A nine-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year (1994, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012) and a 2012 inductee into the WMU Athletics Hall of Fame, Western Michigan head coach Dave Morin has made the Broncos the gold standard in the Mid-American Conference over the course of 19 seasons, leading the team to 17 total MAC championships and 10 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Morin’s tenure has been highlighted by seven regular season MAC championships (1999, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011) and 10 MAC Tournament championships that led to NCAA Tournament appearances in 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. En route to those accomplishments, the Broncos have enjoyed the type of individual and team success often associated with Western Michigan’s proud tradition.
The only coach to win MAC Coach of the Year honors at two different schools, Morin is 368-219 (.623) as a collegiate head coach, with 326 of his wins coming at WMU. Morin’s teams have been especially dominant in the MAC with a 119-45 (.734) record in regular season and tournament play. The Broncos have gone undefeated in conference play five different times in Morin’s tenure (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011), and did not finish lower than third in the conference from 1997-2013. The Broncos have advanced to the MAC title match 13 times in his 19 seasons as head coach at WMU.
Morin has taken his team to the NCAA Tournament 10 times since the MAC Tournament champion began receiving an automatic bid in the 1999 season. Most recently, the Broncos won the 2013 MAC tournament as the second seed, with the added bonus that the Broncos were able to avenge a regular season loss to Buffalo along the way before beating the hosting Northern Illinois Huskies.
Individually, a total of 34 players have earned all-conference accolades during Morin’s tenure, including two First Team All-MAC selections at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. Morin’s list also features five MAC Newcomers of the Year, an ITA Region IV Freshman of the Year, and six MAC Players of the Year.
Morin’s teams haven’t blinked when facing some of the best in the region: the Broncos have won 31 matches against Big Ten opponents since 2000, with wins in 13 consecutive years and an impressive 29-12 mark between 2003-07. It was in that span that the Broncos achieved their highest national ranking in program history, reaching #37 during the 2006 season.
In the classroom, Western Michigan has been named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Team for 14 of the past 15 seasons. The program was one of 11 NCAA Division I teams to earn that honor in 1999 after posting a school record 3.69 team GPA. There also have been 30 players who have been named to the Academic All-MAC roster. WMU players have also earned academic accolades at the national level, including two-time Academic All-America honoree Jeff Brink.
The 2014-15 edition of the Bronco tennis team saw a pair of newcomers find near-unprecedented success. leading WMU to an 18-7 record overall and a second-place finish in the conference standings. Freshmen Jefta Kecic and Maik Steiner were both named First Team All-MAC selections, marking the first time two Broncos earned First Team honors in the same season and the first instance of even one Bronco winning First Team honors since Mohammed Dakki in 1999. The Broncos entered the national rankings for the first time since the 2010 season, reaching #68 in the ITA poll on Feb. 24.
Sophomore Matt Hamilton put together one of the more dominant seasons in Bronco tennis history in 2014-15, posting a 32-12 singles record to lead the team by a wide margin. Hamilton’s 32 singles wins tied Alejandro Staub and Jose Orozco for the fourth-highest single-season total in program history. His work in the classroom was also noticed, with Hamilton earning Capital One / CoSIDA Academic All-District honors after posting a cumulative 4.00 GPA in addition to his athletic success.
The 2013-14 Broncos saw senior Nadin Indre become the first Bronco to crack the individual ITA Rankings in a number of years, entering as the preseason 124th-ranked player in the nation. The senior earned his third straight First Team All-MAC selection, concluding a career that saw him post one of the best singles winning percentages under any player coached by Morin. Indre also won the Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship Award, given annually to the senior in the MAC who best exemplifies leadership and perseverance. He maintained an elite level of play over the course of the non-conference season as well, recording a 4-0 record against Big Ten No. 1 opponents.
WMU returned to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year and seventh time in eight years in 2013, winning eight out of 10 matches to close the regular season and clinch the second seed in the 2013 MAC Tournament. After an up and down start to the dual match season, the Broncos reeled off five straight wins, capped with a doubleheader sweep of Valparaiso and Youngstown State on Feb. 15. WMU weathered a four-match losing streak and proceeded to win eight straight matches from March 2 - 29, including a 4-3 win over #43 Michigan State and conference victories over Northern Illinois and Chicago State.
