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Wally Norwich Assumes Role as Eastern Florida Women's Tennis Coach
June 30, 2014 - Wally Norwich is the new women's tennis head coach at Eastern Florida State College, Associate Vice President for Athletics Jeff Carr announced.
Norwich succeeds head coach Chuck Jacobs who resigned following the program's inaugural spring season.
"We are thrilled to add Wally to our staff as the new women's tennis coach," Carr said. "He has a strong background in the tennis world and we feel he will do an excellent job in moving our program to a national powerhouse in the near future.
"He will do an excellent job in every aspect of the game from coaching, recruiting and mentoring our players."
Norwich will work out of Eastern Florida's Melbourne Campus where a new eight-court tennis complex is being built with a target completion date of January 2015.
"We're anxious to get our own facility up and running," Norwich said. "It's going to be a great plus. We are going to have one of the best college facilities for tennis in the state.
"We're going to be very proud to have eight courts, all of them lighted," he said. "It's going to be a great addition to this college. There's going to be a lot of people who are going to want to play here because of our facilities and the coaching we have here."
Norwich will debut in the fall season which will consist mostly of scrimmages. Spring serves as the championship season.
Eastern Florida competes in the Florida College System Activities Association and finished the 2013 season with a 3-11 record.
The appointment brings Norwich full circle since he was the first All-America men's tennis player at Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida). Norwich won the state championship at BCC in 1972 and finished fourth in the national tournament the same year.
A native of Mesa, Arizona, Norwich moved with his family to Cocoa Beach, Florida as a young child. He graduated from Cocoa Beach High in 1970, played two seasons at BCC under coach Jerry Nicholson and played two years at Middle Tennessee State where he achieved All-Ohio Valley Conference status. He graduated in 1974.
Norwich is a USPTA certified teaching professional. He served as a teaching pro in Savannah, Georgia for 17 years where he ran the world's largest private club, The Landings on Skidaway Island.
He then moved to the Outback in Titusville, Florida and the Swiss Inn in Rockledge, Florida and later LaCita Country Club in Titusville.
He has coached many state, Southern, and nationally ranked juniors and has been involved with the Brevard County AAU Junior Olympic Teams and served on the Junior Competition council for the Florida Tennis Association. As a coach of nine Brevard Junior Olympic teams Norwich led two to a silver medal in 1997 at the National AAU Junior Olympics, and an 18 and under team to a gold medal.
Most recently Norwich was head boys and girls tennis coach at Merritt Island High, taking the boys to a regional title in 2012 and their first ever state tournament appearance where they finished seventh.
"It's awesome coming back to the college where I started my college tennis," Norwich said. "It means a lot to me for me to build a program here and to really see a program really develop."
To that end Norwich will apply a dual philosophy.
"My coaching philosophy is to work hard and have fun," he said. "I really feel like
you've got to have fun but we will work hard."
He also will stress conditioning.
"We will win matches because we are in better shape than the other team," Norwich said.
And by stressing that Eastern Florida will be a team.
"We have to get the players to understand that in order to be a team you have to concentrate on your slot but we need you to be a team person," Norwich said. "That's very important. We're all in this together and we need a team to win a match."
Norwich lives on Merritt Island with his wife Vicki, a 23-year EFSC mathematics associate professor, and son Stas and daughter Valeria.
Norwich will be assisted at Eastern Florida by longtime Brevard County teaching pro Mark Harrison who doubles as the tennis coach at Melbourne's Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy.