Sam Woods '11 has made such a positive impression in only his second year as assistant men's and women's tennis coach at Bates that head coach Paul Gastonguay '89 thought he deserved an award, and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association agrees. On Wednesday Woods was named the ITA Division III Northeast Region Men's Tennis Assistant Coach of the Year.
"Sam Woods embodies all the qualities of a head coach, and he takes ownership of every detail," said Gastonguay, who nominated Woods for the award. "The mark of a good assistant is someone who will take on tasks and projects without being told to do so, and that is what Sam does every day. He is a great sounding board and another set of eyes that are invaluable in both team practices and matches."
Gastonguay credits Woods' mentoring of the Bobcats from an inexperienced team with three first-years in the starting lineup, who were helping to replace two graduated All-Americans in Matt Bettles and Rob Crampton, into a team that registered wins over three ranked teams over the final two weeks of the season (Bowdoin, Tufts and Brandeis).
"Sam was deserving of nomination for this award last year, but I have always reserved doing so for my assistants until their second year with the program," Gastonguay said.