After 30 years of coaching, men’s tennis coach Kinyon retires
By Kelly Hanen, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, May 4, 2010
After 30 years of coaching at Dartmouth, men’s tennis head coach Chuck Kinyon is hanging up his hat and retiring.
“It’s just been great, every one of those 30 years,” Kinyon said. “All 30 years, I would get up every morning always wanting to go to work and not many people can say that about what they do.”
Kinyon began his career at Dartmouth in 1980 as the head coach for the men’s squash team, while also assuming the role of assistant coach for the men’s tennis team. Three years later, he took over as the men’s head tennis coach, where he has remained for 27 years.
“Every time I walk out of the Boss Tennis Center, I can’t help but think it’s almost over,” Kinyon said. “I’m going to miss walking through that door. I’m going to miss seeing the players. I’m going to miss the day-to-day interaction with the players. All of it has certainly been a huge part of my life.”
Over his coaching career, Kinyon has accumulated a winning record of 279-268-1, winning two Ivy titles — one in 1993 and the second in 1997. He has also coached two Ivy League Players of the Year and 21 All- Ivy players.
Kinyon has also been awarded a myriad of coaching honors, including Coach of the Year for the New England region by the United Sates Professional Tennis Association and Region I Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. He served as chairman of the NCAA Region I Coaches Committee that helped incorporate modern technology at the college level. In 2003 he was inducted into the National Intercollegiate Squash Racquets Association Hall of Fame.
Despite his individual awards and accolades, Kinyon said that it was the special memories with the team that would serve as the highlights of his career. Two moments that stand out to him include the 1993 season, when the team was able to upset Harvard University to win Dartmouth’s first Ivy League title in a racquet sport, and winning the Ivy League title again in 1997.
Kinyon, however, said that the most important part of his career has been building relationships with his players.
“Chuck is a players’ coach,” Michael Laser ’12 said. “He has been in the coaching profession and at Dartmouth longer than I have been living, and likewise, he understands kids our age so well and what we go through at a school like Dartmouth.”
Senior player Dan Freeman ’10 echoed this sentiment, saying that Kinyon did much more than an everage coach.
“He was like a father to each of his teams over the years and taught hundreds of players and students the necessary tools for not only being a good tennis player, but a contributing member of society,” Freeman said.
At a reception this weekend for his retirement, many of Kinyon’s past players came to honor their coach and to give thanks for what he has done for them over the years.
“Seeing all the alums up last weekend and hearing what they had to say showed I’m not alone in this regard,” Laser said. “He is really a special person and has done so much for the college tennis and squash worlds.”
As a coach, Kinyon dedicated himself to his players and to the program. He was key in the creation of both the Boss Tennis Center and the squash courts in the Berry Sports Center, which have been lauded as some of the top facilities in the nation. To thank him for all he has done, a group of Kinyon’s past players made a donation in his honor that will result in the Varsity Tennis Suite in the Boss Tennis Center being named after the longtime tennis coach.
“I’m thrilled, humbled, all of those things,” Kinyon said. “As a person, you always love and hope that you are passing something on to the next generation. To be recognized in this way is touching for sure. One thing you always hope as a coach is that you are imparting your wisdom on the next generation and that’s how I viewed my job here. Certainly, I am a competitive person and I like winning, but the bottom line is what ways can I influence these guys to make them better people.”
The Big Green will be looking for a new coach in the offseason to take over the Dartmouth men’s tennis program. According to Kinyon, he would love to remain involved in the Dartmouth community and would offer help to anyone who steps into to his old position.
“I’m certainly going to be available to help with any phase of the program,” Kinyon said. “In terms of individual advice for the next coach: you’ve got to wear many hats in this job. You’ve got to be a recruiter, coach, fundraiser, surrogate parent. You’ve got a lot of hats to wear and you’ve got to wear them well.”