The Mount Saint Mary College Tennis Court. (Photo courtesy of msmcknights.com)

by Connor Bean

NEWBURGH- The Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) Men’s tennis team is still without a coach since the resignation of its previous coach in early August.

Since August, MSMC alumni Mike McNicholas has been running practices and traveling to matches as the interim head coach for the Men’s team.

However, McNicholas is a full time accountant and will not be able to commit to the team in the spring.

“It’s hard for players to not have a consistent coach to go to,” said McNicholas. “Each coach has a different personality, tennis philosophy and priorities. It makes it harder for players when trying to adapt to each new coach.”

Aside from players adapting to the new coach, McNicholas is also worried about how long the new coach will stay and what the effects of bringing a new coach in later than expected might be.

“I don’t think there will be a large effect on the players because for most it’s their first season,” McNicholas said. “It’s their first season and they only had a few weeks with me. Since it’s a new coach there’s not guarantee that he/she will stay after one season which would have impacts on the seasons after.”

Freshmen Chris Jaros and Connor Gargan were expecting the coach to be Justin Satkowski, the previous head coach.

“I feel like the team is neglected due to the fact that there isn’t a coach,” said Jaros who feels that the timeliness of the process will have a negative impact on the programs future, but he’s optimistic about whoever the school decides to bring in. “My expectations aren’t that high but hopefully the new coach will be good.”

Gargan is looking at the situation more optimistically than Jaros. But Gargan just wants the right fit for the program.

“I am nervous for the spring season,” Gargan said. “Because we have not yet hired a coach. I feel that we may be less prepared for the season than usual because we will be getting to know a new coach and not just focused on tennis.”

Gargan is expecting the new coach to come in, work with the team and make the best of who is on the team.

“I’m not too worried about how long it’s taking to hire a new coach, this just means that they’re looking for the best fit for the program,” Gargan said.

Junior Dan Witke, a former player on the team, expressed his concern for the program and the new coach.

“It’s a shame that Satkowski left,” Witke said. “Nonetheless for the program to move forward, the athletic director needs to hire someone capable.”

Witke thinks that the Men’s tennis program is in a rebuilding year.

“It took six years for Satkowski to establish himself as a leader,” Witke said. “So I think it’s going to take some time.”

The attributes a coach possesses could have an effect on the players as well.

“When they hire someone new,” Witke said. “I think he/she should be positive and flexible with his new players.” Witke is hoping that the athletic department finds a replacement in the spring before the season starts.

Most players are optimistic, like Jaros and Gargan, who are eager to meet the new coach and get started on the spring season.