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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    New women’s tennis assistant coach settles into Tucson

    The 25-year-old Ryan Stotland had always served as a student of the game during his collegiate tennis career at New Mexico and at the professional level on the Association of Tennis Professionals tennis tour.

    Now, a mere weeks after accepting an assistant coaching position with the Arizona women’s tennis program, Stotland finds himself still learning new aspects of the game and absorbing the standard coaching orientations.

    Stotland never realized how in-depth the training would be. Yesterday, the former New Mexico student assistant sat through a four-hour High Occupancy Vehicle training course to gain certification for driving the team passenger car.

    “”I’ve been running around doing all kinds of stuff that I didn’t know came with the job description,”” Stotland said in a phone interview. “”It’s fun, though.””

    Amidst all the busy work and hectic training, Stotland was even in a bind to find a place to live.

    That is where UA head coach Vicky Maes helped her newly-hired assistant.

    “”I’ve been looking for a place to live and have been so busy that I actually live with her right now,”” Stotland said. “”We’ve been spending a lot of time together and it’s great.

    “”She helps me coach because she knows I’m very new with this,”” he added. “”It’s great to have someone that is mentoring me to this process.””

    Maes added in an e-mail: “”We are extremely happy with the energy and excitement that the group is showing. Both Ryan and I are having fun working together.

    “”We spend a lot of time on the court and this is paying off and will help us be prepared for the season,”” she said.

    Such close camaraderie extends far beyond the coaching staff. Already, Stotland feels like part of the team, despite not having known Maes personally prior to applying for the position.

    “”This year, this team is close and I feel like I’m a part of it already,”” Stotland said. “”It’s a great team atmosphere. I think it’s going to be easy to recruit kids here now because the atmosphere is very close and we get along great.””

    Stotland will fill the absence of former UA assistant coach Brian Ramirez, who left to pursue other career opportunities.

    After spending three years on the ATP Tour, Stotland applied to four universities for assistant coaching positions, and all four called back with interest.

    “”I had to make a tough decision between those schools,”” Stotland said. “”I thought this program was definitely on the rise because I did some research.””

    Maes enters the year with a larger roster than the 2007-08 season, an advantage that can certainly help in case of injuries or illnesses, something that last year’s squad also dealt with.

    During his senior year at New Mexico, Stotland played for a small team, and knows the advantages of numbers.

    “”After a marginal season last year, we have added three great freshmen who will have an immediate impact on the lineup, as well as on results,”” Maes said. “”We will be in a position to play with our line-up, a luxury we did not have last year due to the small team we had.””

    Added Stotland: “”Now we have the luxury of having somebody that can step in and play if somebody is hurt or sick.””

    While attending New Mexico from 2002-05, Stotland at one point reached the nation’s No. 3 ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s doubles rankings. He finished his career 86-38 (.694) overall in doubles and 74-38 (.661) overall in singles play.

    “”Ryan Stotland is a great addition to our program because he brings a fresh attitude and strong leadership to the court,”” Maes said. “”He is young and energetic, has great playing skills, and also brings with him a world of tennis knowledge.””

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