Indiana University East will add men’s and women’s tennis for the 2009-10 academic year. Local tennis professional Michael Sherer will be the program’s first head coach. The Red Wolves will now compete in eight intercollegiate sports.
Athletics director Mark Hester said that the addition of two more sports keeps IU East on its aggressive growth pattern for intercollegiate athletics. “We’re building first-class athletic programs at this campus with high-quality student-athletes, and we’re excited to now bring tennis into the mix,” Hester said. “With eight sports, IU East now has the largest athletics program of any IU or Purdue regional campus.”
A Richmond native, Sherer is the director of tennis at Forest Hills Country Club and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) certified staff professional at Schroeder Tennis Center in Tipp City, Ohio. He was also the founder of the Wayne County Community Tennis Association. Sherer played collegiately at Ball State University.
“Having someone of Michael’s caliber step in immediately brings instant credibility to the program,” Hester said.
Sherer said that he is looking forward to leading the Red Wolves’ new tennis program. “I am very excited about being at IU East and helping each student-athlete develop to their potential athletically and as they proceed in life,” Sherer said. “There’s a strong commitment to athletics at IU East, and we can build a winning tradition here.”
IU East just completed its second year of competition in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (KIAC). Two sports – women’s volleyball and men’s basketball – finished second in the KIAC, both in the regular season and conference tournament. In 2008, the men’s golf team brought home the first conference championship in IU East history.
IU East started with three sports – men’s basketball, men’s golf, and women’s volleyball – in 2007-08. Last year, IU East added men’s and women’s cross country and women’s golf. Women’s golf will compete in its inaugural season in 2009-10.
“Our athletics program is not done growing,” Hester added. “We are going to continue to grow and will add more sports in the future. Our administration really sees the value of intercollegiate athletics and what it can bring our university and that makes IU East a wonderful place to be.”