Meet John Ross
John Ross heads into his seventh year at the helm of the Calvin men's tennis and women’s basketball program. A native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the 42-year old Ross arrived at Calvin in the fall of 2003 after spending the previous four years at Earlham College (IN), a member of the NCAA Division III North Coast Athletic Conference. At Earlham College, Ross served as head men’s and women’s tennis coach and assistant men’s basketball coach.
During his time as men's tennis coach at Calvin, Ross has compiled a won-loss record of 89-35 in dual match play and has led the Knights to five consecutive MIAA runner-up berths. His teams have been consistently ranked in the ITA regional rankings. His 2007 team established a Calvin single-season record for victories in a season, finishing 18-6 overall and also advancing to the second round of the NCAA III Regional Tournament. In addition, his Calvin men's tennis teams have received the MIAA Team GPA Award (3.30 team GPA) five times. He also has coached one ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American at Calvin - Ricky Tilton -- who was so honored in 2008.
Ross began his tennis coaching career in 1991 as women's tennis coach at Eastern Illinois University. Over a three-year period, he took the women's team from the bottom of the Mid-Continent Conference (MCC) standings to a second-place finish. In 1994, he was selected the MCC's Coach of the Year. Ross compiled a 55-24 record at Eastern Illinois where the student-athletes in his program had a 100% graduation rate and combined a cumulative 3.3 grade-point
From 1994-95, Ross was a tennis professional at the John Newcombe Tennis
Academy in New Braunfels, Texas. He worked with future tennis stars from around
the world, including Lleyton Hewitt from Australia, who finished the 2001 and
2002 season as the #1 ranked player in the world.
Ross served as the Head Tennis Professional at Fox Cities Racquet Club in
Appleton, Wisconsin from 1995-99. His club sent more than 50 players to the
state tennis tournament. An USPTA certified tennis professional since 1994, he
has also served as a director of the Nike Tennis Camps at the University of
At Earlham, Ross led the men's and women's tennis teams to a combined four-year
record of 79-61. Prior to his arrival, Earlham's men's and women's tennis
teams had posted a combined record of 72-275 over a 20-year span.
At Earlham, Ross also served as Chair of the Athletics, Wellness and Physical Education Department where he taught courses in lifetime wellness, golf, basketball and tennis. He has also been the faculty advisor for Earlham's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and worked FCA summer camps at St. Olaf College (MN) and Luther College (IA).
Ross earned a Masters of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University in 1994. He majored in physical education with a concentration in exercise physiology. Ross received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1990. At Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Ross was a member of the men’s tennis team from 1987-1989.
Ross began his basketball coaching career in 1991 as an assistant coach at Matoon High School in Mattoon, Illinois, a position he continued until 1994. During the 1998-99 season, he served as a volunteer assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Ironically, that Wisconsin-Oshkosh team would advance to the “Elite Eight” of the NCAA III Tournament after edging Calvin 61-59 at the Calvin Fieldhouse in a national semi-quarterfinal game the night before.
Ross then accepted a teaching and coaching position at Earlham College in 1999 and served as an assistant men’s basketball coach through the 2002-2003 season. During his four years on the Earlham men’s basketball coaching staff, the Quakers recorded a record of 53-53 after having gone just 117-350 over the previous 20 years. Earlham’s 2000-2001 team finished 16-10 overall and reached the NCAC Tournament semifinals. From 1999-2002, Ross was an employee at the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball summer team camp, working with former Wisconsin women’s basketball coach Jane Albright. In 2002, he served as director of the University of Wisconsin summer team camp.
“I have known John for many years and have found him to be an excellent teacher and motivator,” says Albright. “John will bring success to whatever he is involved in. He has great passion for student-athletes, the game of basketball and the Lord. Who can beat that combination?”
In addition to his coaching duties, Ross is teaching core activity classes in Calvin’s Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Sport department.