Former Radford men's tennis standout Sayer to become school's head coach
RADFORD, Va. -- The all-time winningest men's tennis player in Radford history is set to return to his alma mater when director of athletics Robert Lineburg announced the hiring of Martin Sayer as the head coach Thursday morning.
"We are thrilled Martin Sayer is returning to Radford as the head women's tennis coach," Lineburg said. "Martin is one of the most accomplished student-athletes to ever attend Radford and we are confident he will be an outstanding head coach. He is an excellent leader and teacher. His experience at RU will enable him to be able to recruit with tremendous passion for the university. We believe great days are ahead for RU women's tennis under Martin's direction."
During his one season with Virginia Tech's women's tennis team, Sayer was instrumental in guiding the Hokies to a 13-2 start. Just as he did as a player at Radford, Sayer helped the program climb to as high as 55th in the ITA national rankings following a seven-match win streak. In addition, Tech knocked off nationally ranked foes Minnesota, Boston College and Duke. The victory against the Blue Devils propelled the Hokies into the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship.
Prior to Tech, Sayer was an assistant coach for the Radford men's tennis program while working toward his MBA, which he earned in 2011. During his two seasons in the position, Radford claimed the 2010 Big South regular-season title and the 2011 Big South tournament title. Furthermore, Sayer assisted in the development of Ivan Salec, who earned bids to the 2010 and 2011 NCAA singles championships.
"I am proud and delighted to be back at Radford University to lead the women's tennis program," Sayer said. "I appreciate the confidence [president Penelope] Kyle and Robert Lineburg have shown in offering me this position. I can't wait to get on the court this semester with the ultimate goal of bringing a Big South Conference women's tennis championship to Radford University."
Over the course of his career, Sayer became one of Radford's and the Big South Conference's most prominent tennis players and individual athletes in school and conference history. Sayer achieved several accolades never accomplished before by any tennis player at RU.
A four-time Big South Player of the Year and the Mideast Region Rookie of the Year, Sayer compiled a 114-25 overall record in his four seasons at the No. 1 singles position -- including a 24-1 mark in league action. He was selected into the NCAA singles championship draw each of his four years, advancing to the round of 32 as a freshman and sophomore. In addition, he partnered with Zack Watson to earn the Highlanders' only bid to the NCAA doubles championship.
Sayer takes over a group that finished last season 7-16 overall and 3-6 in Big South competition. With the new season just around the corner, Sayer seems like he has a vision that will bring the success he enjoyed as a Highlander on the men's side over to the women's program.
"This is the start of a process that will involve hard work, belief, dedication and skill," Sayer said. "I look forward to the challenge."