Rocky Poulin Named Men's Tennis Head Coach
Rocky Poulin, a former Pacific Lutheran University men's tennis player who has coached and taught the sport for 23 years, has been named PLU men's tennis head coach.
Poulin, who served as a Lutes assistant coach during the 2011 season, takes over for Craig Hamilton, who earlier this year announced his retirement after serving 13 years as the program's head coach.
"Pacific Lutheran's tradition of outstanding men's tennis teams will continue under the guidance of Rocky Poulin," PLU athletic director Laurie Turner said in making the announcement. "He has been a part of that tradition for two decades since playing at PLU, and I am confident that with Rocky as head coach the program will continue to flourish."
"It is very humbling and a great honor to have the opportunity to lead PLU men's tennis," Poulin said. "Of course, I am inspired to continue to make Lute tennis one of the best tennis programs in the country. The coaches before me have built a program that is respected across the nation and I am honored to be following in their footsteps."
Poulin played his tennis for legendary PLU Hall of Fame coach Mike Benson, whose Lutes men's tennis teams won 24 Northwest Conference championships in 30 seasons. Hamilton led his PLU teams to four conference titles during his tenure.
"Nobody has higher expectations than I do," Poulin said. "We will look for talented, hard-working, self-motivated young men who want to learn what it means to be a good tennis player, but also a good person. I truly believe in creating an atmosphere around the program that is encouraging, positive and supportive.
"When my players leave this campus, I would like for them to really understand the whole process of their experience at PLU. I want them to understand that what happens during the course of a tennis match or a season is similar to life. These experiences will help them to be confident in their God-given abilities.
"We will work hard, respect the game, and each day we will get better at being a better person," he added.
Included in Poulin's 23 years of teaching and coaching tennis are stints as varsity and junior varsity coach at Puyallup and Emerald Ridge high schools. He also served assistant tennis professional at Gig Harbor Athletic Club, Fircrest Tennis Club and Yakima Tennis Club, tennis professional coach at Seattle Tennis Club, and assistant tennis summer coach at Boise State University. Poulin is a United States Professional Tennis Association certified coach.
A native of Selah, Wash., Poulin played on four consecutive conference championship teams (1992-95) while at Pacific Lutheran. He also made an appearance at the 1994 national tournament. Poulin played in three conference flighted singles finals while a Lute, winning at No. 5 singles in 1992 and 1994 after finishing second at No. 6 singles on 1993. He was a two-time conference doubles champion, winning at No. 2 with Jon Zepp in 1993 and at No. 3 with Bryant Green in 1994.
He earned a bachelor's degree in physical education with a health education minor from Pacific Lutheran in 1995. Poulin later earned a master's degree in educational technology from City University in Tacoma.
Poulin is a real estate agent in the area as well as a health and fitness teacher in the Puyallup School District. He and his wife, Shannon, have four children and are in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia.
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