The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has announced that East Meadow, N.Y. native Lonnie Mitchel of SUNY Oneonta, long-time columnist for Long Island Tennis Magazine, has been selected as SUNYAC Coach of the Year for women's tennis. The honor comes after Mitchel led the Red Dragons to a third place finish at the recently completed SUNYAC Tournament.
"It's easy to be ‘The Coach of The Year’ when you have the right captain to lead us and the right players who buy into what we preach," Mitchel told the SUNY Oneonta Athletics Web site. "I'm humbled by this award because I know in my heart that the players on the roster, from top to bottom, are putting in the time, the hitting sessions and the workouts and writing a story about how we compete and how we represent ourselves. I thank the players and I thank SUNY Oneonta for allowing me the privilege to coach Red Dragon women's tennis."
Mitchel, who is currently in his fifth year as the coach of men's and women's tennis, is being honored for the first time with the top honor in the conference. The women just completed its fall season with a 6-7 record in dual matches, which included a 2-1 record in the SUNYAC East Division, which earned them the number two seed in the East for the conference tournament.
Mitchel is in the process of rebuilding his lineup after graduating numerous seniors over the past three years. This fall, the women's team has three new players in its starting lineup, including a pair of freshmen. All three players have had a major impact on the fall success playing at the number one, number three and number six spots in the singles lineup. Also, two freshmen are currently paired at the third doubles spot.
The Oneonta Red Dragons will resume play in March with its annual spring trip to Florida.