In addition to his team winning the SUNYAC championship two weeks ago, Women’s Tennis Head Coach Robert Bruley was awarded the SUNYAC Coach of the Year honors for the fourth time.
“I am very proud,” Bruley said. “They all mean different things, but because this year was a totally new team we put together, it was pretty unique to win both the coach of the year and the championship.”
Bruley, who has been coaching the team for thirteen years, also won the award in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Fourth-year tennis player Lindsey Garyn said that Bruley deserved the award because of the time and effort he puts into the program.
“He’s always on call and always there when we need him,” Garyn said. “He’s kind to everyone and looks out for everyone.”
Second-year player Kayla DiPaulo said Bruley deserved the award because “he would do anything for his team.”
According to Garyn, the SUNYAC chooses the coach of the year by looking at the point difference a team has from years past. This year, the Hawks had the greatest points difference.
“[The point difference] means we improved and he had to be a great coach to make such a difference, I feel like the reason he got it is because he deserved it over any other coach,” Garyn said.
One of the hardest things about coaching, according to Bruley, is keeping a calm complexion as he paces up and down the court while the girls play.
“I have to be careful to show no negative emotion. The girls look to me for inspiration,” Bruley said.
Garyn said Bruley knew each girl individually, which helped with his style of coaching.
“He knows all of us girls very well and we’re all different. He knows that some of us need to be ‘yelled’ at while others need to just be encouraged and others want to be left. If we ever need anything on the court he comes running over.”
Bruley believed that arguments and yelling are healthy “sometimes” and that once the arguments are over, the team grows from that and can continue to get better because of it.
DiPaulo agreed with Garyn and believed that Bruley is dedicated to his players and has been determined throughout the entire season.
“He works us hard, on the court and in the gym, but is the nicest guy you will ever meet… which makes him different than a lot of other coaches,” DiPaulo said.