The Broncos defeated Toledo in the regular season finale to clinch the two-seed in the MAC Tournament, defeating Buffalo 4-2 in the opening round before stunning the hosting NIU Huskies 4-3 on their home court. The win clinched a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Broncos, who despite a solid effort fell to the #8 Kentucky Wildcats. Nadin Indre and Ross VanderPloeg were both honored at the conclusion of the season with All-MAC and Academic All-MAC honors, while VanderPloeg was also named the MAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Freshman Andrew Cahn was named to the MAC All-Tournament team.
The Broncos returned to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in seven years in 2012 after a late-season surge pushed them to the top of the mountain in the MAC. The Broncos won their final three regular season matches entering the conference tournament, and swept their way through the proceedings to take the tournament championship as the third seed. The Broncos avenged both of their regular season conference losses in the tournament, defeating the second-seeded Northern Illinois Huskies 4-3 in the semifinals before shutting out the regular season champion Buffalo Bulls 4-0 in the finals.
Sophomore Nadin Indre became the most decorated player in the MAC in 2011-12, earning Player of the Year, Tournament Most Outstanding Player, All-Tournament Team, First-Team All-MAC, and Academic All-MAC honors. Indre was joined in All-MAC and Academic All-MAC honors by Zeyad Montasser and Ross VanderPloeg, who were each named to the Second Team; Montasser was also a member of the All-Tournament team. Senior Pablo Olivarez finished his stellar collegiate career ranked 13th on the all-time wins list at WMU, and earned the conference Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship Award. Olivarez also had the special distinction of clinching the MAC championship for the Broncos, as his win over Buffalo’s Wojciech Starakiewicz sealed the win for the Broncos.
Morin was honored individually as well in 2011-12, earning his ninth MAC Coach of the Year award for leading the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament. In July 2012, it was announced that Morin would be inducted in the WMU Athletics Hall of Fame, joining women’s tennis coach Betsy Kuhle as the only active WMU coaches in the Hall of Fame.
The Broncos saw history unfold several times over the course of the 2011 season, with several individual players reaching program records in wins. Senior Michael Calderone, who was named the 2011 MAC Player of the Year, concluded his stellar career by setting Western Michigan records for career wins (216) and career singles wins (115). Meanwhile, teammate Casey Cullen became Western Michigan’s career record holder in doubles wins (111). Both players finished their seasons ranked in the top-10 in career wins at WMU (First and sixth, respectively), while classmate Kazuya Komada finished 13th overall with 175 wins.
The Broncos recorded their fifth undefeated conference season under Coach Morin, posted a 5-0 record and clinching the MAC regular season championship before falling to eventual tournament champion Ball State in the semifinals. Calderone and Komada were both named First-Team All-MAC, with Komada also winning the Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship Award. Cullen and doubles partner Pablo Olivarez were both named Second-Team All-MAC. Both Komada and Olivarez were recognized for their work in the classroom, earning Academic All-MAC honors.
The Broncos won three matches in three days as the No. 3 seed to win the 2010 MAC Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth year in a row and eighth time in school history under Morin. Western Michigan defeated No. 2 seed and tournament host Ball State, 4-2, in the semifinals and then vanquished undefeated regular season champion Buffalo, 4-0, in the finals. Junior Kazuya Komada was named MAC Tournament MVP, while junior Michael Calderone joined him on the all-tournament team. Calderone and Komada were both named First Team All-MAC for the second season in a row, while junior Casey Cullen and sophomore Pablo Olivarez earned their first career all-conference honors on the second team. All four players were also named Academic All-MAC.
The Broncos continued to maintain their superior position in the MAC in 2009 by earning a third consecutive undefeated MAC championship and fourth consecutive MAC Tournament title, advancing to play No. 13 Illinois in the program’s seventh NCAA Tournament. Morin was named Coach of the Year for the fourth year in a row after rallying the Broncos from 9-8 to 18-8 going into the NCAAs. Morin guided Kevin Hayward to MAC Player of the Year after finishing his career fifth all-time in wins (191). He was joined on the All-MAC First Team by Michael Calderone and Kazuya Komada, who also were on the Academic All-MAC Team with Casey Cullen.
The 2007-08 team was highlighted by earning the first NCAA Tournament point in team history against No. 16 Michigan. Hayward and Cullen defeated the No. 38 tandem in the country and then freshmen Calderone and Komada won, 9-8, to give the Broncos the early advantage, 1-0, in the Broncos’ third consecutive NCAA appearance and sixth overall.
