May 22, 2009

Courtesy of Washington-St. Louis Athletics

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Washington University in St. Louis head men’s tennis coach Roger Follmer has been named the 2009 Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year, as announced by the association. Follmer earns the award for the second time in his career, also winning national Coach of the Year honors following the 2006 season.
The Washington University men’s tennis team completed one of the best seasons in school history with a fourth-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Division III Championship in Claremont, Calif. The Bears set a new Washington U. single-season record for wins with a 22-4 overall record, and they posted a school-record 19-match winning streak that lasted from March 11 through May 20. Washington University also captured its first University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship with a 5-4 win over Emory University on April 17, in Atlanta, Ga.
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Washington University,” Follmer said. “Our team accomplished a lot this year and I was very happy that we were able to win our first UAA Championship, especially for the six seniors who also were a part of the national championship team a year ago.”
As the 2009 ITA Central Region Coach of the Year, Follmer was eligible for National Coach of the Year consideration, where the ITA national committee votes on each of the four region winners taking several factors into consideration, including team success and sportsmanship.
“I am always happy to see my team compete with class, with the ability to be gracious in victory and defeat,” Follmer added. “To be able to win the UAA title and represent Washington University in such an outstanding manner is something we strived for as a team, and I hope that played a factor in my peer’s decision to select me for this award.”  
Under Follmer’s tutelage, senior Charlie Cutler set a new Washington University record for career victories in the Bears’ 5-0 win over DePauw University in the 2009 NCAA Central Region Championship match on May 10. Cutler passed Ari Rosenthal (2002-06) for the school’s all-time wins record and currently has an overall win-loss record of 183-67 (.732).
Additionally, WU had three student-athletes qualify for the 2009 NCAA Division III Individual Championships, Cutler and junior John Watts in singles play, and Cutler and senior Chris Hoeland in doubles.
In eight years at the helm of the Washington U. men’s tennis program Follmer has posted an overall record of 135-44 (.754) and has established Washington University as one of the premier men’s tennis programs in Division III. He has led the Red and Green to eight-straight NCAA Tournaments and has advanced to at least the NCAA quarterfinal round in five of those seasons, winning the school’s first NCAA men’s tennis championship in 2008.
Follmer, a 1991 graduate of Lindbergh High School in St. Louis, Mo., and a two-year tennis letterman at Purdue University, was named the head coach of the World Team Tennis St. Louis Aces on March 27.