For the past five semesters, Oswego State’s men’s tennis team has gone through five different coaches.
However, each coach had his own reason for leaving. The past five coaches included Fayek Megeed, Robert Friske, Brian Cole, Darren Wynne and most recently Josh Patterson.
Megeed left because of issues with the administration and Friske was only brought in as a part-time replacement. Then the team hired Brian Cole, who ended up leaving because he got a full time job as a teacher and coach in a different district. After Cole left, Darren Wynne came in as head coach but left the team because he was more committed to the soccer team. They replaced him with most recent coach Josh Patterson, who didn’t feel that the team was showing that they were committed enough.
This was set to be Patterson’s first year as head coach for the Lakers after coming from Pulaski High School.
Senior tennis player Geoff Sawyer has been part of the tennis team for five years and has seen the effects caused by the constant change in coaches.
“We aren’t growing as players like most teams who have a solid coach,” Sawyer said. “It seems to have divided the team into sections; the players just stay in their group and we don’t grow as a team.”
No matter what sport it is, there needs to be good communication and teamwork between the players. With no consistent coach in place to make sure that is happening, the team struggles. This is already showing early after their first loss, 8-1, to Roberts Wesleyan College. The team still has time to turn their season around, but in order to accomplish this, a coach needs to be brought in that will stay with the team for a long period of time and make sure the team improves.
That is what the athletic department is working on. Right now, Oswego State’s women’s tennis coach Erin Skaradek will be filling in as head coach for the remainder of the fall semester while a replacement is being found. The athletic department feels that since both tennis teams know and respect Skaradek, she will get the men’s team on the right track for the time being.
“[I am] very disappointed and upset with these circumstances and is working very hard to try and find a coach that will do the job right and be part of the team for a long period of time,” Tim Hale, Oswego State’s Athletic Director, said
With the loss of five different coaches in only five semesters, the situation is putting Hale and the rest of the athletic department in an awkward situation that they would like to get rid of. The interviewing process is going to begin soon and will end when they feel they have the right person.
The men’s tennis team’s next game, and first game with Skaradek as head coach, is Friday, Oct. 9 against Onondaga Community College.