Submitted by Daniel Jankowski
Assistant Sports Information Director, Union College
SCHENECTADY — Don Dudley, assistant coach for the past seven seasons, has been named interim head coach of the Union College women’s and men’s tennis programs. The announcement was made Friday by Director of Athletics Jim McLaughlin. Dudley has served as assistant coach for both tennis teams since 2007, working alongside former coach Mark Buddle, who resigned in July.
“I look forward to working with Don as he transitions to this new role,” said McLaughlin. “He has been a valuable asset to the team and the Department as an assistant over the past seven years and I’m confident that he will provide outstanding leadership for the programs.”
With Dudley on the coaching staff last season, the women’s and men’s programs achieved notable accomplishments. The Dutchwomen recorded their first winning season since 2000 and produced the first Liberty League selection (Natalia Pronchick) in program history. The Dutchmen earned a No. 6 seeding in the Liberty League Tournament and showcased an all-league performer (T.J. Moor) for the first time since 2005.
Dudley, who will begin his duties this week, has spent the past 33 years as a teaching professional, working at Sportstime Schenectady, the Schenectady Racquet Club and the Colonie Athletic Club. Dudley was a sectionally-ranked junior tennis player and continues to compete in USTA-sactioned tournaments.
Founder of the Dudley Tennis Academy, Don established the Dudley Tennis Foundation in September, 2011 to honor the memory of his son, Don Jr., who passed away a few years ago.
“I want to thank Jim McLaughlin (Director of Athletics) and Joanne Little (Senior Associate A.D.) for their faith and confidence in affording me this exciting opportunity,” said Dudley. “I’m humbled and grateful for the chance to work with two programs that have such great student-athletes. I share in the vision that the team members have for moving their programs forward. We’re going to work very hard together to try and make that happen.”
A Niskayuna native, Don and his wife Jennifer have five children: Brittany, Lindsey, Kaila, Becca and Dominic. The Dudleys reside in Burnt Hills.