After 30 years of coaching at Dartmouth, men’s tennis head coach Chuck Kinyon recently announced his plans to retire at the end of this season. As part of the Strategic Budget Reduction and Investment process, the College presented Kinyon with an offer to retire after the season.
“The College presented a very nice buyout package,” Kinyon said. “The plan was perfect for me. Personally, I would have liked to coach for a couple more years, but this is what makes the most sense for me and my family.”
Kinyon has compiled an overall record of 268-257-1 and earned two Ivy League titles over his 27 years as the men’s tennis head coach. He has coached 21 All-Ivy honorees and two Ivy League Players of the Year.
In his time here, Kinyon has transformed the team from an obscure group of players into a well-respected program in the East.
According to Kinyon, there are two moments over the past three decades that stand out most to him. The first came in 1989, when the Big Green tennis team defeated the Princeton Tigers, breaking a streak of 79 consecutive losses to the Tigers by Dartmouth racquet sports teams.
“After the match, I remember the first thing I did was call my predecessor [John Kenfield] to tell him we had just beaten Princeton.” Kinyon said. “We hated Princeton.”
The next memorable moment happened in 2000, when Kinyon saw the Alexis Boss Tennis Center and Alan D. Gordon Pavilion officially open, after heavy involvement in its design, fund raising and construction.
“Walking into the Boss Tennis Center for the first time was one of the most delightful and satisfying moments in my life,” Kinyon said. “This is probably the best indoor tennis facility for any college program in the whole country.”
In addition, upon his retirement, the Varsity Tennis Suite in the Boss Tennis Center will be renamed the Kinyon Varsity Tennis Suite.
Coaching tennis had not been Kinyon’s career aspiration until he volunteered to coach the freshmen tennis and soccer teams at Pennsylvania State University.
“I was a pretty good tennis player in college, but not great,” he said. “If not for my experience at Penn State, I probably would never have become a tennis coach.”
Kinyon then became the squash and tennis coordinator at Phillips Exeter Academy from 1975-1980 before being hired as the head coach for the Dartmouth men’s squash team. Three years later, he officially assumed his current position as the head tennis coach.
“[Kinyon] has done so much for the Dartmouth tennis program,” men’s tennis captain Curtis Roby ’11 said. “It is sad to see him leave because he is an inspiring coach and has become a father figure to all of us.”
Kinyon added that while coaching he has always aimed to have compassion for his players.
“I often tell people that I have two daughters and 200 sons,” Kinyon said. “Not everyone has the opportunity to meet so many great guys like I have. They have made it a very rewarding experience for me.”
In the last three seasons under Kinyon, the team has won only two matches against Ivy League opponents. Both Kinyon and his players are looking for a better outcome this upcoming season, Roby said.
“Chuck’s [pending] retirement has absolutely added motivation for this year’s team,” Roby said. “We want to do it for him and have a great season.”
When the season is over, Kinyon said that he would like to stay in the area and start playing tennis regularly again.
“I feel very privileged as a person to have coached here,” Kinyon said. “I am retiring, but I am not leaving.”