Lauren Conching enters her eighth season as the head women’s tennis coach and third year serving as Assistant Athletic Director at Hawai‘i Pacific University. She holds a of 135-38 (.780) with seven trips to the NCAA National Championships, including five semifinal appearances and two quarterfinal berths.
Conching is also an Assistant Athletics Director for the Sharks and added the title of Senior Woman Administrator in 2018. She is in charge of apparel and branding for the department, marketing and promotional materials for the various athletics teams and assisting throughout multiple facets within the department. Active within the coaching community, Conching is a member of the ITA Board of Directors and serves on several committees including NCAA Coaches Commission, the ITA West Regional Ranking Committee, the ITA West Regional Award Committee and the ITA Ethics Committee.
Prior to becoming head coach, Conching spent five seasons as an assistant at HPU under Stefan Pampulov. In all five of those seasons, HPU reached the NCAA National Championships. In 2010, she was named the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year.
On this episode, we discuss how she manages being a coach and athletic department administrator. Also, we discuss how she sets expectations for herself, her student-athletes and her department. We discuss how coaches can take a better leadership role within their departments as well as how administrators are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and much more!
Key parts of this conversation have been marked for your listening convenience:
- 01:34 - What is your experience as a student-athlete and then moving into coaching?
- 05:47 - In what year did you take on administrative duties at Hawaii Pacific University?
- 06:46 - What qualities did the Athletic Director see in you as an administrator?
- 08:57 - How has your time as an administrator changed your outlook on college tennis or college athletics specifically?
- 10:42 - How do you balance your administrative, family and coaching responsibilities?
- 12:35 - How do you break down where you put your focus?
- 13:55 - Has the progression of perfection been slow or have you just realized it?
- 15:40 - What are your major concerns right now in college sports?
- 18:23 - What themes do you see emerging in how college athletics will operate in the future?
- 21:38 - What advice do you have on program budgets in the future?
- 25:57 - How can coaches show leadership capabilities and take a leadership position within their athletic department?
- 28:18 - What's the best thing and worst thing about being married to the Head Men's Tennis coach at Hawaii Pacific University?
- 30:11 - What advice do you have for couples in the coaching career?
- 31:07 - What is one book that made a major impact on you as a coach?
- 31:56 - What is your favorite drill to do with your team?
- 32:41 - Name one thing you have changed your mind on in recent years?
- 32:24 - Do you have a favorite quote?
- 33:45 - What is one lesson you hope your student-athletes have learned by the time they leave your program?