Grosse Pointe South tennis

Title IX at 50: Prychitko 'Legend In Her Own Time,' Legend for All Time

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Girls Tennis

 — 

May 3, 2022

When Stephanie Prychitko was inducted into the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1987, she was referred to as “a legend in her own time.”

What she accomplished remains legendary, and in some ways unequaled in Lower Peninsula girls tennis.

From 1976-86, Prychitko coached Grosse Pointe South to 11 consecutive LP Class A team championships, seven of them outright. Only Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett, with 10 straight LP Class C-D team titles from 1980-89, has approached that streak.

Girls tennis had become an MHSAA-sponsored sport only a few years before South’s dominance began, with the 1972 season. But her coaching career predated that by decades – at the time of her Hall of Fame induction in 1987, MHSTeCA reported she had completed 36 seasons having led teams to 16 league and 15 Regional championships as well, with a 273-28 record.

Prychitko enjoyed an especially notable 1984, being named national high school tennis Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association, and also becoming the first woman elected to the Western Michigan University Athletic Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, in 1986.

According to various reports, Prychitko began her coaching career with three seasons leading the boys team at Western State High School in Kalamazoo before taking over at South in 1952. Prychitko had graduated from Hamtramck High, and in 1947 reached the quarterfinals of the National Junior Girls grass court tournament. She played No. 1 singles all four seasons at WMU.

Prychitko died in 2016 at the age of 87.

Second Half's weekly Title IX Celebration posts are sponsored by Michigan Army National Guard.

Previous Title IX at 50 Spotlights

April 26: Braddock vs. Verdun Still Striding Among All-Time Sprint Matchups - Read
April 19: 
Holmes' Strikeout Record Rarely Approached, May Be Unbreakable - Read
April 12: 
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April 5: 
Regina's Laffey Retiring as Definition of Legendary - Read
March 29: 
Edison's Whitehorn named 2022 Miss Basketball - Read
March 22: 
Carney-Nadeau Sets Girls Hoops Standard with 78-Win Streak - Read
March 15: 
Binder Among Voices Telling Our Story on MHSAA Network - Read
March 8: 
28 Years, Thousands of Cheers - Read
March 1: 
Kearsley Rolls On Among Girls Bowling's Early Successes - Read
Feb. 22: Marquette Ties Record for Swim & Dive Finals Success - Read
Feb. 15: Jaeger's 2004 Winter Run Created Lasting Connection - Read
Feb. 8: Marian's Cicerone to Finish Among All-Time Elite - Read
Feb. 1: WISL Award Honors Builders of State's Girls Sports Tradition - Read
Jan. 25: Decades Later, Edwards' Legend Continues to Grow - Read
Jan. 18: Iron Mountain Completes Championship Climb - Read
Jan. 11: Harrold's Achievement Heralds Growth of Girls Wrestling - Read
Dec. 20: Competitive Cheer Gives Michigan Plenty to Cheer About - Read
Dec. 14: 
Evelyn's Game Had Plenty of Magic - Read
Dec. 7: 
Council Term Ends, But Leinaar Leaves Lasting Impact - Read
Nov. 30: 
Basketball Season Ready to Add to Rich Tradition - Read
Nov. 23: 
Marysville Builds Winning Streak Yet to be Challenged - Read
Nov. 16: Wroubel Has Championed Girls School Sports from Their Start - Read
Nov. 9: Pioneer's Joyce Legendary in Michigan, National Swim History - Read
Nov. 2: Royal Oak's Finch Leading Way on Football Field - Read
Oct. 26: Coach Clegg Sets Championship Standard at Grand Blanc - Read
Oct. 19: Rockford Girls Set Pace, Hundreds After Have Continued to Chase - Read
Oct. 12: 
Bedford Volleyball Pioneer Continues Blazing Record-Setting Trail - Read
Oct. 5: 
Warner Paved Way to Legend Status with Record Rounds - Read
Sept. 28: Taylor Kennedy Gymnasts Earn Fame as 1st Champions - Read
Sept. 21: 
Portage Northern Star Byington Becomes Play-by-Play Pioneer - Read
Sept. 14: 
Guerra/Groat Legacy Continues to Serve St. Philip Well - Read
Sept. 7: 
Best-Ever Conversation Must Include Leland's Glass - Read
Aug. 31: We Will Celebrate Many Who Paved the Way - Read

PHOTO Coach Stephanie Prychitko, standing far left, and her Grosse Pointe South team won the program's first MHSAA Finals title in 1976. (MHSAA file photo)