Stakhovsky, Trkulja earn singles wins, but Penn State eliminated from tournament
Nittany Lions junior named to Second Team All-Big Ten
Nittany Lions are sixth seed in the tournament; Face Wolverines on Thursday
Nittany Lions earn fifth Big Ten win; begin conference tournament on Thursday
Nittany Lions win the doubles point, bottom three singles matches; Visit No. 66 Iowa on Sunday.
Paul Tobin enters his second season as an assistant coach for Penn State. Tobin joined the Nittany Lions with eight years of college coaching experience, including four seasons as the Head Men's and Women's Coach for Division I Saint Francis University. During his eight years in college coaching, Tobin has racked up 191 match career wins.
During the 2014 season, Tobin helped the Penn State men's tennis team complete an historic season, filled with numerous program records. The Nittany Lions finished their season ranked 24th in the ITA Poll, with a mark of 22-6 overall and 8-3 in the Big Ten. Penn State was ranked in the Top 25 for the seven consecutive weeks and in the Top 75 for fourteen straight weeks.
The Nittany Lions received a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history. They traveled to the Charlottesville Regional, where they knocked off No. 50 UNC Wilmington, 4-2, in the first round. Penn State advanced to the second round against No. 4 Virginia. The Nittany Lions won the doubles point with victories at No. 1 and No. 2.
Penn State made their ITA Poll debut this spring at No. 58 on February 4. The Nittany Lions matched their previous best ranking of 34 on February 25 and quickly topped that the next week, coming in at No. 31. They entered the Top 25 for the first time in school history on March 25 and reached as high as No. 16 on April 8 after defeating No. 10 Illinois and No. 28 Northwestern the previous weekend.
The Nittany Lions earned 20 wins this spring for the first time in program history, topping the previous program-high win total of 19, set in 1984. Penn State also set a new program record for Big Ten wins, bettering six wins in 2007 and 2008. Penn State set a new program mark for wins over ranked opponents with 11, topping the previous high total of 8 in 2008. Penn State also won five road matches against ranked opponents, also a program record.
In schedule order, Penn State knocked off No. 33 Virginia Tech, No. 33 VCU, No. 50 Princeton, No. 62 Central Florida, No. 44 Michigan, No. 10 Illinois, No. 28 Northwestern, No. 70 Wisconsin, No. 51 Minnesota, No. 63 Nebraska and No. 50 UNC Wilmington. Penn State also defeated St. John's, Michigan State and Iowa, all of whom have appeared in the Top 75 this spring. The Nittany Lions also finished the spring with a record of 15-0 at home.
Tobin was instrumental in the development of several key players.
Sophomore Leonard Stakhovsky ended the season ranked 45th in the ITA Poll with a record of 18-8 with eight wins against ranked opponents. Stakhovsky received the Big Ten Player of the Week Award three times this season. Stakhovsky was a unanimous First Team All-Big Ten selection. Stakhovsky was also selected for the NCAA Singles Championships, where he played Vanderbilt's Gonzales Austin in the first round. Senior Russell Bader went 21-7 this spring and 28-11 overall. He was ranked as high as 119 in the ITA Poll. Bader was named Second Team All-Big Ten.
One of the keys to Penn State's success in 2014 was their dominance in doubles as they won the doubles point in 24 of 28 matches. Bader and Stakhovsky reached as high as 23rd in the ITA Doubles Poll. They appeared in seven straight doubles polls. The duo went 19-7 this spring with six wins against ranked opponents, including an 8-6 victory against Ohio State's Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka, ranked 3rd in the ITA Poll. The duo was selected for the NCAA Doubles Championships. They reached the second round of the tournament after a straight-set win over Memphis' 13th-ranked David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury. Penn State's No. 2 doubles team, Michael Reilly and Chris Young, were ranked as high as 54th in the ITA Poll. They went 15-2 this spring with a 3-0 record against ranked opponents.
During the 2013 fall season at Penn State, Tobin helped the Nittany Lions achieve an unprecedented 77 individual singles match wins with duel wins over Indiana, Navy, Princeton, William & Mary, and Old Dominion. Tobin was instrumental in Penn State's 4-3 win over #28 ranked Harvard, coaching Matt Barry to a 3-set win over Harvard Andrew Ball. Tobin has helped coach six different PSU players to ITA regionals.
Prior to Penn State, Tobin successfully turned around the Division I Saint Francis University Men's and Women's programs into top teams in the Northeast conference. In less than four seasons with the Red Flash, Coach Tobin compiled 76 match wins and over 798 individual wins in singles and doubles. During his stay at Saint Francis, Tobin led both squads to three quarterfinal and two semifinal Northeast Conference appearances, the highest in school history. Both programs grew in rankings from 7th and 8th in the conference, when Tobin first started, to No. 3 by the end of his term.
The Red Flash women's team ended the season with a 13-5 record, setting the school mark for winning percentage (72.3) and matching the program mark for wins in a season. Saint Francis, aside from earning its highest seed ever, also advanced to its first semifinal appearance in program history with its win over Sacred Heart, a first in program history. Saint Francis men earned an 11-8 mark this season - its best dual match record since the 2000-01's team's 14-7 showing.
