Thursday, February 25, 2010

Interview with Virginia Men's Coach Brian Boland; ITA Collegiate Hall of Fame Inductees Announced; Becker Feature

Thanks to the suggestions of Tech Girl and other commenters, I decided to do a lengthy interview with Virginia's head coach Brian Boland for this week's Tennis Recruiting Network article. Boland was very generous with his time and his hospitality when we visited Charlottesville for the Team Indoor, and I hope to do more interviews like this one; it's a great way for me to learn more about the college game. In our discussion it was clear to me that the 11 or 15 point dual match formats Boland has introduced this year is just one of many ideas he has on improving the college game. And anyone who was in Charlottesville saw what he's done to connect the community to the tennis team. Tennis programs can ensure their own survival by taking a page out of his book.

The ITA Collegiate Hall of Fame inductees for 2010 have been selected. I ran across this story on the Tennessee website announcing that former USTA head of men's tennis and former Tennessee (and Southern Methodist) player Rodney Harmon will enter the Hall of Fame this year. In addition to Harmon the others being inducted are:

Players
Mahesh Bhupathi (Mississippi)
Daniel Courcol (Mississippi State)
Zan Guerry (Rice)
Leif Shiras (Princeton)

Player/Coach

Jay Lapidus (Princeton and Duke)

Coaches

Kent DeMars (South Carolina)
Craig Tiley (Illinois)
Steve Wilkinson (Gustavus Adolphus College)

Contributor

Gordon Smith (Georgia)

Another player I expect will be in the collegiate Hall of Fame someday is Benjamin Becker of Baylor, who won the NCAA singles title in 2004. Becker, who is in the quarterfinals of both singles and doubles at the ATP Delray International this week, admits in this Palm Beach Post story that he is known to most tennis fans only as the player who sent Andre Agassi into retirement.

And while we're speaking of Halls of Fame, there's a lively discussion going on over at Peter Bodo's Tennis World about the reason Nick Bollettieri was again passed over for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. I don't understand the thinking behind that decision; regardless of how he got in the position of being the most famous tennis coach in the world (do you have another candidate?), he is, and has indisputably contributed to the global growth of tennis. But apparently it's not that simple.


2 comments:

Lisa S said...

thank you for the boland interview! i'm just starting to learn about how college tennis actually works (good luck to me, right?!?!), and candid interviews with the coaches are a great source of info. keep 'em coming!

Andy M. said...

If Arthur Nielsen is in the Tennis Hall of Fame, then Bolletieri should be. If you read the bios of some who are in, it is a joke. There should be a process of removing people if all they ever did was write checks and know the right people. There sure are a lot of past presidents of assorted tennis associations in the HOF.