Ask the Experts
Ten Questions with Fordham Coach Cory Hubbard
by Scott Treibly, 23 May 2012
Special from IMG Academies
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Cory Hubbard, head coach of men's tennis at Fordham University, has the Rams headed in the right direction. Hubbard, in his second year, took over a squad that posted a 6-12 record in the 2009-10 season. Fast forward to this year, where the Rams went 17-10 with three underclassmen all posting 20 or more singles wins. The future looks bright.
Scott Treibly of IMG Academies sat down to talk college tennis with Coach Hubbard.
Questions and Answers
Scott Treibly (ST): You have turned the Fordham men's tennis team around. How have you done it?
Cory Hubbard (CH): Fordham
's Cory Hubbard courtesy, Fordham Athletics
Hard work and desire. There are no shortcuts to being successful, and I have put in the hours scouting, recruiting, and getting the word out about Fordham and its new commitment to the tennis program.
When I came to Fordham, I knew I was facing a tremendous challenge - taking over a program that had finished at the bottom of the A-10 conference for over a decade. Instead of looking at the reasons they had not been successful, I focused on all the potential the program had and what it could become. When I looked at Fordham, I saw a Tier 1 academic school with a top 50 academic ranking, a very desirable location in the greatest city in the world (NYC), and I felt I could bring the player development aspect and the "big time" college tennis feel given my experience at Texas A&M, TCU, and Arizona.
I knew we could build a solid competitive program over time, but the immediate response I received from recruits was shocking. Basically, every player I brought on campus bought in to my vision and bought into the challenge of starting something special that they could look back and be proud of at Fordham. My first recruiting class was ranked 27th nationally, ahead of many big time programs, so that was the first step in turning the team around.
With nine new guys, the focus has been gaining respect and instilling pride in our program. So far, I couldn't be happier with the progress we have made. One of our goals was to be the most improved team in the country, and I believe we are.
ST: Tell me more about Fordham University and it's athletics?
CH: Fordham is one of the most historic schools in the country, and you get that feel from the first moment you step on campus. The first time I came to interview and walked the campus, I was in awe of the old stone architecture, the vast greenery, and the true campus feel for a school located in NYC. We have a beautiful 90 acre campus across from the New York Botanical Gardens and the world famous Bronx Zoo. Fordham has also earned high rankings and accolades from US News.
There is a long standing tradition of athletic success at Fordham, starting in the 1930s with dominant football and baseball programs. We are reminded of that tradition every day as our athletes train in the Lombardi Center, in honor of the legendary Fordham Alum and coach Vince Lombardi. Our athletic teams compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference, which as a tennis conference is really on the rise.
ST: Tell us a little more about yourself? Fordham
had a banner year in 2012 courtesy, Fordham Athletics
CH: I grew up in a tennis family. My father and both uncles played collegiately (SMU, USC, UCLA) and professionally. My dad was a tennis pro at a club for over 20 years, so I grew up with tennis in my blood. I played four years at Texas A&M and won two Big 12 Conference championships, including a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.
I began collegiate coaching at TCU, as an assistant coach for the men's team. During my three years at TCU, we reached the NCAA Tournament every year. In 2004, we reached the NCAA Sweet 16 and achieved a season high national ranking of #5. For such a successful season, I was nominated for the NCAA/ITA Regional and National Assistant Coach of the Year Award. I moved on to work at Arizona in the same capacity, helping them advance to the NCAA Tournament along the way.