By Bill Tamburrino
There is a new tennis coach in Ramona, but he is not new to coaching or to Ramona.
Matt McCormick briefly attended Ramona High School while he was a student at the World Tennis Academy where he was a classmate of Doug and Greg Failla. He will return to Ramona High School as the Bulldog girls tennis coach, replacing Doug Failla who resigned at the end of last school year.
McCormick has coached tennis at Helix and La Costa Canyon high schools and Gompers Preparatory Academy. His cross country team at Holtville came in second in the CIF Southern Section.
“My dad (Mike) was an avid cross country runner and he played tennis. He actually coached cross country at Ramona High School with Dave Wilson. He got me started in both sports,” said McCormick.
The new RHS coach started playing tennis when he was 7 years old and had a stellar high school career. He won the Moore League doubles title as a sophomore at Long Beach Wilson High School. He played No. 1 singles and doubles at Golden West College and graduated from the University of California. He made the final round of tryouts for the 1984 Olympic team.
McCormick is working on a Masters degree and teaching credential at the University of Southern California. He is a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association and has taught private lessons at several different venues.
When asked his coaching philosophy, McCormick said, “Championships are won with hard work and practice. Strategy is the foundation of success. There are times when a hard-working, dedicated player can beat a more talented player by implementing a strategically sound game plan. Geometry is very important. The player has to know how to get the ball to go where it has to go to give the player the best chance to win.”
McCormick said his most rewarding experience as a coach will be “being the coach at Ramona High School. Ramona has the most disciplined talent and hard workers that I have ever started with. The athletes are dedicated and have had a great summer. I have loaded the non-league schedule with some of the best programs in Southern California, teams like Harvard Westlake and Corona Del Mar, and the best teams we could schedule in San Diego.”
When asked if girls can still come out for the team, McCormick was quick to answer, “Yes! I love teaching and coaching athletes that are new to the sport of tennis. Soccer and softball athletes and other skill sport athletes can bring the skills from those sports and be successful in tennis. We can coach them up in a hurry. Coach (Doug) Failla definitely left the shelf full and established a fine program.”
McCormick is the director of tennis at Riviera Oaks Resort and Racquet Club.