UND tennis coach Tom Wynne to retire
Pat Sweeney | Jun 16, 2020 AT 2:57 pm
University of North Dakota head men's and women's tennis coach Tom Wynne has announced that he will be retiring following his 30th season leading the tennis programs. The 2020-21 will be the final chapter in a coaching book that has seen a tradition of athletic and academic success for UND tennis.
"This will be my final year here as the head coach of the tennis teams," Wynne announced to his alums in a newsletter. "This will mark the 30th year of my stay here at UND and while I love what I do, it's time to pull the plug and let someone else have a turn.
"I think we are positioned to do great things in the future as our facilities, fan support, support staff and reputation as a good spot to play tennis are all on solid ground," he continued. "I'm hoping to stay involved with teams and help when I can. I want to thank everyone for their service to UND tennis and their friendship. I will be around Choice as I will continue on here as a tennis instructor to the local community."
"Coach Wynne has been a pillar of the UND and Grand Forks community for decades," UND Director of Athletics Bill Chaves said. "His dedication to the many student-athletes that he coached has been noteworthy and no doubt has been able to teach the game of life through tennis. We wish him all the best and look forward to celebrating him throughout the upcoming year."
A Grand Forks native, Wynne was a standout player at UND, earning four letters before getting into the coaching game. He was the NCC's No. 1 singles champion in 1976 and was runner-up in 1975 and 1977. He also qualified for the NCAA national tournament in 1977.
In 1979, Wynne led the Fighting Sioux to their first NCC title in 42 years. After graduating with a journalism degree in 1978, Wynne played professional tennis on the Marlboro Tour in France in 1980. He served as an assistant coach for five seasons, leading UND to conference titles in 1984 and 1985. Wynne was then named head coach of both men's and women's teams in 1986, a position he held until 1990 when the tennis programs were discontinued. When women's tennis returned to UND in 1998, Wynne was named head coach. He was inducted to the University of North Dakota Athletic Hall of Fame a year later.
When UND joined the Big Sky Conference beginning in the 2012-13 season, North Dakota brought back men's tennis, this time at the NCAA Division I level. Wynne guided both squads as they began competing in the new conference. His teams are entering their third seasons in the Summit League and has them on the precipice of previously unchartered waters in its Division I era.
Last season, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the men's team was having a statement season and was on pace to shatter multiple program records. UND ended the year with a 9-2 mark, the best winning percentage in school history, while also rattling off a program-record nine straight victories and finishing a perfect 2-0 in Summit League play. Freshman Andreja Petrovic became the first freshman in program history to win his first nine singles matches and ended the year with a 9-1 mark at the top spot. Fellow newcomer Johnatan Parat also became the first Fighting Hawk to finish a singles season with an undefeated mark at 10-0.
On the women's side, a young UND squad was just rounding into shape as the season came to a halt, finishing with a 4-4 record. The Hawks closed the year by winning four of their final five matches, including a pair of home victories and a comeback triumph over Kansas City. A pair of freshman Swedes, Frida Soko and Andrea Jansson, led the way combined for 10 singles victories while senior Kaede Amano won three matches at the top position.
A season prior, he took both of his programs to new heights in their first year as Summit League programs in 2018-19, helping the UND women's tennis team advance to the Summit League Tournament and earn a second-place finish in the regular season standings. Three Fighting Hawks earned all-conference honors, including Preethi Kasilingam, who became the first player in program history, men's or women's, to earn 100 career victories at the program. Fellow teammates Isa Sullivan and Kaede Amano were also named to the all-league team.
On the men's side, the Fighting Hawks set a program record with a Division I record 11 wins and just missed the postseason. Freshman Nejc Sitar was named the Summit League's Newcomer of the Year and helped UND finish fifth in the league standings.
At the Division II level, Wynne guided UND to North Central Conference championships in 2008, 2004 and 2003 and NCAA postseason appearances in each of the program's final seven seasons of DII competition.
Wynne and his brother, Tim Wynne, were named the 2000 winners of the Word Burton Junior Development Award for their work with local junior tennis program. The award is given out annually by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Northern Section to individuals or organizations that promote and achieve success in the development of junior tennis players.