Penn ‘Geatz’ new head coach
New Quakers head coach brings high level of optimism to a deflated program
June 23, 2011, 1:52 am · Updated June 23, 2011, 12:00 am·
The Quakers men’s tennis team will get a fresh start in the coming season.
To follow the addition of a new tennis facility, Penn has brought in a new head coach in David Geatz, who was officially named the Albert G. Malloy Head Coach of Men’s Tennis last Thursday.
“[Penn] has a brand new facility going in and they have a very active group of Penn supporters who really care about the program,” Geatz said. “I looked at the team and all I saw was potential.”
In Geatz (pronounced like “gets”), the Quakers bring in a coach with a wealth of collegiate tennis experience.
Most recently, Geatz spent two years at Cornell, first as the men’s head coach in the 2008-09 season and then as the head coach of both the men’s and women’s tennis programs the following year. During those two years with the Big Red, Geatz led the men’s team to two second-place finishes, the best the program had ever finished up until that point. The Quakers hope that Geatz can bring about similar results for the Red and Blue.
“When you take a look at his resume, what jumps out at you is the success he has had at every one of his stops,” University of Pennsylvania’s Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky told Penn Athletics.
In addition to his success with Cornell, Geatz has won six Big Ten titles during his coaching tenure, five with the University of Minnesota and one with Ohio State University where he served as associate head coach.
Geatz has also received Big Ten Coach of the Year honors three times and was also named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year once during his 18 years with the Golden Gophers.
“We had some good teams in Minnesota,” Geatz said. “But the big thing is to get better each year.”
That’s the kind of talk the Quakers will want to hear.
Geatz receives a team that has struggled during the past few years. The Quakers have gone 1-6 in Ivy League play in each of the last three years and have not posted a winning Ivy season since the 2006-2007 season, when they went 4-3.
In particular, Penn has struggled in doubles play in recent years, a critical part of collegiate tennis and often a game-clincher.
The team also went through tumultuous times where relationships between coach and players appeared strained.
Fortunately for the Quakers, Geatz seems to have already put thought into these matters and is ready to start the process of reviving a once-flourishing program.
“Recruit well, teach them how to play great doubles and just come out and compete,” said Geatz when asked about what he hopes to bring to the team. “I’ve got some ideas about doubles and a system that’s worked pretty well.”
When asked about any final thoughts, Geatz once again returned to his initial optimistic outlook.
“Penn has just tremendous potential,” he said. “Anyone would be crazy to not be excited about the possibilities.”