May 25, 2010

Cornell Sports Update, as a Game of Word Association

Print More

Forget the French Open, let’s talk Cornell tennis

Tony Bresky, who has spent the last eight years at the University of Virginia, has been named the Director of Intercollegiate Tennis and the Richard Savitt and Stephen Weiss Head Coach of Men’s Tennis, the University announced today.

The 2005 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year, Bresky helped guide UVA to a 39-2 overall record during its 2009-10 campaign, including a school-record 36-match winning streak. Under his watch the Cavaliers also secured a berth in the 2010 NCAA Men’s Tennis Final Four as the top seed before falling to eventual national champion USC.

“Our program has improved significantly in the past two years and we needed to attract a highly successful and experienced coach to maintain our climb,” said Cornell athletic director Andy Noel in a statement. “Tony worked hand and hand with UVA head coach, Brian Boland, to elevate their program to serious contention for the national title.”

During Bresky’s tenure at Virginia, the Cavaliers earned the top national ranking on several occasions, and have won seven consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championships. Each of his last four recruiting classes have been ranked in the top 10 nationally, and two members of UVA’s current team represented their countries in Davis Cup competitions this season.

Bresky replaces former Cornell tennis coach David Geatz, whose squad went 18-7 overall in 2009-10 and matched a school-best 5-2 conference record en route to a second-place finish in the Ivy League.

But who will they cheer for if Cornell meets Virginia in the national lacrosse championship?

Bresky is the second Cornell hire in a row who boasts coaching experience at Virginia, as new men’s basketball head coach Bill Courtney also spent three years as an assistant with the Cavaliers.

Courtney has made the first move towards filling out his coach staff, hiring Marlon Sears and Jay Larranaga to fill two of the three assistant roles. Sears has nine years of Division I assistant coaching experience at Binghamton, Wagner, and High Point, and joins the Cornell staff after a one-year stint with Ivy League rival Columbia, where he served as the Lions’ recruiting coordinator.

This will mark Larranaga’s introduction to the collegiate coaching scene after serving as the head coach of the Irish Senior National basketball team following an 11-year career playing overseas in Italy, Greece, France and Spain.

Courtney is no stranger to the Larranaga family, as he spent eight seasons as the associate head coach at George Mason under Jay Larranaga’s father, Jim.

Speaking of keeping it in the [Cornell] family …

Women’s rowing head coach Hilary Gehman, who is married to men’s assistant heavyweight coach Matt Smith (talk about real-life ‘row’-mance), has been named the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year. Having been declared a regional winner, Gehman is now eligible for the National Coach of the Year Award to be voted on in June.

In only her fourth season leading the program, Gehman guided Cornell to its first national ranking since May 5, 2004, when the team came in at No. 20 in the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association NCAA Division I Coaches poll on April 15.

… and making it ‘big’ …

Senior center Jeff Foote will reportedly be in New York City tomorrow to work out with the New York Knicks.

The accolades continue to pile up for Foote’s teammate and senior forward Ryan Wittman, who was awarded the Charles H. Moore Outstanding Senior Varsity Athlete Award on Monday evening at the University’s annual senior athletics banquet, along with Alyson Intihar and Troy Nickerson of softball and wrestling fame, respectively. All three were named to the Sun’s Top 25 Senior Athletes list.

On the subject of softball …

Cornell’s dominating 2009-10 season, which saw the Red cruise to a 37-15 overall record and second-straight Ivy League championship, came to an abrupt end in this year’s NCAA regionals. Intihar and co. were outscored 16-0 by No. 3 Arizona and No. 14 Oklahoma State at the Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Softball Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.

… and wrestling …

In his 10 Questions interview with Sun sex columnist Jeff K., sophomore wrestler Warner Phipps admitted to deriving inspiration from Vikings defensive end Jared Allen’s words on mullets. Well, like Warner, Allen was also recently forced to trim his mullet … in the name of love.

Be sure to follow for daily updates from The Sun’s sports department.

Original Author: Alex Kuczynski-Brown