Tivy tennis coach enjoys surprise 'drive by' from his team

Tivy Tennis player Emily Morgan (at left) holds a "We Miss You" sign as she and her team members surprise their coach, Kirk Kniffen, (at right). The event was organized by Kniffen's wife, Tiffany and daughters Kennedy and Malia (from left).

Tivy Tennis Coach Kirk Kniffen was supposed to be leading his team in the District 26-5A tournament on Wednesday, but instead was home, like the rest of the nation, secluded and trying to do his part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I was really missing my team,” Kniffen said. “I sent them a message on Tuesday telling them that I had been busy getting my geometry class ready for virtual learning, but I had been thinking about them and wanted them to know it.”

On Wednesday afternoon, his wife and daughters suggested they play a friendly family ping pong match.

“I thought it was a great idea, but they wanted to move the ping pong table outside in the driveway,” Kniffen said. “I thought that was a little strange, but just said OK.”

Not long after, Catherine Harmon, a member of the Tivy Tennis team drove by and waved.

“I didn’t think much about it, because she lives just down the road, but then another one of my team drove by and then another drove by with a sign,” Kniffen said. “Then I realized what was going on.”

With the help of his wife, Tiffany, members of his team coordinated a drive-by visit to see and support their coach, whom they have not seen since before spring break.

“It was really good to see them, even if we couldn’t stop and visit,” Kniffen said. “I can’t wait until we can be together again.”

Kniffen, like all other Texas coaches, are waiting on word by the University Scholastic League as to whether spring sports will be cancelled of if they will be able to finish their respective seasons.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott cancelled all Texas schools through May 4. The UIL has suspended all activities "until further notice."

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