Russell McMindes enters his ninth season as Trinity’s head men’s tennis coach.
The former Tiger men’s standout was appointed to the position in July 2009. He has established himself as one of the most successful coaches in NCAA Division III tennis. Over the past eight seasons, the Tigers have amassed a dual-match record of 155-78 (.665). Each year, Trinity has advanced to the NCAA Playoffs and captured a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship.
The 2017 Tigers finished the campaign with a 17-11 mark and fought their way to the NCAA third round. Matt Tyer and Wilson Lambeth advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship, the first Tiger tandem to do so since 2010. Lambeth earned the distinction of being tabbed as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III National Men’s Player to Watch. Sloan Rush had received the accolade in 2010. Tyer and Lambeth won the ITA Southwest Doubles title in the fall of 2016 and advanced to the ITA Oracle Cup title match.
Coach McMindes has guided three Trinity men’s doubles teams to an ITA National Championship. Tyer and Adam Krull won top honors in October 2015. Bobby Cocanougher and Cory Kowal took the ITA championship in 2010 and advanced to the 2011 NCAA Doubles final. Aaron Skinner and Jordan Mayer repeated the ITA Championship feat in 2014. Skinner also won the ITA Singles Championship, in 2012, and later advanced to the NCAA Singles semifinals.
The 2015 team traveled to Saint Peter, Minnesota, where the Tigers won the ITA National Indoor Team Championship. Trinity emerged as the top-ranked team in the nation. The Tigers later advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fifth time in six years, and completed the season with a #8 ranking, and a 19-9 record.
Following the 2014 season, Coach McMindes received a high honor from his colleagues. He was elected the Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Division III Coach of the Year. Coach McMindes skippered the Tigers to a third place finish at the NCAA Team Championships and a mark of 26-7. Trinity made its first semifinals appearance since 2000, when the Tigers won the national crown. Four of Coach McMindes’ players were named to the All-America Team in 2014.
A total of 13 of Coach McMindes’ players have earned All-America accolades on 21 occasions. Tyer and Lambeth were the latest Tigers to pick up All-America distinction. Trinity has also been designated as an ITA All-Academic Team, and 11 individual players have earned Scholar-Athlete honors since 2010.
Coach McMindes has been elected SCAC Coach of the Year seven times, including in 2017. Six of his players have been named SCAC Player of the Year, which includes Chas Mayer following the 2017 season. Skinner was elected the 2015 SCAC Man of the Year.
During the 2011-12 season, Coach McMindes also coached the Tiger women’s team. Trinity’s women’s squad captured its first SCAC Championship since 2006 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers, who advanced to the second round, made their first NCAA appearance in four years. Mackenzie Knoop battled her way to the NCAA Singles semifinals, becoming the first Tiger women’s semifinalist since 2002. Three Tiger players garnered All-America honors during Coach McMindes’ tenure.
Coach McMindes served for six seasons as the Tigers men’s assistant coach under the legendary Butch Newman, Trinity’s Director of Tennis. In 2009, Coach McMindes was named the ITA West Region Men’s Tennis Assistant Coach of the Year.
As a Tiger player, Coach McMindes was a three-year letterwinner and was a member of the 2000 National Championship team. He received All-SCAC honors for three years. Prior to joining Trinity’s program, Coach McMindes played for one season for Oklahoma Christian University.
Coach McMindes earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Trinity in 2002 with a concentration in chemical engineering. A resident of San Antonio, Coach McMindes was the Clemens High School valedictorian in 1997.
A talented instructor of the game of tennis, Coach McMindes was a teaching professional at the San Antonio Country Club. The members had the good fortune of taking lessons from a United States Professional Tennis Association Certified Pro.
Coach McMindes and his wife, Cat, are the parents of a young daughter, Mia.