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April 17, 1987 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-17

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 17, 1987 , Page 9

1987 Men's




Eisner: Best'
The names Bo Schembechler and Bill Frieder come to mind when
mentioning successful Wolverine coaches, but neither is the most
successful at Michigan. That honor belongs to men's tennis coach Brian
Eisner, who has won an unprecedented 15 Big Ten titles and made 16
NCAA appearances in his 17 years as coach.
"I firmly believe that I am the best tennis coach in the United States. I
have told my team that time and time again," said Eisner. "In a way, they
are able to feed off my confidence. You have to believe that you are at a
certain level.
"In fact, it doesn't matter whether I am the best or
not, because I believe that I am the best. I believe I
am the best not just because of the championships
that I have won, but because I believe I know more
bout tennis than anyone. I believe I know more ,l
about how to get the best from my players, than
anyone. The important thing is that I truly believe
these things to be true."
Eisner's confidence has led to his amazing success.
By winning 78 percent overall and 92 percent in the
Big Ten, Michigan has become the team to beat in
the Midwest. Before Eisner came to Michigan, he
compiled four consecutive Mid-American titles at
EISNER BEGAN his playing career at
ichigan State in 1960, and before his college years
were over, he was runner-up in both the Big Ten
singles and doubles competition. He has since
completed his Ph.D. in kinesiology and motor
performance, but it is not his ability to deal with
mechanized objects that has led him to produce eight E
All-Americans in his tenure with Michigan, but
instead his ability to work with people.
"He is one of the best on-court coaches in the country," said senior Ed
Filer, who plays fourth singles. "He makes tennis more than just tennis.
PHe always insists that you can beat a certain opponent because your
personality is stronger than his."


the country

It is this type of "internal coaching" that Eisner believes is the new
and more effective way of coaching. Internal coaching stresses the mental
attitudes and emotions of a player rather than the exterior, physical
aspects of the game.
"I am not afraid to communicate with my players," said Eisner. "I
encourage them to say what they feel. That is what we are dealing with
here - feelings."
His caring attitude may seem to be somewhat false from an outsider's
point of view. But assistant coach Mark Mees does not agree.
"THE ONE thing that I have really noticed is
that the guy is one of the most optimistic and
positive people I've ever met in my life," said Mees.
"It is a great feeling to work for and play for someone
who is that optimistic. He brings out the best in
everybody that he is around."
The best, however, never has meant an NCAA
championship. In 1974, the Wolverines went 14-1 en
route to a third-place finish in the NCAA's, and in
1975, they amassed an 18-1 record and a fourth-place
finish in the NCAA's.
But Eisner's success is not limited to the
Michigan program. Several high-ranking junior
players such as U.S. Davis Cup member Aaron
Krickstein and current USC star Luke Jensen have
come under his tutelage and have gone on to receive
national publicity.
"I try to understand every one of the people who
come for coaching and their personality," said Eisner.
"I have to learn what it is going to take from a
personality standpoint to coach that person. Until you
Pr thoroughly understand the personality of that person,
you really cannot do the one-on-one coaching that is
imperative in this sport."
"You can tell that he loves what he is doing," added Mees. "He loves
working with people. The energy that he exudes carries over to everybody
around him. It's special. It's something I don't see a lot of people having
and that is why he is so successful."

