Hampden-Sydney Director of Athletics Chad Eisele has announced the hiring of Byron Balkin as the program's new tennis coach. Balkin comes from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he served as the Warhawks' top assistant for the last four seasons.
"We could not be more excited for our tennis program," said Eisele. "Our team has taken great strides in the recent years, and we are confident that Coach Balkin, with his strong background as a successful player and coach at the Division III level, will help elevate our program even further."
Balkin has been coaching both men's and women's tennis at UW-Whitewater since 2014, and in his time with the Warhawks, he has helped guide the programs to eight NCAA Tennis Tournaments and four Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championships.
"I am extremely excited and humbled to be a part of Hampden-Sydney College as the head tennis coach," Balkin stated. "I could tell right away from my visit to campus that Hampden-Sydney is a unique place where its students, faculty, staff, and alumni have an immense amount of passion and pride in being Tigers. I cannot thank enough Director of Athletics Chad Eisele for this new opportunity to develop this group of young men."
In addition to the team success, Balkin has helped coach 20 individual men's and women's tennis All-Americans. In 2016, he was named the Wilson/ITA Women's Tennis National Assistant Coach of the Year in addition to being named the Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year for both men and women. That season, Balkin helped both the men's and women's teams advance to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 while three singles players and one women's doubles team qualified for the NCAA Individual Tournament.
As a player, Balkin saw much success for the Warhawks from 2010-14. He is the all-time winningest Warkhawk, compiling over 170 career singles and doubles victories while also earning All-America doubles honors with three different partners. He helped the team to four NCAA Tournament appearances, advancing as far as the Round of 16. Individually, he won the ITA regional doubles tournament and advanced to ITA National Championships in 2012 and 2013. In 2011 and 2014, he advanced to the NCAA individual doubles championships.
He is a 2014 graduate of UW-Whitewater, where he was a member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll and was recognized nationally as an ITA Academic Scholar-Athlete. Balkin also holds a Master's of Science in Higher Education Leadership with an emphasis in Athletic Administration.
What Coaches Are Saying About Coach Balkin
"Coach Balkin has been a big part of the Warhawk tennis teams' success over the past nine years as an All-American player and nationally recognized Coach. He is a tireless worker, mature beyond his years, and truly one of the stars on the rise in the tennis industry. His tactical and technical knowledge of the game has helped in the tutelage of multiple All-American players. He has also helped lead the men's and women's teams at UW-Whitewater conference dominance. The women's team just extended their streak to 91 straight conference dual match wins and to 12 consecutive conference titles this past week. Coach Balkin also understands the balance of academics and athletics needed to succeed in the landscape of Division III athletics. We wish Coach Balkin the best, but he will be greatly missed!" – Frank Barnes, Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
"It has been a pleasure getting to know Byron as both a player and coach. He was an outstanding collegiate competitor, and he has been a tremendous assistant coach. He is well respected among our coaching colleagues both regionally and nationally. Coach Barnes and the program at UW-Whitewater have clearly prepared him very well for his first head coaching position, and Coach Balkin will be an excellent head coach. He is passionate, industrious, well respected, has a great mind for the game, and a great demeanor for working with and bringing out the best in the student-athletes under his supervision. We are grateful for the special competitions and experiences we have shared with him over the years. We wish him all the best in his next chapter at Hampden-Sydney where he will certainly do great things." – Tommy Valentini, Head Men's Tennis Coach, Gustavus Adolphus College
"Congratulations to Chad Eisele and Hampden-Sydney College on their hiring of Byron Balkin. I coached against Coach Balkin both when he played and as an assistant coach. Always a 'tough out' no matter his role! He served Coach Barnes and Wisconsin-Whitewater well, and I have no doubt his H-SC teams will compete with skill, intelligence, and heart - just as he did. Hampden-Sydney got a good one, and the ODAC will be the better for his presence." – Eric Rodgers, Head Men's Tennis Coach, Coe College
"Byron is a graduate of our Athletic Administration graduate program. He is a top-notch person, well-versed coach, and talented fundraiser. He is well respected among his peers and student-athletes. I am thrilled to continue to follow his successful career path!" – Kristina Navarro, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships, Rutgers University