Fendick-McCain reminds Women's Tennis that there is "me" in team
Patty Fendick-McCain welcomed the opportunity to come to Texas last July because of the winning tradition that her predecessor as women's tennis coach, Jeff Moore, had established since the late 1970s.
"I also liked the idea of rearing a family in Austin," said Fendick-McCain, who is expecting a third singles player on her "home team" very soon.
"That's just so you know," she began, laughing, "that I'm not just some fat, washed-up middle-aged tennis player."
She and her husband, Scott McCain, a former ATP Tour player, have a doubles team (Keegan and Hayley) at home now.
UT liked the idea of having someone who was well aware of championship tradition lead the women's team.
As a player, Fendick-McCain captured two NCAA singles titles (in 1986 and 1987) and guided the Cardinal women to three NCAA team titles during her matriculation at Stanford. She also managed to graduate with a degree in philosophy.
Ironically, her first NCAA title was won in the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.
Following a successful pro career, Fendick-McCain went to the University of Washington and guided the Huskies to eight straight NCAA appearances -- twice making the final eight and the round of 16 four times.
Then came the call from Texas.
"We inherited everybody on the team obviously, but I think my reputation helped when I got here," Fendick-McCain said, with regard to the current players buying into what she wanted to do.
"What I had done in tennis, I think got their attention. Where we did get hurt was in recruiting with the timing of my arrival (she was hired on July 12). We were behind recruiting-wise."
Fendick-McCain is pleased with her team, which features three seniors and a pair of juniors. Thus, her comments about recruiting.
She characterized her team as over-achievers and acknowledged a hiccup -- a 7-0 loss to No. 2 Florida -- earlier this season.
"What we are playing for is the end of the year," Fendick-McCain said, candidly talking about the NCAA Tournament.
She indicated that one of the biggest learning curves this year has come with regard to her pushing a focus on individuality rather than the overall team goal.
Fendick-McCain said she wants the players to no longer have the attitude, "well if the team wins, it doesn't matter how my match comes out."
"I want them to go all-out in their match even if others are struggling," she said. "I have emphasized the individual because I think Texas should have more All-Americans.
"I want them to go all out, to have the mental toughness in their individual matches.
"That has been the biggest adjustment this year."