sioux Falls, and the National boys 18’s in Louisville.
“The Bryan brothers won singles and doubles both years,” said
So, for a “jock-of-all-trades” who loved
sports growing up, tennis has been his passion and the tennis
world over several states has benefited.