July 3, 2012
THE FLATS – Derek Schwandt, an assistant coach for the men’s tennis program at Fresno State the last two years, has been appointed assistant coach for Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis program, head coach Kenny Thorne announced Tuesday.
Schwandt joins the Yellow Jackets’ program after helping the Bulldogs win two straight Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships and rise to No. 14 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings last year.
“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with Kenny at one of the best universities and athletic programs in the country,” said Schwandt. “This is something that I’ve been working towards, and a lot of people have helped me get to this point in my coaching career. I’m very excited about our team’s potential at Georgia Tech, and I’m looking forward to training hard and competing in the ACC and NCAA.”
Tech’s new assistant coach was heavily involved in all aspects of the Fresno State program, from coaching to recruiting, travel, budgeting, conditioning and directing ITA events. The Bulldogs’ team grade-point average exceeded 3.3 during each of his two years, and five members of the team made the All-WAC Academic team.
“Derek is one of the hardest workers I have been around, which fits in well with our expectations for staff and team,” said Thorne. “He brings a great deal of knowledge and experience from his two years coaching at UVA and two years at Fresno State. He has also worked at the Philadelphia USTA regional training center with some great coaches. He did a great job recruiting at Fresno State, so he will be instrumental in bringing in the best student-athletes that are champions on and off the court. Most importantly, Derek is a person with great integrity. Our program stands for and demands integrity on and off court. Derek will represent Georgia Tech well in all areas.”
Last season, the Bulldogs defeated No. 9 Stanford for the first time in program history, catapulting the team to No. 14 in the country. After winning a second consecutive WAC Tournament title, the Bulldogs went to their second straight NCAA Tournament and fell to No. 27 San Diego in the first round.
Under Schwandt’s leadership, Remi Boutillier and Francis Alcantara received bids to play in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in 2012. There, No. 27 Boutillier advanced to the second round while No. 43 Alcantara fell in the first round. As a doubles team, they fell to Georgia Tech’s Kevin King and Juan Spir in the first round.
In 2011, he helped lead the Bulldogs to their first WAC Tournament title since 1999 and a No. 37 national team ranking. In the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Fresno State defeated No. 19 Minnesota in the first round before falling 4-3 to No. 14 Cal.
From 2008-2010, Schwandt was the volunteer assistant coach for top ranked Virginia. There, he received full-time experience in running practice sessions, coaching in dual-matches, recruiting, administration and directing ITA fall tournaments.
During Schwandt’s time at UVA, the Cavaliers won the 2009 and 2010 ITA national team indoor championship, the 2009 and 2010 ACC championship and the 2009 and 2010 NCAA doubles title. They also reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship in 2009, and the semi-finals in 2010. He coached under Brian Boland, the 2008 ITA National Coach of the Year, and Tony Bresky, the 2005 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year.
From 2005 to 2008, Schwandt played ITF futures and ATP challengers all over the world, including tournaments in South America, Mexico, Canada, Central America and India. He earned an ATP world ranking in singles and doubles. His best win was over Marcus Fugate (500 ATP) 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in the 2008 Binghamton challenger.
Schwandt completed his master’s degree in sport psychology, with a 4.0 grade-point average, at Fresno State in May of 2012. His book review on John Wooden was published in the June 2012 issue of The Sport Psychologist, and he also submitted a manuscript entitled “Teaching Mental Toughness” that is currently under review by the Journal of Coaching Education.
Schwandt graduated from the University of Richmond in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, concentrating in economics. At Richmond, he was part of three Atlantic 10 conference championships (2002, 2004, 2005) and three NCAA team tournament appearances. He was named to the All-Atlantic 10 team in 2004 and 2005.