The Broncos reached the NCAA Tournament by dispatching Ball State in the MAC Tournament finals and reaching 20 wins for only the eighth time in school history. WMU also went a perfect 5-0 in the regular season to set a new MAC record with its 20th MAC men’s tennis championship. During the year, Morin claimed his 200th victory with a 4-3 upset of No. 63 William & Mary (4/4).
The Broncos were led by four All-MAC players in Hayward, Alex Birchmeier, Kazuya Komada and MAC Tournament MVP Alejandro Staub, in addition to Birchmeier, Staub and Bryan Norville making the Academic All-MAC team.
Morin led the Broncos to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments for the first time in school history in 2007. He led WMU to an undefeated Mid-American Conference regular season championship, the 19th MAC regular season title in school history, and then guided WMU to its second consecutive MAC Tournament championship and fifth overall. The team finished the year ranked No. 54 in the country and No. 7 in the Midwest Region, while juniors Alex Birchmeier and Bryan Norville finished the year ranked No. 60 in the country in doubles. Morin also helped Tim Bradshaw and Brady Crosby qualify for the NCAA National Doubles Championship, the first WMU representatives in the event in three decades.
Four Broncos were named Academic All-MAC, three were named First Team All-MAC and one was named Second Team All-MAC as Morin was named MAC Coach of the Year for a sixth time. For a second straight season, Brady Crosby was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District IV Men’s At-Large First Team and Birchmeier made his first appearance on the prestigious team.
In 2006 Morin led the Broncos to a school record 25 wins on their way to a MAC Tournament championship and the fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.
The Broncos remained a consistent force in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Midwest Region by going 15-2, but they also proved to be a national force. WMU went 4-1 against the Big Ten, 2-0 against the Big East and 1-1 against the Big XII while accumulating a 7-5 record against nationally-ranked competition. Morin also helped lead WMU to a No. 37 national ranking, the highest in program history, while also winning his 200th career match as coach and passing legendary head coach Hap Sorensen for second place in wins at Western Michigan.
The Broncos placed four athletes on the MAC all-conference teams, with three on the first team and one on the second team. WMU also placed four players on the Academic All-MAC Team.
The 2004-05 season included a runner-up finish in the regular season and an appearance in the MAC Tournament championship match. For the first time in school history the Broncos had three players named First Team All-MAC and another was named to the second team. WMU finished with a 17-7 record, the eighth-consecutive year at .500 or better.
The 2003-04 Broncos claimed the MAC regular season and tournament championships and earned a spot in the NCAA’s for the third time in the last six seasons. The roster featured the MAC Player of the Year (Ravi Pathanjali) and Newcomer of the Year (Brady Crosby) and four student-athletes garnered all-league accolades.
The 2000-01 Broncos took second place in the MAC with a 4-1 record, but then stormed through the MAC Tournament to claim the program’s second NCAA Tournament berth. Fernando Garcia was named MAC Player of the Year and Ravi Pathanjali was named MAC Newcomer of the Year. Garcia was a First Team All-MAC honoree, while Pathanjali, Steve Pillon and Ryan Tomlinson were all named Second Team All-MAC.
In just his third year as head coach, Morin led the 1998-99 Broncos to 17 wins, the most since 1985, and MAC regular season and tournament championships. The Broncos’ MAC Tournament victory put them in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Western Michigan’s vaunted tennis history. Mohamed Dakki was named MAC Player of the Year and ITA Region IV Rookie of the Year, while Brink was named Academic All-America. Dakki was joined on the all-conference team by Garcia.
Morin arrived in Kalamazoo in 1996 after directing the program at fellow MAC member Bowling Green for five seasons. While with the Falcons, Morin guided the team to three third-place MAC finishes, the school’s highest finish in over a decade. For his efforts, he was awarded MAC Coach of the Year in 1994.
Prior to BGSU, Morin served as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, for one season.
The Broncos’ success on the court and in the classroom mirrors Morin’s own collegiate career at Minnesota. A team captain as a senior, he was a Big 10 singles champion in 1982 and was a member of the 1981 Big 10 championship team. Morin was a member of a championship doubles team at the 1981 National Amateur Championships in Fitchburg, Mass. He also beat the former No. 1 doubles team in the world, Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, during his junior season as a Gopher.
A native of White Bear Lake, Minn., he earned a pair of diplomas from Minnesota, graduating in 1984 with a business degree before completing the necessary course work in education two years later.
Morin and his wife, Gretchen, a former volleyball player at UM, reside in Portage, Mich. The Morins’ have two daughters, Kayla and Sophie.