Marquette Wire

New coach makes plans for improvement

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This will be Rodecap's second head coaching position. For the past four years Rodecap had coached at Northern Illinois, compiling an overall record of 51-46 and taking the Huskies to the finals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Prior to his head coaching debut at NIU, Rodecap also worked at Texas Christian and Ball State as an assistant.

Rodecap said he was taken with the closeness of everyone at Marquette.

"Everyone on campus from the staff to the students had a family-like atmosphere with each other," he said. "The student-to-faculty relationship showed how much of a tight-knit group everyone is."

With the team owning an overall record of 3-14 last season, Rodecap will have some work to do, but he has clearly defined the goals for this season. They include working on player development, implementing structure and discipline, and stressing the team concept to the utmost. In addition, Rodecap wants to bring a high level of intensity to the team, beginning on the practice court.

"This year it is important to be playing at a high level of intensity all of the time," he said. "From the first moment of practice until the final point, our intensity level has to stay at a high point. Early key factors to our success will be built on how structured and disciplined we perform in practice. Our goal is to be better at the end of April than we were at the beginning of September."

In terms of success in the years to come, Rodecap wants to improve the strength of the team's schedule. Last season the team took on five ranked opponents and lost all five of those matches.

"Our goal is to be the best team in Wisconsin, the best team in the region, and then make it onto the national scene and become ranked nationally," Rodecap said.

Another major factor in a team's success is the recruiting that is done to bring in its players. Rodecap wants to build a team based on a healthy mix of players from the United States as well as international players.

"A major key to our recruiting will be the exposure given to the school with the basketball team's appearance in the Final Four last year," he said. "I want to get the best high school player from the state of Wisconsin each year, along with great players from the midwest region, and recruit the nation's top 100 as well."

Rodecap replaces David Staniford, who resigned and has moved on to become the director of tennis at Newberry College in South Carolina.

"Marquette has hired one of the top young coaches in the country," said Michael Center, who was Rodecap's supervisor at TCU and who is now the head tennis coach at Texas. "He will do great things at Marquette and for the Milwaukee-area tennis community."

Senior Raj Gil, who earned the team's MVP award last season, is also impressed with Rodecap's hiring.

"Coach Rodecap is the right man to turn the program around, bringing structure to the team," Gil said.

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