Arkansas Tech head tennis coach, Abby Davis, is approaching her twentieth anniversary on Tech’s campus since attending as an undergraduate.
During her time as head coach, the team has progressed in its ability to compete. Some of the improvements to the program became a turning point in her coaching career. One of the improvements that the tennis team received, 10 years ago, was the university tennis courts.
Before the courts were built, the team only had access to the city courts located off campus. Davis said this made it harder to recruit good tennis players.
“I would bring a recruit here and they would love the campus. Then, I would have to drive them through the town to show them where they would practice,” said Davis. “They would lose interest. It was harder to recruit back then. I would have to recruit athletes. Now I can recruit tennis players.”
According to the Arkansas Tech sports statistics, in 2009-10 the team won a total of 10 matches and in 2016-17 the team won a total of 16 matches. Davis explained the importance of having a facility that is kept in good order to maintain a decent team.
“More funding means the program gets better,” said Davis.
Recently, Davis was also given the title of senior woman administrator. This role allows her to represent the female voice in athletic administration. This made Davis even more of a role model for her players.
“She’s a very hard-worker,” said Julia Schoch, cinematography major from Portugal. She is out here every day on court just like us. She is like a mother to us but doesn’t take it soft on us.”
Her team also talked about how at home she makes them feel at Arkansas Tech.
“She really cares about us and she makes us feel like we have a home here,” said Megan Bell, communication major from Mexico.
Throughout high school, Davis played many sports but she didn’t realize how much tennis would change her life. Davis explained how her entire family plays tennis, which gave her exposure to the sport at a very young age. Davis said she loved other sports, but tennis is one that changed her life.
“Basketball was my biggest love, but tennis got me the scholarship for school,” said Davis. “The sport opened more doors for me.”
Although, Davis spends most of her time at the tennis courts or representing the women’s voice in sports administration, she explained how much she loves working on a college campus.
“I love coming to tech and being in the college atmosphere,” said Davis. “You will always have ups and downs with your job but I will never get tired of coming here.”