Former National Champion Selected To Lead Bulldog Tennis Programs

Alex Palladino The Ferris State University Athletics Department has appointed Alex Palladino as the school’s head men's and women's tennis coach in an announcement made today (Sept. 17) by FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic.

A United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Certified Tennis Professional, Palladino has worked as a tennis instructor in West Michigan for the last 20 years since his collegiate playing career ended in 1987. As part of a reorganization plan, he will take over both the men's and women's tennis positions in a joint role. The men's head coaching role has been vacant since the resignation of former head coach Jan Talian in January while previous women's head coach Jing "Amy" Sun will now serve in a teaching capacity and direct summer camps for Ferris' Racquet and Fitness Center along with the school's Professional Tennis Management (PTM) program.

"Alex is well-known across West Michigan and throughout the Midwest in the tennis industry," Kirinovic said. "We are extremely lucky to bring someone with his tennis knowledge and ability to our university.

"Personally, he was an NCAA champion and understands the work that is necessary to prepare oneself to reach those heights," added Kirinovic. "He also understands how to teach the skills needed to improve the level of play on our teams. With all this being said, I am happy to have Alex leading our tennis programs."

Palladino, who competed at the NCAA Division III level for Kalamazoo College from 1984-87, led the Hornets to back-to-back NCAA-III National Championships his final two years under head coach George Acker. He captured NCAA-III national titles in doubles play while teaming with Jim Burda as both a junior and senior. Twice, he reached the NCAA-III championship match as a singles player at Kalamazoo.

While at Kalamazoo College, Palladino earned four varsity letters and also claimed the school's Most Accomplished Athlete Award as a senior. He competed at both the top singles and doubles flights as a collegian. In addition, Palladino was a four-time All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) selection and named league MVP his final campaign.

Since finishing his collegiate career, Palladino has served in a variety of tennis roles. He spent two years as a teaching professional in Chicago and five years at the East Hills club in Grand Rapids. In 1986, Palladino became the Director of Tennis at the Michigan Athletic Club in Grand Rapids where he worked until 2001 when he moved into a similar role with the Champion Health and Fitness Club in Rockford. He's also worked as the tennis director at the Kent Country Club in Grand Rapids.

"I'm extremely excited about the future and the opportunities presented here to build our program at Ferris State University," said Palladino.

As a professional player, Palladino has won the adult men's Midwest Indoor Championship seven times, traveled on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Satellite Circuit and earned victories over players ranked as high as #145 in the word. He has twice been honored as the United States Professional Tennis Association's (USPTA) Midwest Player of the Year and been recognized as the West Michigan Adult Player of the Year several times.

Palladino began playing competitive tennis at the age of 11 in Kalamazoo and entered his first tournament one year later. He qualified for the Midwest sectionals as a 15-year old and advanced to the USTA Junior Nationals when he was only 16 years old. He was twice ranked in the Midwest section's top five players and finished among the top 24 players nationally prior to his collegiate career.

A 1984 graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School, Palladino was an all-state player and team Most Valuable Player Award recipient during his prep playing career. The three-year letterwinner placed among the top eight finishers at the state meet his junior campaign for the Maroon Giants. He graduated from high school a semester early to enroll and play that spring at Kalamazoo where he advanced to the NCAA-III singles national championship match as a 17-year old freshman.

Palladino continues to play men's "open" events and has recent wins over top graduating players from both Michigan State and Western Michigan University.

Besides playing tennis, Palladino's hobbies also include playing the guitar and creating stained glass windows. He graduated from Kalamazoo with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and art in 1987.

Palladino is married for the former Mona Bidwell. He has a son, Jordan, and two daughters, Bailey and Leah.

The Ferris State University women's tennis team officially opened the 2007-08 campaign by taking part in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Great Lakes Championships this past weekend (Sept. 14-16) in Indianapolis, Ind. The men's squad begins its season this weekend (Sept. 21-23) at the ITA Great Lakes Championships at Midland, Mich. FSU's women's team has presently made 12 consecutive regional trips to the NCAA-II Tournament while the men's program has reached the regional tourney 10-straight years to date.


Ferris State University -
Named Alex Palladino head men's and women's tennis coach

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