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Meet The New Coach: Montana State's Rob Bareford

After four successful seasons at Radford, Rob Bareford has moved west to become the new Montana State head men’s tennis coach and director of the Bobcat-Anderson Tennis.

Bareford takes over a Montana State program that shared the Big Sky Conference regular-season title last year and saw a doubles team make program history in the NCAA Individual Championships by winning a first-round match.

Before entering the college ranks at Hampden-Sydney, Bareford began his coaching career in 2012 as the head boys tennis coach at Monacan High School in Richmond, Virginia.

Bareford recently discussed his new role, his recruiting plans and his off-the-court interests:

What attracted you to this job?

The job here at Montana State University attracted me for a long list of reasons. It’s a unique job in that I am not only the head men’s tennis coach, but also the Director of the Bobcat-Anderson Tennis Center. The tennis community here in Bozeman is large and growing so we are able to offer tons of adult and junior programming. With full funding, great facilities and the right leadership – MSU can not only continue to be a powerhouse in the Big Sky, but also a top D1 program.

How has the reception been among the returning players?

We had five players return from last year's roster and they have been very welcoming. They have goals of winning the Big Sky tourney, advancing to NCAAs and more. I think they are excited that I’m here and have done those things before.

Why did you get into coaching?

I always worked in the tennis industry growing up and through college, but never actually considered doing it for my career. I fell in love with coaching after taking on a head coaching role at my alma mater high school. After trying my hand at a non-coaching role, I realized I had to go back. I’m a big believer in the saying of ‘love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.’

What is your recruiting strategy?

We recruit high-level players just like everyone else. However, we also try to find players that fit within our culture and have the same goals as us.

Who have been your biggest inspirations?

I believe my parents started out as my biggest inspiration and now it has shifted into my family.

Beyond tennis, what are your interests?

As many know, the life of a college tennis coach is not easy so I try to spend all my time off the court with my fiancée and our two children.


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About Rhiannon Potkey

Rhiannon Potkey is a veteran sportswriter with more than two decades of experience in journalism. Potkey has covered many sports at many levels and has a passion for finding great stories. Potkey has covered the U.S. Open, junior sectional and national events, college conference championships and Davis Cup matches. Potkey is currently Content Strategist for Tennis Recruiting. You can reach Rhiannon by email at [email protected].
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Page updated on Sunday, September 18, 2022
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