August 27, 2009

Men’s and Women’s Tennis To Share New Coaching Staff

Print More

In a shakeup of Cornell’s tennis program, David Geatz, the rookie head coach of the men’s team will also be taking the helm of the women’s program. Geatz was brought on last year, garnering a stellar 5-2 Ancient Eight record for the season. The Red has never had so many league wins in a season, and its second place finish behind Columbia is the best finish for the team in 60 years. The team also held a 14-5 record overall, taking four losses from nationally ranked teams.
The women’s team, however, has been facing difficult challenges for the past couple of years. The Red has not had a permanent coach in the past two years, and has struggled to put together a complete season. After a 9-7 season in 2008, the women’s team experienced an onslaught of losses in 2009, finishing the season at 6-14. The hope with Geatz’s appointment to the head coaching position is that he can rejuvenate the women’s team as he did with the men.
[img_assist|nid=37620|title=Follow through|desc=Senior Natalia Sanchez expressed excitement to the appointment of head coach Geatz.|link=node|align=left|width=336|height=475]
Though the men’s and women’s teams have never shared a head coach before, they do sometimes practice together according to team members.
“[The men] obviously have more power and are quicker, but that’s really good for us, especially for practicing our doubles strategy,” senior Natalia Sanchez said.
However the women’s team expects that coach Geatz will be focusing all his attention on one team at a time. While he will have to juggle the schedules and workouts of both teams, and face the challenges of the difference in style of men’s and women’s tennis, Geatz is not expected to maintain a clear separation between the men’s and women’s programs.
In addition to Geatz’s appointment, the Red is adding two new assistant coaches with vast experience in collegiate tennis, Marty Johnson and Ty Schaub. Johnson is best known for being one of the best tennis pros in the Great Lakes. Johnson is an assistant coach with a huge breadth of experience, and a panache for improving technique. Schaub, on the other hand, has the closest connection to collegiate tennis and what makes a championship tennis player. Schaub graduated in 2009 from Ohio State, leading the Buckeyes to a No. 1 ranking and a spot in the NCAA Tennis Championships. Schaub also lead the Buckeyes to four Big Ten titles, including his senior year as captain.
According to Sanchez, the expectation is that Geatz will split his time this season between the men and the women when they go on the road, leaving one team in the capable hands of Johnson or Schaub.
“We’re really happy to be working with coach Geatz, he did an amazing job with the men’s team last season and we hope he can do the same for us,” Sanchez said.
How this will effect both teams is still up in the air. The women’s team definitely stands to gain from the experience and knowledge of coach Geatz, but it is unclear whether a single coach can lead both teams to victorious seasons.
This season the men’s team will be looking to jump past Columbia and take home its first ever Ivy League championship, while the women will be looking to change their luck as they work to improve their ranking and record. Both teams are scheduled to play their first match on September 11, when the men’s team will host the Cornell Fall Invitational at Reis Tennis Center, and the women will head to Binghamton for the Binghamton Invitational.