San Antonio - Trinity University Tigers head
men's and women's tennis coach Russell McMindes has been named the
United State Professional Tennis Association Texas Division College
Coach of the Year.
Coach McMindes will be presented the award Feb. 11 during the annual USPTA Texas Division Annual Conference at Grapevine, Texas.
He is in third season as the Tigers head men's tennis coach, and the first at the Trinity women's helm.
Coach McMindes has guided the Tiger men to the NCAA Division III Championships for two straight years. The Tigers advanced to the national quarterfinals after winning the regional tournaments in 2010 and 2011. Trinity also won its second consecutive Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship, in April 2011.
He led recent Trinity graduates Cory Kowal and Bobby Cocanougher to the 2010 NCAA Doubles Championship match. The Tiger duo won the National Small College Championships Division III Doubles title in 2009. Last May, senior Max Frey advanced to the NCAA Singles semifinals, becoming the first Tiger player to achieve that feat since 2006.
The month of October 2011 was especially successful for coach McMindes and his Tiger protégés. Four Trinity players competed in the USTA/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Small College Championships at Mobile, Ala.
Frey and junior Erick DelaFuente took home fifth place in the Division III Men's Doubles event. In addition, Frey represented the Tigers in men's singles at the prestigious tournament. First-year player Mackenize Knoop placed sixth in women's singles, and teamed with first-year teammate Stephanie Williamson in doubles.
All of the participants qualified for the national tournament by capturing ITA Regional Championships.
Coach McMindes is definitely familiar with the Trinity tennis tradition, as he spent seven seasons as the Tiger men's assistant coach - under the legendary Butch Newman, now Trinity's director of tennis - prior to taking over the reins in the fall of 2009. Coach McMindes was named the 2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association West Region Men's Tennis Assistant of the Year.
As a Tiger player, coach McMindes earned All-SCAC honors for
three years, and was a member of Trinity's 2000 NCAA Division
III national championship team. Before joining the Trinity program,
he played for one season for Oklahoma Christian University, and
became a Tiger his sophomore year.
Coach McMindes credits a lot of the success of the Trinity teams to his brother, Jacob McMindes, who is also his assistant coach. Jacob McMindes was named the 2011 ITA Division III West Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year, the same honor his older brother received.
Russell McMindes earned a bachelor's degree from Trinity in engineering science in 2002, with a concentration in chemical engineering. A resident of San Antonio, he was the Clemens High School valedictorian in 1997.