Ottumwa’s Dan Staggs is the 2016 tennis recipient of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Golden Plaque of Distinction Award. Staggs was presented his award at the 2016 State Tennis Tournament.
The IGHSAU’s Golden Plaque of Distinction Award honors the Iowa coach who has demonstrated a successful career while making notable contributions towards their school, community and coaching profession.
Staggs came to Ottumwa in the summer of 1958. He started the boys high school tennis team in 1964 and the girls in 1965. He also started a summer tennis program. Interest in tennis grew and eventually the community built 10 additional public courts, turned a parking lot into five summer courts, and built four courts at the Ottumwa Country Club. He has coached continually for 55 years, currently as a volunteer.
Staggs has had teams finish as high as second, qualified more than 50 teams for state, coaching a state champion in singles and co-ed doubles state champion. He was selected to the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame in 1982 and served stints on the IGHSAU and IHSAA Tennis Advisory Committees. In 2005 he was one of eight coaches selected for the National Coach of the Year. Staggs has had 47 players play at the collegiate level and had 697 wins in his career. The City of Ottumwa named six courts after him in 2006.