5 Questions for John Martin
What is the future of tennis at WSSU?
The goal is always to be competitive and to be winning in the CIAA. Then, it's not just settling for making it to the NCAA tournament, but advancing outside regional play.
What changes have you seen in the program over the last year?
Since making the NCAA tournament, we've had a lot more interest in the program from possible recruits. We're also getting more "respect" from other schools, and not being looked at as a walk-over.
What is your background as a player and coach?
I grew up playing Junior Tennis in NC, but my tournament play was limited due to my parents being divorced. At Elkin High School, my team won two State Titles at the 1A level and I was runner-up my junior year in doubles, and State Champion my senior year. I went on to play college tennis at UNC Wilmington and played as high as number two in singles.
As a coach, I've been a Teaching Pro since graduating in 2003 and coached middle school tennis while still in Wilmington, NC. Later I coached tennis at East Surry High School, where I coached the women's team to a number 12 ranking in the state. I've worked with and taught Adult League Champions, high school conference and state champions, as well as juniors that have gone on to play in college. Last January, Coach Hayes gave me the opportunity here at WSSU, and what we were able to accomplish last year was amazing!
What have been the highlights of the tennis program?
Both programs had winning seasons last year. For the seniors from last year,it was their first time having a winning season. Then, having some players make All-Conference and get Individual Regional Rankings became the icing on the cake.
In what way can supporters and fans support the tennis program and student athletes?
By coming out and supporting us at our matches. We have some great players and, in my opinion, they don't get the fan support that they deserve.