Russell McMindes is in his 11th 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 10 seasons, the Tigers have amassed a dual-match record of 188-100 (.653). Each year, Trinity has advanced to the NCAA Playoffs and captured a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship.
A total of 14 of Coach McMindes’ players have earned All-America accolades. Wilson Lambeth and Jordan Pitts were the latest Tigers to garner All-America distinction in 2019. Trinity has also been designated as an ITA All-Academic Team and 16 individual players have received Scholar-Athlete honors since 2010. Cameron Krimbill, Lars Wiik, and Artur Zigman were honored in 2019.
Coach McMindes has guided three Trinity men’s doubles teams to an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Championship. Matt 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.
Trinity’s team won the SCAC Championship in 2019, marking the 10th title in a row for the Tigers and the 24th overall and the most of any sport in conference history. Coach McMindes was elected SCAC Coach of the Year for the ninth time in his career. Lambeth was tabbed as the SCAC Men’s Player of the Year, becoming Trinity’s 11th student-athlete to achieve the honor in the last 12 seasons. The Tigers completed the campaign with a 17-10 record and advanced to the NCAA third round.
The 2017 Tigers finished the campaign with a 17-11 mark and fought their way to the NCAA third round. Tyer and 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 selected 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.
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. Skinner was also elected the 2015 SCAC Man of the Year.
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.
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.