Aug. 21, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. -
Patrick Fisher, a successful head and assistant collegiate coach with roots in the Mid-American Conference and Midwest, was named the new head men's tennis coach at Northern Illinois University, NIU Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher announced Friday.
Fisher, most recently served as the top assistant at Brigham Young University, brings six years of NCAA Division I coaching experience to NIU, including one season in the MAC. He began his career as an assistant coach at Western Michigan (2003-04), helping the Broncos capture the 2004 MAC Championship, along with an automatic bid into the NCAA Championships. In the MAC Championship match that season, WMU outlasted NIU, 4-3.
"Patrick Fisher is an excellent choice to lead our men's tennis program," said Compher. "His energy and passion for the job, local recruiting ties and familiarity with winning a Mid-American Conference championship program really stood out during the interview process. We would like to welcome the Fisher's to the Huskie family."
From 2004-06, the 31-year old Fisher served as both the head men's and women's tennis coach at Colgate University (Hamilton, N.Y.). Both squads advanced to the Patriot League Tournament semifinals in 2005 and 2006, while the men's team cracked the top-15 of the East Region rankings during the 2005 campaign.
Fisher's standout players at Colgate included Reed Hagmann and Jackie Couture, who were named Patriot League Players of the Year for men's and women's tennis, respectively, for the first time in program history. Fisher also coached Hagmann to the program's first individual national tennis ranking.
Fisher was excited about the opportunity to be a head coach again, and believes Northern Illinois has a great academic and athletic vision.
"I want to thank Jeff Compher, Glen Krupica (Deputy Director of Athletics) and the entire administration at Northern Illinois for providing me with this opportunity," said Fisher. "NIU's reputation speaks for itself. We have everything you could possibly offer a student-athlete, both academically and athletically, and I'm excited to get started."
Having spent one year coaching in the MAC, Fisher is looking forward to returning to a league that has been highly competitive in recent seasons.
"I am definitely familiar with the strength of the Mid-American Conference, having spent one pretty memorable year at Western Michigan," Fisher said. "There are three schools in the MAC that have been nationally-ranked in the past; Western Michigan, Ball State and Northern Illinois. That alone shows where this program has been in the past, and the potential for where it can go in the future. The MAC has had a tremendous amount of stability and competitiveness over the years. That's exciting for a coach."
Since 2007, the Chandler, Ariz., native has served as the top assistant coach at BYU. The Cougars finished the 2009 season ranked No. 49 in the country, the highest mark in more than five years. With BYU, Fisher was responsible for both national and international recruiting, the entire scheduling process, and devising team and individual practice sessions. Following the 2007-08 season, Fisher was named the Assistant Coach of the Year in the BYU Athletics Department.
In just six seasons, Fisher has coached 11 all-conference players in the MAC, Patriot League and Mountain West Conference. From 2002-03, he served as a teaching tennis professional at the Mid-Town Tennis Club in Chicago.
Fisher played collegiately at Ferris State (1997-2000) in Big Rapids, Mich. He was ranked among the individual top-25 in the NCAA Division II standings during his career, and the Bulldogs advanced to the "Sweet Sixteen" of the NCAA Championships in every campaign. He was named to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference All-Conference team in his final three seasons (1998, 1999 and 2000).
Fisher graduated from FSU in 2001 with a bachelor's of science in marketing and professional tennis management. Following his playing career, Fisher participated in professional satellite and the futures circuit in the United States, Mexico and Europe, from 1998-2001. He earned both his United States Tennis Association (USTA) certified professional tennis certificate, and USTA Level I Sports Science Certification, in 2001.
Fisher is married to the former Tegan Reist, and the couple has a ninth-month old son, Jack.