Tyler Johnston is the the Men’s and Women’s head tennis coach. Johnston is a Wilmington, Ohio native and was sports editor of his high school’s newspaper before heading to college at Ohio Dominican University. Johnston’s first job after ODU was at Vincennes University. In his first year as the men’s tennis coach, he helped the Trailblazers, who were ranked as the number 25 team in the preseason, to an end-of-season sixth place ranking. From there, Johnston moved on to Wright State University where he coached for two seasons before making the jump to be a Tiger.
This is Johnston’s second year as head coach for the men’s and women’s tennis teams. One of the things that Johnston enjoys about coaching at Witt is that he gets to coach both the teams whereas previously he was mainly the men’s coach and helped a little with the women’s team.
When discussing how Johnston enjoys being a Tiger he said that it’s the “best student athlete experience in Division III,” and that he “likes Wittenberg a lot.”
The tennis teams are working hard this season both on and off the court. Johnston loves “watching them improve in class and on the court.” The Tigers have raised their cumulative GPA as a team by a whole point.
He loves his athletes, they’re a “good group,” they “try hard” and are “fun to be around,” Johnston said.
Johnston discussed the progress of the Men’s team and said that they didn’t make it to conference last year, but they should absolutely make it this year. He is also hoping for the Women’s team to make it to conference like they did last year, and win at least two rounds this year.
When this season draws to a close, the team will be saying goodbye to a few seniors. There will be two players from the Men’s team that are graduating. However, they will be returning in the fall as graduate students and will be finishing out their eligibility next season.
“The seniors that are here are irreplaceable,” Johnston said. “They’re a big part of the change in the culture of the team.”
That being said, the team’s “future is bright” as they have five new Women’s recruits along with five new male recruits that will be starting at Witt in the fall.
On Wednesday, March 20, the men’s tennis team had their home opener and Johnston counted 38 student supporters. He said that he loves that the students come out to support the teams whenever they have matches.
One thing that Johnston is really happy with is the move from Carnegie to the 1929 offices, saying that its super nice. An added bonus is being closer to the facilities.
Johnston is also very thankful for his assistant coaches, Aby Madragal and Tyler Poe. The three of them round out the wonderful tennis coaching staff and are creating a winning culture.
In the coming weeks, the Men’s tennis team will be hitting the road. They have matches at Hanover College, the College of Wooster and Allegheny College before returning home to take on Denison University on Wednesday, April 10.
The Women’s tennis team has matches coming up against Hanover College, the College of Wooster, Allegheny College and Oberlin College before having their home opener against Denison University on Tuesday, April 9.