Position: Second singles
Hometown: Avon, CT.
Immediate Tennis Goals: Big Ten Team
Championships, individual NCAA berth
Age Began Playing Tennis: 10
Junior Career: No. 12 boy's 18's, college No. 57
Favorite Part of Game: Forehand, serve
Dream Match: Finals of French Open
Most Admired Player: Bjorn Borg
Position: Third singles
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Future Goals: To be a real estate developer
Age Began Playing Tennis: 12
Junior Career: Top 50 national singles ranking
Favorite Part of Game: Serve
Dream Match: Winning Davis Cup for U.S.
Most Admired Player: Jimmy Connors
Position: Fourth singles
Hometown: South Bend, Ind.
Future Goals: To turn professional
Junior Career: 34 national singles ranking,
Weirdest Occurrence on Court: "Played doubles
with a Brazilian partner against another Brazilian.
o They got into a fight and match was cancelled. I
didn't understand a word so I just watched."
Most Admired Player: John McEnroe
Position: Fifth singles
Hometown: Ann Arbor
Future Goals: Go to medical school
Age Began Playing Tennis: Nine
Junior Career: Top 50 nationally, No.1 in
Favorite Part of Game: Serve
Most Admired Player: Arthur Ashe


Position: Six singles
Hometown: Keene, N.H.
Future Goals: Turn Professional then get M.B.A.
Age Began Playing Tennis: Eight
Junior Career: Top three in New England, top 25
Favorite Part of Game: change-over
Dream Match: To play any pro at Wimbledon on
center court
Most Admired Player: Bjorn Borg
Position: singles
Hometown: Toledo, Ohio_
future goals: To attend law school and go onto a
fruitful political career,
Age Began Playing Tennis: six
Junior Career: 22 in nation for 14 and under, Ohio
State runner-up, Western Closed 18 and under doubles ,
Weirdest Occurrence on Court: Fight and
eventual default of my opponent over a line call
Most Admired Player: Jimmy Connors
Position: Third doubles
Hometown: Eastchester, N.Y.
Future Goals: To play professional tennis
Age Began Playing Tennis: eight
Junior Career: No. 2 ETA, top 40 national
Favorite Part of Game: serve and volley
Most Admired Player: Adriana Pannata
Position: Third doubles
Hometown: Glencoe, II.
Future Goals: Turn professional and then go into
Age Began Playing Tennis: five
Junior Career: 50 national boy's 18's, won St.
Louis Junior Invitational for 18's
Favorite Part of Game: volleying.
Most Admired Player: John McEnroe

Tennis boasts successful

Since its start in 1940, the
Michigan men's tennis team has
been absolutely dominant over a
diverse selection of opponents.
Over the 47 years of its
existence, Michigan has compiled
over 700 wins and 29 Big Ten
titles, including 17 of the last 19
and 26 of the last 32. From the
years of 1968 to 1983, the
Wolverines captured 16 consecutive
conference titles.
With all of these team
accomplishments, there have been
many individual stars as well. One
of the most famous, Barry MacKay,
led the Wolverines to their only
NCAA Championship in 1957. In
that year, MacKay, a current
television commentator, captured
the singles title and placed second
in the doubles with partner Dick
UNTIL THE 1970s and the
emergence of Victor Amaya, many
considered MacKay to be the best
tennis player in Michigan history.
Amaya won Big Ten singles titles
in each of his three years at
Michigan ('73-'75) but turned pro
after his junior year, depriving him
of the opportunity to win an
NCAA singles championship.
Amaya and four-time All-Big
Ten Eric Friedler led Michigan to
third and fourth- place finishes in
the NCAAs in 1974 and 1975,

After Amaya left in 1975,
people began to wonder if anyone
could fill his shoes. Jeff Etterbeek
answered that question by
capturing All-Big Ten honors in
each of his four years at Michigan.
Etterbeek, in that time, won three
conference doubles championships
and one Big Ten singles
championship, while helping
Michigan to four Big Ten team
Mike Leach was the next NCAA
singles champion to come to Ann
Arbor. Leach, the two-time All-
American, captured the coveted title
in 1982 and went on later that year
to join Amaya on the pro circuit.
During his tenure at Michigan, he
also captured one Big Ten singles
and two doubles championships.
MARK MEES, the present
Michigan assistant coach, and
partner Tom Haney provided
Michigan fans with a Big Ten
doubles championship in 1983 and
then an NCAA appearance that
lasted until the quarterfinals. Both
of these All-Big Ten recipients
received All-American honors that
This year, coach Brian Eisner's
team sports a 20-2 record with a 14-
match win streak and a national
ranking of 17. After losing four-
time All-Big Ten performer Jim
Sharton to graduation, the team has
rebounded strongly to challenge for

