November 9, 2022
Justin DeSanto has taken what many would consider to be an untraditional path to becoming a Division I Head Coach. In June of 2021, he was named the Head Men's Tennis Coach at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), his first head Coaching job, after having worked his way up from a Volunteer coach with the Yale women's team to an Assistant Coach at NCAA Division III powerhouse Williams College followed by five seasons as an Assistant for the Wichita State men's team.
All of this with zero college tennis playing experience! As a matter of fact, Justin didn't start playing tennis until he was in high school but his story proves the point that great coaches don't have to be great players. Listen to this episode to learn more about Justin's amazing rise up the coaching ranks plus all of the fantastic work he is doing in the wheelchair tennis space.
October 11, 2022
Olga Harvey spent nearly 20 years in the corporate world before joining the Women Sports Foundation in 2017 as the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer, where she made an immediate impact on the sports world.
Olga is passionate about the transformational power of sports and play equity on and off the court. In this podcast we discuss Olga's incredibly interesting story of how she came to the United States from Russia and her path from graduation from Cornell University to where she is today at the Women Sports Foundation.
We also dive into the 50th anniversary of Title IX and discuss important topics such as "How do we educate and empower the next generation of advocates?" and "What do the next 50 years look like for girls and women in sport?".
September 13, 2022
As we approach the HBCU National Tennis Championship, host Danielle McNamara sits down with Alan Green, the Director of Tennis and Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach at Xavier University of Louisiana, who led both his men's and women's teams to the 2021 HBCU National Tennis Champ title.
Green is entering his 20th season leading the Xavier programs and is an alumnus of the University himself. A New Orleans native, Green is a three-time ITA/NAIA National Coach of the Year. In this podcast, Green and I discuss the history and importance of the HBCU National Tennis Championship, as well as some of the unique and special characteristics of playing and coaching at an HBCU. Green shares with us his path to Xavier and some of his own ideas on how to enhance and elevate college tennis more broadly.
June 14, 2022
You probably know Dave best as the current COO of the ITA but he was also a very successful college tennis player at Fresno State and then a long-time college tennis coach at DePaul, Northwestern, and the University of Oklahoma before turning to more administrative roles in the world of tennis. In this episode we hear about Dave’s perspective and opinions on important issues like the format of college tennis, college tennis being televised and streamed, his advice to newer coaches starting out in the profession as well as those coaches who may be nearing the end of their careers and much more.
May 31, 2022
Adam Schaecterle recently completed his fourth season as the head men’s coach at Pepperdine University. He has helped reestablish Pepperdine as an annual contender for West Coast Conference titles and a team capable of mixing it up with the best teams in the country.
In this podcast we discuss Adam’s first job with Wilson Sporting Goods after graduating from Northwestern University and what he learned in that role; his decision to move on to a head coaching role after just short stint as an assistant coach; his reasoning to return to an assistant coaching role after his experiences as a head coach; and how he convinced Pepperdine that he was the best coach for the job.
May 17, 2022
Todd Wojtkowski is wrapping up his 14th season as the head men’s coach at Case Western Reserve University. His team is enjoying one of the best seasons in program history, winning the ITA Division III Men’s National Indoor Championships earlier this spring and currently sit at # 2 in the ITA Division III team rankings.
In this podcast we discuss his transition from coaching one gender at the NCAA Division I level to coaching two genders at Division III; his approach to managing large roster sizes; capitalizing on early successes in your tenure as a head coach and much, much more. You can also find some of the drills Todd refers to during our conversation in the Coach Masterclass in your Coaches Resources section of the ITA website.
May 2, 2022
Audra Cohen, the Head Women’s Tennis Coach at the University of Oklahoma, is no stranger to winning. In her freshman year at Northwestern, she won 51 singles matches. The following year she won an NCAA singles title at the University of Miami. She reached a career-high of #229 on the WTA tour before joining the college coaching ranks as an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin. She took over the head coaching responsibilities at North Florida in 2011, where she was named a three-time Atlantic Sun Coach of the year winning four Atlantic Sun Tournament titles. Audra is now the head women’s coach at the University of Oklahoma, where she is having a breakout year, reaching the finals of the ITA National Indoor Championships in February, winning a Big-12 regular-season title, and will enter the NCAA tournament later this month as one of the favorites to win it all.
In this podcast, Audra shares many aspects of her coaching philosophy and processes for recruiting, doubles, and sports psychology, as well as her role as the CEO of the OU women’s tennis program.
April 4, 2022
If you thought trying to win a dual match was a pressure-filled environment, try negotiating and drafting billion-dollar deals. That is exactly what today’s guest was doing before joining the college coaching ranks. Ryan Ruzziconi is the head women’s tennis coach at Saginaw Valley State University. He gave up his career in the legal profession to pursue his true passion for coaching tennis which he has done at all levels of the game. In this podcast we discuss what skills Ryan has brought from his past life as a lawyer to help him in his current role; his progression from high school tennis coaching to college coaching and how he and his community is dealing with the aftermath of a tragic mass shooting last November in Oxford, Michigan.
March 15, 2022
Alison Ojeda is currently the Head Women’s Tennis Coach at the University of Tennessee, where she was also a standout player. Her coaching career to date includes assistant coaching roles at Texas A & M, Alabama, and Baylor and a 5-year head coaching role at Middle Tennessee State University. Alison shares how she was a better assistant coach the second time around at Baylor and also a better head coach the second time around at the University of Tennessee; how her coaching style has changed through the years and how it might evolve further when she becomes a mother.
March 8, 2022
Dr. Jim Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist, authoring 17 books on a range of topics related to peak performance. This is Dr. Loehr’s second time on the ITA College Tennis Coaches Podcast. This time around we discuss what coaches need to do to move beyond any plateaus they face in their career; how to define and reinforce their culture; managing and coaching Gen Z student-athletes; and why he believes the Apeak App might just be the future of mental performance training.