By Bill Tamburrino
It is easy to say good luck but difficult say goodbye. Thus is the case with Doug Failla.
Doug tendered his resignation as boys and girls tennis coach at Ramona High School. Actually that should be as gentlemen’s and ladies’ tennis coach because that is how his teams played and that is how Doug coaches and plays.
Doug also recently resigned as tennis director at Riviera Oaks Resort and has taken a job at West Coast Tennis Academy at Rancho Valencia Spa and Resort in Rancho Santa Fe. Ramona’s loss is their gain.
There is an old adage in coaching: “Those who can, play. Those who can’t, coach.” Doug destroyed that adage. He returned to high-level competition last year and recently won the Pacific Coast Tennis Tournament and is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation in men’s 45 doubles.
Playing competitive tennis and coaching high school student/athletes are two very different endeavors and Doug separated the two very well. However, he brought his competitive drive to his coaching. During matches, Doug was always very intense and that intensity drove his players to compete at their highest level.
Doug is a sportswriter’s dream as a coach. No matter what the score or outcome, good or bad, Doug always wanted his players to get the recognition that they deserved for competing. He never ducked a call and never made an excuse. He gave credit to his players. He wanted the best for them and always gave them his best as a coach and mentor.
Doug played tennis at RHS and was a CIF champion for the Bulldogs. He was a member of a state championship team at Grossmont College. He played at Long Beach State when the Forty-Niners were ranked second in the nation.
I don’t know what Doug’s title is at Rancho Valencia, but it should be tennis ambassador. That is what he was in Ramona, what he is, and what he does. He sells the sport that he loves. He plays it with passion. He coaches it with dedication. He has improved the game of tennis in Ramona at all levels. It is apparent to all, that Doug loves the game.
Doug started playing tennis at age 7 and has never stopped. Doug and his brother Greg got started in the game in the state of Washington by their parents, Don and Nancy, and they have been traveling the world and playing tennis ever since. Doug and Greg have passed the game that their parents gave to them on to their children.
Good luck Doug! You will be missed. You are appreciated.