Dave Heffern, Corona del Mar High School tennis coach for the past 10 years, said he has resigned to coach Mike Briggs, a former Corona del Mar and UC Irvine player, on the professional tennis tour.
Briggs turned pro after completing his sophomore season at Irvine.
"He turned pro after the NCAAs (in June) and asked me to go out on the tour with him," Heffern said. "I wasn't really looking for something like this. He's the best I ever coached. He asked me to travel with him and help him. His father could pay my salary. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Heffern coached the boys' tennis team at Corona del Mar for 10 seasons, winning the Southern Section 4-A championship in 1983. He also coached the girls' team for the past seven years. The team won the 4-A title and Keri Phebus won the Southern Section singles title last fall.
He also coached the girls' basketball team for four seasons in the early 1980s, winning the 3-A title in 1983. And for the past four seasons, he was an assistant on the boys' basketball team.
Heffern and Briggs recently returned from a tournament in the Azores, a group of islands off Portugal. Briggs is trying to compile enough Assn. of Tennis Professionals points on satellite tournaments to qualify for main events such as the U.S. Open.
He earned 27 points in the Azores. "It's a good start," Heffern said. "I hope things turn out well."