VIRGINA BEACH -- After seeing four head coaches come and go in the past seven years, Virginia Wesleyan College may be closer to improved stability in the leadership role.
Darryl Cummings, a native of Virginia Beach and a highly regarded coach and recruiter in Virginia and beyond, has accepted the position of Director of Men's and Women's Tennis at VWC. He will also serve as an Assistant Sports Information Director.
Cummings was the Tennis Director and Head Coach at Division I Old Dominion University from 1992 through 2011 where he compiled a 563-353 dual match record. His impressive list of honors includes six Coach of the Year in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) where he was the only coach in the league to receive honor for both the men and the women in the same season.
"Bringing Darryl on board as our new Director of Tennis/Assistant Sports Information will have immediate impact on several levels," said VWC Athletics Director Joanne Renn, who announced Cummings' hiring. "His long time connection to the region and the Commonwealth, along with his expertise in evaluating and recruiting student-athletes should pay dividends as Virginia Wesleyan looks to build the tennis program to complement the strength of the athletic department."
VWC's men's tennis teams have been on a six-year streak of losing seasons. The Marlins' last winning mark was in 2007 when the team finished 13-5. The Marlin women enjoyed their last winning campaign in 2010 with a 10-9 mark.
Cummings, who has coached former players who play for World Team Tennis and who have represented their countries in Davis Cup, Federation Cup, and the Olympics, inherits a young Virginia Wesleyan men's team that has the potential to be one of the best in program history. The women's team will need more time however, as the ranks of seasoned players are thin.
At this point however, Cummings is ecstatic to be taking over the Virginia Wesleyan program.
"I am very thankful for the opportunity to be named Director of Men's and Women's Tennis at Virginia Wesleyan College," said Cummings. "President Greer (William), Dean Buckingham (David), Athletic Director Joanne Renn, and the committee are an extremely special group of professionals with whom to work and I am honored they selected me to join the team. My new colleagues in the athletic department are a great group that I felt connected with right away. Virginia Wesleyan is a unique environment and the Everett Tennis Center is one of the finest in the country. I look forward to growing the tennis program, along with competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference."
Cummings has coached a long list of sectional, national and world ranked players, including South African Izak van der Merwe and Israel's Tzipora Obziler who were both in the main draw of Wimbledon in 2008. It was one of the few times a male and female player from the same university were competing in the main draw of a Grand Slam. Obziler eventually reached a career-high singles world ranking of #75 and van der Merwe ranked 113th in singles in 2011.
Cummings also coached Brazil's Miguel Rosa, the 1995 CAA Player of the Year, and Israel's Nataly Cahana, a four-time CAA Player of the Year and four-time NCAA qualifier. Cahana is currently the assistant women's tennis coach at ODU. Rosa, named to the CAA's Silver Anniversary team, is a coach in the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program.
In addition to his coaching accomplishments, Cummings is also a successful businessman. He has been the owner of the Cape Henry Racquet Club located in Virginia Beach since 2009. In 2011 he founded the Darryl Cummings Collegiate Recruiting Service, which assists college tennis recruits interested in competing at all divisions of the NCAA and NAIA.
Cummings earned an associate's degree in business administration from Lees-McRae Junior College in 1984. He continued his education at ODU where earned a bachelor's degree in Arts and Letter in 1992 and a master's degree in sports management in 2003.
Cummings will see his Marlin men in action for the first time on Friday, Sept. 20, when they begin competition in the three-day Division I Georgetown University Invitational. The women compete the same weekend in the ITA Southeast Regional hosted by the University of Mary Washington.