Monday press conference: Greg Van Emburgh

New men's tennis coach discussed taking the UW job and the Badgers' 2005 team

Opening Statement

"It's been great for me. This is something I've worked for for, you know, coming from Kentucky for the last four years as the associate head coach there, and now being able to come into, you know, a great athletic environment like Wisconsin, it's been a great transition for me and I'm really excited about it...

"We have a nice base right now and I've been fortunate to add three new players to our roster starting this fall. And hopefully, you know, the more we go on as far as next year and the year after, we're looking to sign a couple of top recruits and hopefully keep the program going."

Greg, what was most appealing about this Wisconsin job when you were down in Kentucky? What did you like the most about this job?

"Well, I think, I think it really just offers things that I've been looking for. You know, when I took the position at Kentucky, this was one of my goals, is to kind of achieve a position like Wisconsin, and I think there's a few jobs out there that are kind of left unmarked and with unending potential, and I think that UW has that.

"And it was exciting for me when I saw the job post and, because this is an opportunity for me where I really feel like I can come in here and leave my mark in college tennis. And it's, you know, I was really fortunate about the opportunity and excited about it."

You often hear coaches here in the state saying you want to build a wall around the state and keep their recruits from those particular sports in-state. Do you have a good idea of what high school tennis might be like here in Wisconsin and if maybe some of those youngsters someday can help out the Badgers?

"You know, I think in the Midwest, I think there is a few that come out and obviously we always look at the in-state, the talent, and I think we have a few coming out for next year. And it's exciting to see. You know, to be competitive, you either need to go internationally or nationally and keep that going. But as far as myself and my staff, I feel like we're looking at the in-state kids and, you know, hopefully they can help us get better and get the program better."

Also, just expectations for your team this year and any individuals in particular that you're counting on?

"Well, I think, you know, I was fortunate to bring, one boy transferred with me from Kentucky and we acquired one from Furman and we actually signed one from Aruba. So it was kind of nice for me to have a base to kind of go into this, not only just having the team from last year, but also, you know, some new additions. I think it was really important.

"And it's nice. I think Jeremy Sonkin's preseason ranked 80, and he's probably going to hold the No. 1 position. And I think he's a guy we're really going to hope to kind of build a little tradition around. He's really excited about it and he's one of our team captains this year.

"So we have a young team and a young base, and, you know, mostly all sophomores. And it's exciting for me, you know, hard work and commitment, I think the guys are really ready and looking forward to this first event that we have coming up in the fall."

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