Cavalier Corner

June 2017

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JUNE 2017 ◆ 15 Now former Virginia men's tennis coach Brian Boland has watched his teams celebrate many championships and achievements in his time in Charlottesville. With 16 seasons as head coach behind him — in late March, he announced he was leaving UVA at the end of the season to become the head of men's tennis for the United States Tennis Association Player Development — Bo- land had a final tally of 453 career wins, four national crowns, six Intercolle- giate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor championships, 12 ACC Tournament titles and 13 ACC regular-season championships. The coach, though, never took his teams' success for granted and always appreciated the efforts on his players. "You never get tired of seeing a bunch of young men working so hard, do- ing things the right way, making really hard decisions throughout the course of an academic year," Boland said. "It takes an enormous amount of discipline while being college student-athletes, and then having the satisfaction of doing something special together." Boland has always allowed his teams to fully enjoy the moment after win- ning a championship, normally watching through his sunglasses. From 2001-17, those eyes have seen quite the show, and this year was no different, with the Cavaliers winning their fourth national title in the last five years. And at the end of this one, Boland let everything go in the final celebration, roaring, "How 'bout those Hoos?" in the embrace of fourth-year Thai-Son Kwiatkowski. "There's no hidden formula for what it takes to be successful," Boland said of his players. "You have to have a ton of discipline, an incredible amount of grace about you as well as the ability to be a team person within this program." That successful prescription means nothing without that breed of players, and Boland has been fortunate to have a number of them. Forty-two All-Americans and three NCAA singles champions have been under Boland's watchful eye, with many of them having taken part in his 140-match, decade-long wining streak against ACC opponents. That streak rests as the longest of any sport in the conference's history. The numbers are undeniably staggering. The winning is incomprehensible, and the consistency of excellence is unmatched. But none of those tell the full story for the native Minnesotan. It has been the players themselves who have provided the greatest form of satisfaction for Boland. "I love my players," the 2006 and 2016 ACC Coach of the Year said. "I love servicing these players. I love working with these players and watching them develop over time through the program as people and players, which go hand in hand. It's the love of my players." That love is reciprocated. "He's helped me tremendously as a person," fourth-year Luca Corinteli said. "I think, obviously, as a tennis player, he's helped all of us, but the impact he's had on me and all of the players who have come through the program is something we're all extremely grateful for. … "We all know he is going to take care of American tennis the way he has taken care of us, and we're all excited for him." Boland's talents will be put to good use in his next role. "It's a big opportunity of a lifetime to impact American tennis. It's some- thing I've always dreamed about and have wanted an opportunity to do when the time was right," he said. "I was really excited about a new chal- lenge at this point in my life. I believe I'm ready for it and spent a lot of years preparing for it." Boland will be a tough act to follow, so that is why the program chose someone close to home — former UVA associate head coach Andres Pedroso (2010-14) — to become the director of tennis and head men's tennis coach for the Wahoos. The keys to the dynasty have been left in his hands, and the ever-optimistic Boland thinks the school made a good choice. "The University of Virginia could not be placing this program in better hands than with Andres Pedroso," he said. "Andres understands our culture, and he played a significant role in getting our program over the top to win repeated national championships. "Virginia tennis has a bright future. They're going to be just fine, and the program is going to be successful for many years to come." — Cameron Ross BRIAN BOLAND GOES OUT ON TOP In 16 seasons at Virginia, Boland racked up 453 career wins, four national crowns, six ITA National Team Indoor championships, 12 ACC Tournament titles and 13 ACC regular-season championships. PHOTO BY MATT RILEY/COURTESY UVA

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