Talking with Bryant Coach Ron Gendron
by Harry Cicma
, 8 October 2012
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Ron Gendron is starting his eighth season coaching the Bryant University men's tennis team, and he has seen a lot of changes during his tenure. After several years in the NCAA D-II Northeast-10 Conference, Bryant reclassified to Division I for the 2008-09 season.
Now in the Northeast Conference, Bryant has had some success. The Bulldogs went 12-7 this past season, and 2012-13 marks the first season where Bryant will be eligible for post-season play.
Harry Cicma talked with Coach Gendron about his experiences coaching college tennis.
Questions and Answers
Harry Cicma (HC): How are things progressing in the world of Bryant University Tennis? Ron Gendron (RG):
Our transition to Division I has been a great learning experience. Our women's program
went undefeated in conference this year, and our men's program is 7-1 against conference competition over the last two years. We are looking forward to our first year of Division I competition in 2012-13. Recruiting has been very exciting. We have made a lot of new friends along the way.
HC: How do you get your team ready for the competition?
RG: Our preparation is very organized. Mondays are off days, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are skill days. Conditioning takes place every day with Fridays typically reserved for light hitting with opponent analysis. We try and maintain a disciplined schedule to allow the guys consistency to handle their academic commitments. This also allows the guys the ability to schedule labs, group projects, and for our upperclassmen, schedule various internships.
HC: What are your goals for the upcoming year?
RG: Every season's goal is to maintain a 3.0 team GPA. To be as prepared as possible for every match. And to compete to our highest ability and skill. Obviously our first shot at a Northeast Conference title will be exciting and challenging since there are some very solid programs in our conference. We look forward to competing at the highest level we are capable of.
HC: What are you most looking for during the recruiting process?
RG: Bryant University is a highly-competitive institution with a world class business program. I look for young men with interests in accounting, actuarial mathematics, finance and international business. Graduates of these majors experience over 97 percent job placement within six months of graduation. In addition to a concentration, we are also looking for young men who are looking for a private, well-established university located in the Northeast. Lastly, we are looking for hard workers who are prepared to sacrifice to help get our program to the next level.
HC: What is the most rewarding part of being a head coach at the Division I level?
RG: The relationships I have developed with the players and their families is very special. The time spent traveling and practicing creates a bond and builds friendships that will last a lifetime. Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog.
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When it comes to college tennis, Harry Cicma is your man. Cicma
covers tennis and other athletic stories for
writing articles and producing video segments.
He is co-founder and host of World Tennis
a weekly tennis show on NESN, and host of of Tennis Live Radio's
Cicma competed as a junior in USTA/New England and went on to play
college tennis at Rutgers University. As a professional, Cicma
competed at the ATP Newport tournament and the San Jose Siebel Open.
He reached a career-high #75 in the ATP doubles team rankings and
#1262 in the ATP Entry System.
In media, Cicma has run the gamut. He has worked for NBC, CBS, ABC,
ESPN, FOX Sports Net, the Tennis Channel, and World Team Tennis.
Cicma has announced NCAA sports as well as the US Open Tennis
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