New tennis coach hopes to make a “raquet”

JEFFREY BAZINET
Staff Writer

The tennis program has made a major acquisition by hiring Darryl Cummings, the new director of Men’s and Women’s Tennis. Cummings will oversee both teams and take on the role of Assistant Sports Information Director.
Cummings brings a long list of credentials to VWC. For 19 years, he was the head coach at Old Dominion University, finishing with an impressive overall record of 563-353 in dual matches. Six times he earned Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year honors, including becoming the only coach to win the award for men’s and women’s teams in the same season.
He has coached players from all over the world, many of whom have played professionally and represented their respective countries in major international competitions.
In addition to his coaching triumphs, Cummings is an accomplished player in his own right. He competed collegiately at ODU and in 1985 won the Virginia State’s Single Champion title.
Cummings stepped down as head coach at Old Dominion following the 2011 season in order to focus on developing his business, the Cape Henry Racquet Club. After a couple of seasons away from coaching, Cummings said the opportunity at Virginia Wesleyan was “perfect timing for me and for the college.”
Cummings cited the new Everett Tennis Center, the ideal size and location of the college and the challenge of building a Division III program as some of the key factors that made the job appealing.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to be named Director of Men’s and Women’s Tennis at Virginia Wesleyan College,” said Cummings in a press release from the VWC Athletics Department. “President Greer, Dean Buckingham, Athletic Director Joanne Renn and the committee are an extremely special group of professionals with whom to work and I am honored they selected me to join the team. My new colleagues in the athletic department are a great group that I felt connected with right away.”
Cummings is not in entirely unfamiliar territory as the head coach of the Marlins. He actually served as men’s head tennis coach at Virginia Wesleyan for one season in 1989, prior to his run at Old Dominion.
Cummings is a Norfolk native with deep roots in the Hampton Roads region. His familiarity with the area and the fact he is so highly regarded in the tennis community should prove advantageous on the recruiting trails.
“His long time connection to the region and the Commonwealth, along with his expertise in evaluating and recruiting student-athletes should pay dividends as Virginia Wesleyan looks to build the tennis program to complement the strength of the athletic department,” said Athletic Director Joanne Renn.
Both the men’s and women’s teams possess a talented group of players for Cummings to coach. As the fall portion of the season winds down, Cummings said he is pleased with the progress he has seen so far. Although both teams are coming off a streak of losing seasons, he believes it will not be long before the Marlins are competing for ODAC Championships and NCAA Tournament bids.
“As a team, we are positioned quite nicely in order to put ourselves on to the tennis map in a very short period of time,” said Cummings.

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