Mark Henry has provided stability for UC Riverside’s female tennis program over the last 20 years. His record and performance with the team are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to what this experienced coach has brought to the program with his leadership and keen-eye in the recruiting process. Coach Henry is leading a squad of veteran players who look to play smart ball and show improvement from last year to remain competitive in the Big West conference. Coach Henry found time to sit down with the Highlander staff for a candid interview.
Coach Henry reflected on the tough seasons he has had with Riverside and his resilient love for coaching here. “I still enjoy it, I’ve always enjoyed it. Just working with student athletes that want to be good, keeps me going more than anything,” Coach Henry stated. That response echoed the true character of the Highlander vision. His coaching career is inspired just as much by the hardworking students he coaches because they are inspired by the effort he puts in to prepare them for the season. Entering his 20th year, it appears that Coach Henry has no plans of stopping the development of young adults through sports, as his passion shines through.
Coach Henry has won many awards throughout his career, including two Division-II West Region Coach of the Year awards. He is dedicated not for accolades or awards, but because he wants to help the younger Highlander women grow as athletes.
When asked about his favorite part of being a coach, Coach Henry responded, “On the court part, getting to know the athletes, getting to know how they think, and again trying to help them achieve whatever it is that they want to achieve. So it is a lot of the on court tennis stuff, but it’s also getting to know them too.” Coach Henry stressed the importance of the one on one and team building during his interview and again echoed his sentiments in his response, showing his love for Tennis, but also his love for helping athletes achieve what they need to achieve at UC Riverside.
Coach Henry has an all-time record of 120 wins and 207 losses at UC Riverside, with outstanding seasons in 1997 and 1999, winning 21 matches combined. After a disappointing 2012 season, in which the Highlanders won just three matches and lost 15, Coach Henry hopes his team can improve to a winning record this season.