After a fall season without a head coach in place for the University of Dayton men’s and women’s tennis programs, the school announced the hiring of Ryan Meyer as the new head coach on Nov. 2.
Meyer, 27, comes to Dayton after serving as the head women’s tennis coach at Division III Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky., for the past three seasons. Prior to his time there, Meyer served as an assistant for the University of Cincinnati tennis program, as well as an assistant for his alma mater, Franklin College, a Division III program, in Franklin, Ind.
While attending Franklin, Meyer was a four-year letterman for the Grizzlies. Meyer was an individual conference champion in 2005, as well as a team captain his senior year. Meyer also earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation with a minor in sport management while at Franklin, as well as earning his master’s in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University in Irvine, Calif.
For Meyer, he said that coaching for a Division I school has been his goal for a long time.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to coach at the D-I level,” Meyer said. “When the opportunity arose here at UD, I got to know and talk to people here, and it just seemed like a great fit.”
For the first time in his head-coaching career, Meyer will be tasked with the responsibility of coaching both the men’s and women’s programs, but for Meyer, it is a task that he is more than willing to take on.
“The biggest challenge of it is the scheduling,” Meyer said. “Just being able to be at all the matches. Outside of that it’s a great challenge, one that I am ready to take on. Most schools only have coaches for one program, but I’m very fortunate to be able coach both.”
In addition to Meyer’s coaching background, he is also a licensed tennis professional, and has much experience as a teaching professional at various clubs around the country. According to Meyer, even with all of his prior experiences, coaching at UD will be nothing new to him.
“At the end of the day, tennis is tennis,” Meyer said. “It’s about fundamentals and achieving your goals. I don’t expect that to be any different here at Dayton.”
In the past, UD tennis has struggled to keep up with the Atlantic 10’s elite programs. Nevertheless, Meyer says that he is determined to change this while he is coach.
“My main goal is to take this program where it’s never been before, and that is where we are consistently a top team in the A-10,” Meyer said. “On top of that, I also hope to start consistently reaching the NCAA tournament as well.”
In the meantime, Meyer will have his hands full for this upcoming season. Both rosters combine to have just one senior, and the program went a full fall season without a head coach, after previous head coach Eric Mahone left in the spring.
During the fall season, UD was fortunate enough to have newly hired coaching intern Leah Hottois, a former player at Texas A&M, to lead the program while in between coaches.
According to Meyer, he thinks Hottois did a spectacular job coaching prior to his hiring, and thinks that she will continue to have an impact on the program as the season moves forward.
“She’s done a tremendous job,” Meyer said. “To come in here and take control on such short notice, we were very fortunate to have her. I have no doubt that she will be moving up into a head coaching position soon.”
The Flyers resume play once in again in January when its spring season opens with matches against Butler on Jan. 18, 2013, for the women’s team, and Jan. 25, 2013, versus Robert Morris for the men’s team.