Amherst, N.Y. - Kerry McDermott, a veteran coach with more than three decades of experience, has been named the next head men's and women's tennis coach at Daemen College, interim athletics director Brandi Guerinot announced today. McDermott comes to Daemen after spending the last 36 seasons as the head men's tennis coach at the University of Nebraska, and he becomes the third head coach in the history of both Daemen programs.
"After conducting a thorough national search, we are thrilled to welcome Kerry McDermott as out next head men's and women's tennis coach," said Guerinot, who led the search. "His experience and qualifications speak for themselves, and he quickly rose to the top of our candidate pool. I am looking forward to everything Kerry will bring to our programs, and for the mentorship he will provide to our student-athletes."
A native Nebraskan, McDermott began his relationship with the Huskers as a student-athlete, earning four varsity letters for the men's tennis team from 1976-80, and he later assisted head coach Jim Porter for two seasons. McDermott took the reins of the program himself in 1982 and went on the lead the Huskers to 405 victories, the most of any coach in team history, and two NCAA Tournament appearances. McDermott also presided over the Huskers' eight NCAA Tournament qualifying efforts from singles players, and five NCAA Tournament qualifying efforts from doubles teams. His coaching accolades include the mentorship of Steven Jung, the only All-American in program history. Ten times in the last 13 seasons, McDermott's teams finished ranked among the top 75 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division I rankings. McDermott also served as the head women's tennis coach at Nebraska for one season (1988-89) during his tenure.
McDermott brings a strong understanding of the importance for student-athletes to balance competitive athletics and academic responsibilities. Seven times in the last 21 years, his teams earned Nebraska's Herman Team GPA Award which is presented annually to the Husker men's program with the best combined grade-point average. Through the years, 40 of his players earned Academic All-Conference honors, while two have garnered Academic All-American recognition.
"The fact that we were able to attract someone with Kerry's coaching pedigree and knowledge, I believe really speaks to the kind of Division II program that we're building within Daemen Athletics as a whole," said Guerinot.
"I am excited and honored to be the next head coach at Daemen College," said McDermott. "I am very grateful for the support over the last few weeks, and was very impressed with the college and the entire community. I am anxious to get things started as soon as possible. Let's go Wildcats."
McDermott takes over for former head coach Stephen Beatty who was with the Daemen programs since their inception in 2012, spending one year as an assistant and the last five as head coach. The Daemen women's tennis team is coming off a 10-14 season, marking the first time in team history that they've achieved double-figure victories. The Daemen men's tennis team went 7-17 last season, matching the program record for wins in a season.
Both teams must cope with the graduation of key players heading into the 2018-19 season. The Wildcat women will be without the services of Gretchen Ringler (North Tonawanda, N.Y.) who finished her career with 84 combined singles/doubles wins, second-most in team history. The Wildcat men must replace Mark Veitengruber (Rockford, Mich.) whose 82 combined singles/doubles wins are the most for any men's player in team history. Senior Jessica Robins(North Tonawanda, N.Y.), who holds a combined 57 wins, and sophomore Christina Stasiuk(Bowmansville, N.Y.), who set the program record with 18 singles wins last season, return to lead the Wildcat women. Ricardo Ruiz Martinez (Valencia, Spain), a two-time All-East Coast Conference honoree, returns to lead the Daemen men after posting a team-record 17 singles wins last season.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT KERRY MCDERMOTT....
"Kerry is a terrific person who bring a tremendous work ethic to the program. I think Kerry is a great hire who will have his teams prepared to compete. He also develops people off the court. Daemen College made a great choice."
Head Men's Tennis Coach, University of Texas
"What a great hire. I have known Kerry for a long time and he has the highest standards, integrity, ideals and ethics. Kerry cares about his players both on and off the court. He is not only a great coach, but also a super person who will teach the players valuable life lessons. Congrats Daemen College."
Head Men's & Women's Tennis Coach, Virginia Commonwealth University
"Kerry is an excellent hire for Daemen College. Coach McDermott's experience as head coach of Nebraska will certainly serve him very well at Daemen. This is an outstanding hire for the Wildcats."
Head Men's & Women's Tennis Coach, Georgia Gwinnett College
Provided by the Daemen Sports Information Department.