In 2013, the women's program finished an historic year, picking up 13 wins and a .600 record, the largest increase in Red Flash history. SFU Players Washi Gervais and Sergio Carvajal were named to the NEC All-Conference Team, a first in Saint Francis history. Both players picked up NEC Rookie of the Year awards as freshmen. In 2013 the Red Flash women's team clinched the Northeast Conference Team Sportsmanship Award.
A strong dedication to recruiting and a commitment to high-level training methods helped Tobin maximize the talent of his players. In his first season with the Red Flash program, Tobin signed an impressive recruiting class that helped jumpstart the program. In less than four seasons, Tobin successfully recruited over 17 US and international student athletes representing top rankings in the US and abroad.
SFU athletes also brought their winning work ethics into the classroom. During Tobin's tenure, his players held stellar academic records with an overall GPA of 3.4. Twelve members of his squad made Honor Roll. In 2011, the men's tennis program was recognized by the NCAA for its high academic achievement, posting an APR score among the Top 10% in men's tennis. While at Saint Frances, he helped in raising over $12,000 for cancer research. In Feb of 2012, Coach Tobin was honored at an award ceremony hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center for his generous contribution and support.
Prior to Saint Francis, Tobin was the assistant coach for the 9th ranked men's and 19th ranked women's tennis teams at Division II Georgia College & State University. During his three seasons there, Coach Tobin helped the men's team compile a 51-18 record while the women went 42-19. The Bobcats also made NCAA Regional appearances in 2009, 2010 and 2011, winning the Peach Belt Conference in 2009. Both programs qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2010, advancing to the quarterfinals and semifinals in both years.
The 2009 season was one of the top years for the Bobcats. Tobin helped lead the men's squad to an 18-4 overall record with a perfect 7-0 mark in conference play for the first PBC Men's Tennis Championship in school history. A major highlight of the season came when Georgia College defeated then-No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic during the regular season 5-4 and reached a school-record ranking of 4th in the nation.
During Tobin's Tenure at GA College, he was instrumental in developing five All-American singles players including Erick Siqueira, Justin Pickman, Jerome Leborgne, Johan Wadstein and Francis Yoshimoto as well as two All-American doubles teams of Pickman and Siqueira and Yoshimoto and Siqueira.
Coach Tobin has a reputation of being a skilled High Performance Coach. During his off-seasons, Tobin works at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York assisting in the USTA Player Development program and as a staff professional for the NTC advanced academy.
From 2005-2010, Tobin served as the Head Tennis Professional for the City of Macon, Georgia, JDS Tennis Center - one of the largest public facilities in the south. Tobin coached privately some of the best junior players in the south, with many going on to play high level collegiate tennis. His junior academy attracted many of the top players in South Georgia with high level training and conditioning programs. Tobin assisted in running regional and local USTA tournaments, many of which were gateways to national tournaments.
In addition, Tobin has had coaching assignments at Port Washington Tennis Academy, Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, IMG Bollettieri, Roslyn Racquet Club, Syosset Tennis Academy, Weston Tennis Center, Canongate Country Club, City of Fort Lauderdale, Holiday Park, Delray Beach Tennis Center and Gerulaitis Tennis Academy. Coach Tobin has also worked with University of Georgia Head Coach Manny Diaz and ATP tour player John Isner, as their director of on-court drilling for their summer tennis programs. Tobin also spent time as a travelling professional for Tennis Europe, a program designed to train junior tennis teams traveling throughout Europe competing in ITF tournaments.
Tobin holds the highest levels of certification, receiving a P-1 rating from USPTA, Professional rating from PTR and is one of only 155 USTA High Performance Coaches in the United States. He also holds a Level 3 Certification from the International Tennis Federation.
In 2011, Tobin was named the Northeast Representative for the ITA Operating Committee. The operating committee works with the NCAA and USTA helping to oversee and regulate tennis policies for Division I men's and women's tennis. Coach Tobin was chosen from a pool of candidates, all representing Division 1 programs in the northeast.
In addition to his accomplishments in coaching, Tobin is also the developer of SlingHopper Drill Bags - a worldwide tennis-teaching product endorsed by legendary coaches Nick Bollettieri and Brad Gilbert, who serve as the company's spokespersons. The product has become widely used in the coaching community and can be found on the practice courts at many Grand Slam events. In 2007, SlingHopper partnered up with Gamma Sports to become their exclusives distributors. Tobin was also a successful business franchise owner. During his years in Florida, Tobin built three UPS Store franchises, all becoming top revenue producing stores.
As a collegiate player, Tobin competed at the Division 1 level for top NEC ranked Quinnipiac University and the University of Maryland. Tobin, who was named captain, played #1 singles and doubles for the Bobcats and posted a .700 record in regular season play. Tobin made two NCAA singles appearances.
A Long Island, N.Y. native, Tobin received his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and a Master's degree in Athletic Administration and Coaching from Concordia University. He currently lives in Hollidaysburg, PA with his wife and three children, Alea, Zachary and William.