Nico Moreno and Head Coach McMindes Earn National ITA Awards
San Antonio - Trinity men's tennis senior Nico Moreno and Head Coach Russell McMindes have both earned national awards from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Coach McMindes was chosen as the Wilson/ITA National Division III Coach of the Year for the first time in his five years at the helm of the Tiger program. He was announced as the West Region Coach of the Year last week, after leading the Tigers to their fourth appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
During his five seasons as the Trinity head coach, McMindes has pushed the team to five consecutive Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships and five appearances n the NCAA Playoffs.
This week, he led the eighth-ranked Trinity team to its first appearance in the NCAA Semifinals since the 2000 season, earning an upset win over second-ranked Washington (MO) University. After falling to eventual champion - and fourth-ranked - Amherst (MA) College on Tuesday, the Tigers defeated #3 Middlebury (VT) College 5-4 for third place nationally.
Moreno was selected as the ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship National award winner, marking the second straight season that a Tiger player has earned the honor. Current assistant coach Erick DelaFuente won the award last year.
The Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, named after the late tennis great, goes to players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
Moreno worked on a number of projects with the Trinity University Volunteer Action Community. He assisted in building gardens, cleaning parks, visiting animal shelters, and with canned food drives for the San Antonio Food Bank.
He also joined the Latino Exchange, as a way to help people on campus try to integrate the Latino community with the entire Trinity student body. A food drive was also conducted for the state of Guerrero in Mexico, for communities battered by Hurricane Manuel.
On the court, Moreno was 13-14 overall in singles and 19-13 in doubles - most of which came with partner Paxton Deuel. Deuel will compete in the NCAA Singles Championships, which start Thursday, May 22, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.