LEWISTON, Maine – Bates College head tennis coach Paul Gastonguay '89 joined radio station Z105.5 this morning to discuss his program in the fifth interview of an athletic department member on the station in the last three weeks.
Gastonguay sat down with host Matty Boutwell on "The Breakfast Club" program on the Pulse of L/A Z105.5 which broadcasts from Center Street in Auburn, Maine. The leader of both the men's and women's teams at Bates, Gastonguay touched on a number of topics from his background as a Lewiston High School and Bates graduate to developing national champions over his 18 years as a coach at Bates.
"My goal when I got here was to have a nationally prominent program and to challenge for a national championship. Up to that point we had had two All-Americans, myself and Buddy Schultz before me," Gastonguay said. "Since 2003, we've had 22 All-America honors."
In the last decade, Gastonguay has helped mentor national champions in both singles – Will Boe-Wiegaard '06 in 2006 – and in doubles – Ben Stein '09 and Amrit Rupasinghe '10 in 2009. Last month, the tandem of Timmy Berg '14 and Pierre Planche '15 advanced to the championship match of the NCAA Doubles Championships.
"There's nothing more rewarding than that – to develop players that really have a passion to work hard, to train, to be the best they can be, and to see them fulfill that dream of reaching that NCAA Championship because it's really difficult," Gastonguay said.
Other highlights from the interview included:
- Gastonguay's background growing up in Lewiston and playing at Bates and professionally
- His focus on developing players over time into competitors on the national level
- Experience of hosting the NCAA Championships in 2004 and 2008
- Recruiting which ranges from the international to local
- The draw of Bates' academics, facilities, and people
- Balancing coaching both the men's and women's programs
- Formatting practice to attend to individual and team needs
- His enjoyment of working and developing student-athletes
- Excitement for the 2014-15 seasons, including an influx of new players
- The program's mindset of using a daily approach to reach long-term goals
- Community outreach efforts including partnerships with Special Olympics and Team IMPACT
For more information on Z105.5's interviews with baseball head coach Mike Leonard, men's basketball head coach Jon Furbush, men's soccer head coach Stewart Flaherty, and athletic director Kevin McHugh, check out this aggregation of the quartet's time on the airwaves.