New coach puts his stamp on recruiting

For head coach Patrick Sullivan, the University recruits itself.

After picking up the sixth-ranked recruiting class in the nation, the chance to play on a nationally-ranked tennis team is hard to pass up.

“We have had a really great start to the season, getting our first national ranking since 2006, and things are really looking up for us,” Sullivan said.

“It’s exciting to have a great foundation of high-character individuals that really do want to be great.”

Sullivan said he is looking at work ethic, attitude and talent. Sullivan focuses on the positive environment he can offer the players more than what the players have to offer UH.

“Recruiting is about building relationships. I work hard to really get to know recruits and am very honest about what we have to offer and what we’re looking for,” Sullivan said. “I try hard to meet and to get to know their families and try to relieve their fears about sending their 18-year-old daughters far away from home. I try to give our current players the best experience they can on and off the tennis court.”

He also works to maintain these relationships, and he said coaches who aren’t looking to build lifelong relationships are doing a disservice to their players. He said he believes maintaining these relationships is also good for the students because student-athletes will share their experiences with others on and off the court.

“I try to remember the reason why we’re here; to give these kids a good platform in life and to make them the ones that go out into the world and do great things. It’s a really rewarding part of the job,” Sullivan said.

This is Sullivan’s fourth time to take over a tennis program. This is the first time he has found a truly incredible group of girls with a great attitude and work ethic, he said.

Sullivan, who has a law degree, said coaching and recruiting is better than the alternative.

“I meant to practice law, but I got into this by accident, and I love it,” Sullivan said. “I try to remember days like today: It’s an awesome day, and I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt and this is my job. I could be stuck in a courtroom, in a suit, dealing with bad people; but I’m here with great people.”

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