the Big Ten title that they lost last
year to Minnesota.
Already this year, the
Wolverines have beaten the Golden
Gophers twice. The first time was
November 23 in Kohler, Wisconsin
at the Midwest Sectionals. The

place in p
7-2 score
showed d
this seas

nes won the match, 5-4.
SECOND meeting
the two powerhouses took
Ann Arbor on April 3. The
in favor of the Wolverines
the progress and ability of
on's team.

Hometown: Midland
Immediate Tennis Goals: To be Big Ten
Age Began Playing Tennis: Eight
Junior Career: No. 20 in Westerns
Favorite Part of Game: Volley
Dream Match: To play John McEnroe
Most Admired Player: John McEnroe for his
style of play
Hometown:La Jolla, Calif.
Age Began Playing Tennis: 10
Junior Career: No. 14 in South California
Favorite Part of Game: backhand
Weirdest Occurrence on Court: Opponent
. 3' !'brought his childhood teddy bears on the court for
Dream Match : To play Ille Nastase
Most Admired Player: John McEnroe
Hometown: Holliswood, N.Y.
Age Began Playing Tennis: Seven
Junior Career: No. 18 in boy's 18's ETA
Dream Match: Playing in the Big Ten y
Championship finals, playing the deciding match for
the team championship
Most Admired Player: Jimmy Connors

Nagel: free-spirited tennis star

Laid-back, pessimistic, carefree,
and mellow are usually not the
words to describe a champion in
any field, but junior Ed Nagel has
managed to incorporate these
qualities into his lifestyle and
tennis game, and use them
positively to come out a winner.
1 Nagel has enjoyed a great
amount of success since picking up
a tennis racquet at the age of 11.
After a fruitful junior career in
which he reached the number eight
slot nationally, Nagel now enjoys
an equally rewarding collegiate
career. Currently, he is ranked ninth
in the country in singles and 36th
in doubles.
Often, when players achieve a
Ireat deal of success, they become
,._._,....c a --... T...1,.

happens I play."
Because of this outlook, Nagel
works harder and harder to improve,
using the qualities of his
personality to work to his
"Ed has an unbelievable attitude
for as good as he is," said teammate
and doubles partner Ed Filer. "He
takes the attitude that he has to
keep working and he gives respect
to everyone he plays. He never
takes them lightly. But even so, he
is very confident. He never thinks
he is going to lose."
Nagel's personality played a key
role in his transferring to Michigan
from Pepperdine. "I came to
Michigan because it has the best
program in the Midwest and I
wanted to come home," said the

rounded so people can't do too
much to hurt me. I'm good at
returning their best shots. I'm
flexible. I stay on the baseline but I
don't base my game on it."
Another admirable characteristic
Nagel readily exemplifies is
unselfishness. He likes to think of
the team first and then about
individual goals. Also, he always
tries to offer helpful advice to his
"Ed is more concerned about the
team than hinself," said team
captain John Royer. "He does
things that are more benificial to
the team and he always helps
people. He knows more about the
game than most coaches and he has
a lot to offer."
IN ADDITION to helpful

professional hockey career over a
tennis career.
Nagel finds several parallels
between his style of play in each
sport. "With hockey, it's like hands
and feet. It's being able to stop and
have balance and quickness and
being talented with moving the
puck around.," he explained.
"Playing hockey when I was
younger is probably where I got the
balance and quickness I use in
WHETHER HE picked it up
from hockey or not, Nagel's
movement represents the best
aspect of his game. He repeatedly
amazes even his teammates by
getting to everything. But this
talent did not come easily. Like
with the rest of his game, Nagel

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