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Trinity tennis coach moves to administrative post

Courtesy: The NCAA News

Butch Newman, the longtime tennis coach at Trinity (Texas) who oversaw the transition of that school’s competitive Division I program into a championship program in Division III, is relinquishing coaching duties to assume an administrative role as director of tennis.

The move is part of a restructuring of the tennis program announced Tuesday by Trinity Athletics Director Bob King.

 “The restructuring of positions will allow us to better address the needs of the tennis program,” said King, who announced that assistant Russell McMindes will succeed Newman as men’s coach, effective August 1. “We were able to hire two outstanding head coaches and establish the new position of director of tennis by reallocating existing funds.”

McMindes was a member of Trinity’s 2000 Division III championship team. Ryan Takao will continue to serve as women’s coach.

“The change in responsibilities will give Butch the opportunity to focus on achieving the long-term goal of developing an outstanding on-campus facility for men’s and women’s tennis, recruiting academically qualified and athletically talented student-athletes, and to continue to cultivate a relationship with former tennis student-athletes from the Division I and Division III eras,” King said.

Newman, who has coached the Tigers since 1986 and who also coached the women’s team from 1991 to 2008, steps down after winning national coach-of-the-year honors three times – twice with the men’s team and once with the women. In 2000, Trinity became the first Division III program to win both the men’s and women’s tennis team championships in the same year. The women also were runners-up at the 1997 and 2001 championships.

The men qualified for the Division III championships every year from 1993 to 2008, compiling a 22-16 record, while the women qualified every year during that period except 2007, posting a 26-18 record. He surpassed the 300-victory milestone in men’s tennis last year.

Newman also played at the school during the early 1960s, twice earning all-American honors while posting a 53-2 singles record that still stands as the best ever in Tigers history.

“Coaching the tennis teams at Trinity University has made the past 23 years of my life extremely meaningful,” Newman said. “But, I know that Russell is the right man to take over the reins. The future of Trinity tennis is exciting and I am happy to be a continuing part of it.”

Both McMindes and Takao played at Trinity, and Takeo served for 12 years as an assistant before taking charge of the women’s program last year. McMindes has assisted Newman with the men’s team for seven years.

“Coach Newman is a legend, and there is no way to replace him,” McMindes said. “”I’m fortunate to have him continue as director of tennis.”

Newman returned the compliment.

“I am really excited to have two of my former players leading the charge as head men’s coach and head women’s coach,” he said. “I am confident and excited about the future of Trinity tennis, that these two young men will add to the program.”