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National Coaches of the Year

By USATT | Jan. 09, 2013, 5 p.m. (ET)

Following a thorough review of the nominations received, the Selection Committee of Ross Brown, Whitney Ping, and Jasna Rather made the  following selections:

Selected Coaches of the Year for 2012:
Para COY – Daniel Rutenberg
Volunteer COY – Joel Mitchell
Development COY – Stefan Feth
National COY – Xin Zhou

Paralympic COY – Daniel Rutenberg (DFWTT in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX)

Daniel Rutenberg headed the US Para Team for approximately the past four year as both the primary administrator and head coach for Team USA.  Through his hard work and leadership, Team USA qualified three athletes (Tahl Leibovitz, Pam Fontaine, and Tara Profitt) to compete in London after a very successful 2011 Para Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Selected to lead the team at the Paralympics, Daniel continued to run numerous activities and worked individually with Pam Fontaine, in addition to continuing to identify, recruit and develop local para players.

Volunteer COY – Joel Mitchell (Palmetto Table Tennis Club in Columbia, SC)

Mr. Mitchell was a member of the first International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Level II Coaching Course Graduate Program, which was held at the United States Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado from October 30 to November 4, 2012. He has served as the President of the Palmetto Table Tennis Club, Columbia, South Carolina since 2009 to the present and has offered his expertise in the sport of table tennis to interested players of all ages, with a keen interest in training young junior athletes. 

As an exceedingly avid table tennis enthusiast, Mr. Mitchell serves as an advocate for the sport of table tennis and has proposed a recent petition to President Barack Obama’s administration to include table tennis as a part of all school's athletic programs nationwide.

National Team COY – Xin Zhou (ICC Table Tennis Center in Milpitas, CA)

Before coming to the United States, Zhou played in the Super League in Turkey and Sweden. Prior to that, he was in the Chinese National team. His extensive modern knowledge in table tennis has shown significant impact to the sport in the United States.

As the principal coach of three 2012 US Olympic Team Members, Ariel Hsing, Lily Zhang, and Timothy Wang all trained significant hours with him since his started his coaching career in the United States.

Zhou is not only strong in techniques on the table, but also understands the mental part of the game. His students often feel he can bring out their best during the competition due to his extensive experience in competition.

Development COY – Stefan Feth (World Champions Table Tennnis Academy in San Jose, CA)

Stefan (USATT’s Men’s National & Olympic Coach) has helped develop US and future champions like Ariel Hsing, Prachi & Kanak Jha and Kunal Chodri (both ITTF World Hopes Team Members).

Coach Stefan Feth made USA his home almost 7 years ago and has helped the sport in this country grow tremendously. His original focus was to bring up a new generation of players (starting with kids from 6 to 8 years old) who can compete against the best in the world in their later years. Since his move to this country, Stefan created many young players who became US Cadet, Junior and Senior National Team Members.

Seeing the kids progress in table tennis is only part of the equation in Stefan’s vision. Since he works with many kids on a daily basis, he strives to be a positive influence as a role model and aims to help them grow into great, well rounded people off the table. 

Daniel, Joel, Zhou, and Stefan will be nominated by USATT to the U.S. Olympic Committee's Coach of the Year selection process. Join us in congratulating these fine world-class coaches for their continuing accomplishments and contributions to USA Table Tennis.