Posted October 7, 2015
The UW-River Falls women’s tennis team has a new coach this season who has brought change to the squad. Dan Stumpf was hired in early August when former coach Michele Bailey resigned in late June after two seasons with the Falcons, according to UWRFSports.com.
Stumpf is originally from Little Canada, Minnesota, where he played high school varsity tennis for four years. From there he went to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. After moving back to the area Stumpf took some time away from tennis until six years ago when he began his coaching career.
Currently he coaches the Hill-Murray High School boy’s tennis team and the North St. Paul girl’s tennis team in addition to the UW-River Falls women’s tennis team.
In an interview, Stumpf talked about his transition from coaching in high school to college.
“For me it’s been a great transition to be able to coach at that level having been a collegiate player myself,” he said. “At a collegiate level there’s a higher focus on the finer points of the game.”
Those finer points are exactly what he has worked on as his time as a coach so far.
According to Kelsey Hochberger, a senior on the team, Stumpf’s coaching style is making a huge difference because it’s not the same as the previous years.
“He’s having us do so much volley work that we needed so badly and that’s really helping,” she said. “His style of coaching is different but I like that.”
But it’s not just working on this season that Stumpf is concerned about, it’s about building a stronger program in general.
Hochberger pointed out that this season he has brought on three new players which help to build a bigger team. In the previous years the Falcons have only had a squad of seven or eight players, but this year there are 10 players. In fact, recruiting is something that Stumpf is looking forward to.
“Recruiting is going to be very exciting for me,” Stumpf said. “I’ve already been contacted by several high school players, and being connected still to the high school scene I understand how that arena works.”
With working of the fundamental skills and keeping an eye out for recruiting he’s hoping to move the team in a forward direction in terms of skill and wins.
“It’s been great getting to know the players and start to develop a program that I think has the potential to be, in time, very strong,” he said.
Hochberger also said she feels Stumpf would keep the program moving in the right direction.
“I think he’s going to be the key to the improvement of our team throughout the next however many years he’ll be here,” she said.
The Falcons are currently 0-6 overall, and 0-4 in conference. Their next match is set at home against UW-Stevens Point at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 10.