Home Boys' Lists Girls' Lists Men's Teams Women's Teams News Photos Contributors Links Help Sign-UpOnline Store
Latest News | Categories | Authors | News Archives
 
 

News & Features

College Feature
Q & A with Hartford Head Coach Michael Louis
Share:    

Michael Louis is entering his second year as the head coach of the University of Hartford men's and women's tennis teams. Louis is a first-time head coach at the Division I collegiate level after spending seven seasons as the assistant men's tennis coach at the University of Connecticut.

Harry Cicma talked with Coach Louis about his goals and experiences coaching college tennis.

 

Questions and Answers

Harry Cicma (HC): What are your goals for the upcoming season as the Head Coach of both the Hartford Men's and Women's teams?

Hartford men's and women's coach Michael Lewis
courtesy, Hartford Athletics
Michael Louis (ML): The goal is always to provide an environment where our players can grow - both as individuals and athletes. In the classroom, last season both men's and women's teams achieved collective GPA's of above 3.0. We want to continue with that success in the classroom, and as student-athletes, that is their primary goal.

On the court, I think the players any time you ask them, "What are your goals for this season?" they'll always answer in terms of winning. We've tried to not put the emphasis on the wins and losses this year. The expectation to win every time we step on the court is always present. Every individual on this team is a competitor, and the drive to win is what motivates them to work hard.

At the start of the season, I ask my players, "What is our everyday?" In other words, what is our identity as a team - every time we step onto the court? Every practice our players take that responsibility to heart and work hard for each other. For us, that's the key to finding our way this season.

 

HC: What are you most excited about, as a second year Head Coach in Division I?

ML: The players. We have a great group of young men and women. Last season, coming in as a new head coach, I think the team and I were trying to find our way and figure things out. There was definitely an adjustment for the players - new coach and new philosophy. I knew I had to work to earn their trust and respect. The second half of last season I think we were really starting to find our way. This season we're all on the same page and I'm excited to get started.

 

HC: How will your experiences on the court at UConn, help you while coaching Hartford?

ML: My four years as a student-athlete at UConn are some of my best memories. I was very fortunate to have been a part of a great group of guys and have a great coach. That's what I want for my players here at Hartford. They are a part of an environment where they can compete at a high level and build friendships.

I know that we play a long season, but I also know how quickly it flies by. I want my players to be able to appreciate and enjoy the opportunity they have as student-athletes here at the University of Hartford.

 

HC: How has the Assistant Coaching experience at UConn helped as well?

ML: Having played for UConn, I was very fortunate to be able to start my coaching career in an environment where I was very comfortable - and alongside a head coach I greatly respect in Glenn Marshall.

Nothing truly prepares you for the responsibilities of being a head coach except for becoming a head coach. But my time at UConn gave me the chance to gain confidence in my decision making and to find my own coaching style.

As a head coach, the decisions you make are not going to make everyone on your team happy. I've learned how to embrace and handle that concept with my players. I know that every day I have to continue to hold myself accountable for my decisions - and how they affect my players and both teams.

 

HC: What are the strengths of your Hartford Program thus far as a whole?

ML: I would have to say the resiliency of my players. Coming in as a first year head coach and taking over a program, I couldn't be happier with the teams I had around me. For them, having to transition from one coach to another, I know must not have been easy for them. Collectively, they held together through the change, and I think they embraced the challenges we faced along the way.

Last year as a team we had to work to build a foundation of respect and support for one another. We have that foundation in place today, and the successes we will have will be because of the players.

 

Leave a Comment

 

More College Coverage

13-Oct-2017
Countdown: Talking D3 Recruiting With Chicago's Jay Tee
Colette Lewis sat down with Chicago coach Jay Tee to discuss the challenges of recruiting for a top Division III program at one of the country’s most respected academic institutions, how Division III recruiting timetables differ from those of Division I, and many other topics.

28-Jun-2017
Tragedy Provided O'Leary With Perspective
The Columbine High shootings hit close to home for Colorado native Sara O'Leary. The new Virginia women's coach places a high value on relationships and personal development with her teams.

21-Jun-2017
Eliminate the Scholarships, Save the Program
Over the past few years, there has been an alarming pattern of NCAA Division I mid-major programs being cut, and I feel that these decisions are both shortsighted and highly preventable. I understand that these are complicated decisions, but there is one solution to keeping programs alive, improving college prospects for US tennis players, and increasing involvement from the university and local community: Eliminate the scholarships.

 
 College Coverage Index |   Subscribe

 

About Harry Cicma

When it comes to college tennis, Harry Cicma is your man. Cicma covers tennis and other athletic stories for NBC Sports, 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 College Corner.

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 Championships on both TV and radio.

 
 K-SWISS
 
K-Swiss: 100% Tennis - Introducing the Knitshot
 
At K-Swiss we are 100% invested in the sport of Tennis helping players of all levels win. For 50 years we have been making some ...
 
See More
 
RECENT COMMITMENTS
12/13 Miles Collins chooses Baldwin Wallace
12/13 Christina Ryan chooses St. Lawrence
12/13 Alexis Steer chooses Akron
12/13 Ryan Jurist chooses Bucknell
12/12 Justin Wain chooses TCNJ
12/12 Andrew Shand chooses Davis & Elkins
12/12 David Ammendola chooses Bryant
12/12 Sonia Varma chooses Swarthmore
12/12 Mathew Yee chooses Vassar
12/12 Nate Meadors chooses Ohio Northern

Full Listings: Boys' Commits & Girls' Commits

 
 ATP GEAR - SHOES
 
 
RECENT HEADLINES
ITA NEWS
THE LATEST FROM ZOOTENNIS
12/13 Top Seeds, Qualifiers and Lucky Losers Make Their Mark on Day One of Junior Orange Bowl Boys 12s
12/12 Seeds, Draws for Junior Orange Bowl; Australian Open Junior Acceptances; Inaugural America's Cup Results; Eddie Herr 16s and 18s Photos
12/11 Shane Wins Tallahassee Futures; Teens Wang and Fourlis Claim Australian Open Wild Cards; Kiefer and Bridgforth Earn Grade 5 Titles; Eddie Herr 12s and 14s Photos
12/10 Osuigwe Claims Orange Bowl Title to End Stellar 2017; France's Gaston Wins Boys Championship
12/09 Osuigwe and Bilokin Advance to Girls Orange Bowl Final; Gaston and Tashbulatov to Meet for Boys Title; Saar and Ionel Win 16s Championships
Colette Lewis has covered topflight junior events as a freelance journalist for over a decade. Read her weekly column, follow her on Twitter, and and find more of her daily commentary at ZooTennis.
 

Page updated on Monday, November 06, 2017
Contact our web team with any corrections