Tennis follows Gorman’s lead

Photo by Kayla Ebner

By Megan Julian | Herald Contributor

Head Coach Barry Gorman started playing tennis back in high school. He played for Hopedale High School in Massachusetts playing grades 7-12. He has been a part of collegiate athletics for 14 years. He began his college tennis career playing at Bridgewater State University in 2004.

A month after graduating in 2008, he was offered a part-time job coaching there. Gorman spent five years there, then a full-time job opened up at Roger Williams University. He applied and got the job.

“I have been here for five years. It has been so good, definitely a fun time,” Gorman said.

Gorman loved playing in college, particularly enjoying the atmosphere of college tennis, as well as college athletics in general. While he was in college, he was able to have experience with coaching at the high school level before becoming a college coach.

“It was really good to get that experience and some practice with coaching,” Gorman said. “Being lucky enough to have received my first coaching job right after graduating just really helped, it gave me such a good experience.”

Gorman coaches both the men’s and women’s tennis teams at RWU. With the regular season coming to an end, the playoffs are just beginning for the women’s team. Right now, they are the No. 3 seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) tournament.

“We have Nichols College and Endicott [College] who are right now, above us. We do have to step up our game in order to beat them, but they are definitely in reach for us,” Gorman said.

In order for the team to reach their goal of beating Nichols and Endicott, they will have to change a few things in order to win against each team. Coach Gorman is confident that the girls will succeed in making the necessary changes in order to beat their opponents.

For the last couple of years, RWU women’s tennis has been very steadily successful in qualifying for the All-CCC Team. The qualifications are based on each player’s performance and scores during the season. Gorman was proud to say that last year six of the women’s tennis players made it on the team.

Gorman and his players are confident with how their team has been playing and hope to excel within the CCC tournament in the oncoming weeks.

Gorman discussed how coaching the men’s and women’s teams are two very different things.

“You have to find those key things to focus on to make your team better,” Gorman said.

However, one thing that both teams have is a strong bond.

“Both teams just really enjoy the sport. Their team bonding has been absolutely awesome, which is so good because that really helps in tough situations and just knowing that you have a whole team—a family—behind you is a really great thing,” Gorman said.

Behind a great team bond is another great coach. Assistant coach of the men’s team, Nick Amrose, who has been alongside Gorman for four years now, had only great things to say about him.

“Coach Gorman is such a good coach because of his passion for the sport. He is always going to tennis conventions and thinking of new drills for practices. The quality he brings to the team and players is leadership and he is always available to discuss any problems that might be going on. Coach Gorman is very good at keeping everyone focused on the main goals at hand,” Amrose said.

Coach Gorman’s knowledge and strong passion for tennis are what have been the foundation behind all the success for both the men’s and women’s programs at RWU.

However, coach Gorman said the best thing about being a coach is getting to see his players achieve a goal that they have been chasing all season.

“That is a really great feeling for me,” Gorman said. “The best part is watching an athlete work hard for something and achieve it.”