Women’s tennis coach to retire after 16 years

by Andreea Georgescu
Contributing writer

Pat Mauldin has been the head coach of the women’s tennis team for 16 years, which represents one of the longest careers in Southeastern coaching staff. But this semester, Mauldin has decided to retire.

The men’s tennis coach, Shawn Hamil, will take over beginning Oct. 1.

Mauldin said she has wanted to retire for a couple of years but never felt that the time was right. She said Coach Hamil will be a great coach for the girls.

Even though she has been coaching for so many years, Mauldin remembers everything: how she started playing tennis, how she ended up being a coach and also events from the trips.

Maudlin said she started playing tennis when she was 30 because her children liked it, and then she started enjoying it as well. The fact that she had a tennis court in her backyard made her play more often, she added.

She was the tennis coach of Durant High School for five years before she accepted the coaching position at Southeastern. Mauldin quit the high school team because it was hard to coach men’s and women’s teams at the same time, she said.

Mauldin said she taught tennis classes when she first came to Southeastern but that students are no longer as interested in learning tennis so now the class is gone.

She likes kids and tennis, and that is the main reason she chose this job and why she has been doing it for so long. For Mauldin, being a tennis coach is the perfect job.

“People might say this is an easy job, but it is more than just go to the tennis courts and supervise practice every day,” Mauldin said. She explained that the team travels a lot and that she sometimes has to help the girls with their problems.

Mauldin said that she loves to travel, so she finds away matches to be more exciting than home events.

Once when the team went to play in Belton, Texas, the place where the team was supposed to stay was so unclean that Mauldin decided to leave without spending a single night. According to Mauldin, that was an interesting adventure even if it was not a pleasant one.

Masha Volokhova, who played on Mauldin’s team from January 2008 to December 2009, said that playing for Mauldin was a great experience.

Volokhova said Mauldin “was always supportive to all of us. Sometimes we would wonder why would she change the line up, but we kind of knew that all that was for the team’s benefit. I personally love her, and we are still in touch.”

Volokhova also added that playing on the same team with other international players was a fun experience for her.  Southeastern women’s tennis team currently has four international players.

A high point of Mauldin’s coaching career was 2007, when the team qualified for the Nationals. Mauldin said she is also proud of the 2011-2012 season when four girls on the team had a 4.0 GPA.

“I am leaving with a lot of good memories. I will still be supporting the ladies with their games, and I will be there if they need me,” said Mauldin.