Men’s Tennis Head Coach
When I started coaching 23 years ago, I never envisioned the highs and lows that would come with it. The highs that come with great seasons, winning close matches and seeing young players mature to become great adults. The great adults that will become the ambassadors of
Seeing them go always brings mixed feelings. It’s sad to say goodbye but it also brings a sense of accomplishments and happiness to see them graduate and move onto their careers and families. All these great moments are occasionally shadowed by average seasons, heartbreaking losses and some unexpected early departures of your players.
Fortunately, these low moments are few and far apart and are outweighed by the daily joys of coaching. One thing that I have learned as a coach is to turn bad situations into opportunities to make things better.
A slow start to this past season along with an early bad loss was one of those bad situations turned into a good opportunity. Right after suffering a loss to Utah State early in the spring and losing three more matches in a row after that, we were able to use that low moment as a motivator to turn our season around and win 14 out of the next 18 matches we played.
This run was to include wins over many nationally ranked teams such as No. 40 Denver, No. 51 TCU, No. 54 Boise State (first-ever win against the Broncos), No. 58 Idaho (twice during the season) and the three-time WAC Champions from the University of Hawai’i. All of these wins were the momentum builder to get us into the finals of the WAC Championships for the first time in the history of our program.
We were a little short of our goal to win the conference and make it to the NCAA’s as a team but we were fortunate to qualify our No. 1 singles player Arthur Surreaux to the singles NCAA Tournament at Stanford, May 25-30.
Surreaux qualified into the tournament by having a terrific season and being the highest-ranked player from the WAC. His high ranking was the result of having the best fall season of any NM State player in the history of the program. During the fall, Surreaux went 15-2 by way of winning the Aggies Invitational, the Baylor Invitational (where he beat several nationally-ranked players) and later qualified to the All-American Tournament.
Surreaux and his other fellow countryman Jim Brouleau are both graduating and will be greatly missed and fondly remembered for their many contributions to Aggie tennis.
The Aggie program will continue to grow with the help of a very young and talented group of players that have already shown they have what it takes to succeed. Looking forward to many more successful seasons here at NM State.