Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Women’s tennis has grown under Mainz


Seventeen years ago, Jenny Mainz became the head coach of the Crimson Tide women’s tennis program. That was in 1997, and since then her coaching style and mentality have changed.

“I’ve grown a lot, and I think I’ve matured a lot as a coach,” Mainz said. “The way I would handle things five years ago is completely different than how I would handle it now. I think I’m a better coach now, and when I say that I mean because of experiences that I’ve had, learning from the players, learning from other coaches in the department, learning from assistant coaches and our men’s program.

“I think you learn so much from other people, watching them, taking the good and the bad. When you are surrounded by good, positive people that are champions, it’s a championship mentality. I think if you’re paying attention, you’re finding better ways to learn.”

(See also “Women’s tennis defeats Cavaliers in final match“)

Mainz coaches one of the most successful women’s tennis programs in Alabama history. Currently sitting at No. 14 in the rankings, Alabama has seen a lot of positive results because of Mainz.

But it wasn’t all success when Mainz first joined the Crimson Tide. Her first few seasons weren’t what she has come to expect from herself or her team.

Her first year with Alabama was a winless season, and her next two seasons weren’t any better. Those seasons are what she said keep her motivated to improve.

“We were last in the conference for four years,” Mainz said. “We were last, dead last. We were 0-21 my first year, my second year we won five matches, and my third year I won seven matches. So in three years I won 12 matches. Mal Moore was very supportive, stuck by me and believed in me, but he said, ‘You got to win in the SEC.’”

(See also “Tide women’s tennis team takes down Georgia State“)

Mainz said other conference schools laughed at Alabama and would tell them not to play. Being the team that no one wanted, Mainz made it her mission to rebuild the program.

Mainz is the only coach in Alabama history to take the Crimson Tide to the NCAA Championships 10 times, each time getting a little further than before. Mainz said she’s teaching her team to always improve a little bit every day.

Even though Mainz isn’t leaving Alabama any time soon, she’s already made a legacy. She said her career is centered on being a good example for her team.

“Do the right thing, be fair, be consistent. My whole career, my whole life, is to get the most out of them,” Mainz said. “If any of them left Alabama and said they didn’t have a good experience or they weren’t taught good values or I wasn’t a good example, it would kill me. The most important thing is the example I set to try to teach them that what you do does matter, that people are watching. … You make a difference every day. It’s empowering. I hope that my legacy is that, yeah I am a great coach, but more importantly that I was a great example.”

The Crimson Tide (8-2) hosts Mississippi State on Friday.

(See also “Women’s tennis team to welcome 4 players for 2013-14 season“)

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