|Alma Mater:||Northwest Missouri State|
Kendell Hale is in his ninth season as the head coach of the UMKC men's and women's tennis program. The 2016-17 season is Hale's 23rd as a collegiate head coach.
Hale has orchestrated an amazing turnaround with the men's and women's tennis programs since joining the department in 2008. He has guided both the men's and women's squads to numerous school-record win totals and has produced four conference regular season titles, four conference tournament crowns and four NCAA Tournament appearances. He was also selected at the 2010 USTPA National Coach of the Year for his turnaround effort, as well as 2009 USPTA Missouri Valley College Coach of the Year, the 2011 Summit League Men's Coach of the Year, and 2013 Summit League Women's Coach of the Year.
In eight seasons at the helm, Hale has coached 29 all-league honorees on the men's side and 16 all-league selections on the women's side. He's also coached three Conference Players of the Year and three League Newcomers of the Year.
He has also coached the five winningest players in school history on the women's side, and four of the five top career win leaders on the men's side.
In 2017, the Roos returned to the NCAA Tournament after claiming their first ever Western Athletic Conference tournament title when they knocked-off New Mexico State 4-3, with Airam Castellano and Mike Psarros claiming All-WAC Recognition.
During the 2016 season, the Roos posted a 17-8 mark overall and a 4-1 record in the WAC to claim the WAC regular season title. The Roos narrowly missed a trip to the NCAA tournament, falling 4-3 in the championship match to UTRGV, but Castellano was named WAC Player of the Year, while Psarros, Amaury Navette and Uldis Gaismins joined him on the first team.
In 2015, Hale led the men to a bounce-back season of sorts, going 12-12 overall. The squad battled the top teams in the WAC tightly, but were knocked out in the semifinals of the tournament hosted in Kansas City. The team had three individuals tie the single-season wins mark of 19, while the All-WAC doubles pair of Andrey Smirnov and Gaismins posted a school record 20 doubles wins. Four players were honored with All-WAC accolades as Smirnov earned first-team singles, Castellano grabbed second-team singles, Castellano and Psarros were first-team doubles, and Smirnov/Gaismins were second-team doubles.
The 2014 season was a transition of sorts, with UMKC joining the WAC and a roster full of inexperienced players. Senior Tomas Patino was the leader in a lineup that featured four freshmen. The squad advanced to the league tournament semifinals, and had Patino on the All-WAC team, as well as Mike Psarros.
The 2013 version of the 'Roos won the Summit League regular season title for the fourth straight year, with a perfect 5-0 mark in conference play, before sweeping through the Summit League Tournament for the third straight year to advance to the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to No. 1 ranked UCLA. There were four all-league selections in Nino Hasandedic, Grant Fleming, Abdul Alawadhi, and Tomas Patino.
In 2012, the squad overcame numerous injuries early in the season and captured a share of its third consecutive regular season Summit League title, while hosting the conference tournament and storming through the bracket without dropping a point in wins over South Dakota State and IUPUI to claim the league tournament crown and advance to the NCAA Tournament. UMKC had four all-conference selections, as well as the Player (Grant Fleming) and Newcomer (Tomas Patino) of the Year in the league.
In 2011, he led the men to the Summit League regular season and tournament titles (went 16-7, 6-0), while helping the women to a school record win total (12) and an appearance in the championship match of the league tournament for the first time in school history. Nino Hasandedic was named the men's Summit League Newcomer and Player of the Year as well, and was named League Coach of the Year for his efforts.
During the 2010 season, Hale led the men's team to a 17-7 overall record, which included a school record 11-match winning streak. The 17 victories were the most in a single season in the record books. The squad finished a perfect 6-0 in league play during the regular season without dropping a single team point, as it claimed The Summit League regular season title. The 'Roos advanced to the league tournament final for the second straight year before being upset by third-seeded Oral Roberts.
Hale's student-athletes produced unprecedented success on the court, as senior Patrick Smith was named The Summit League Player of the Year. Smith along with Bret Berryman, Serge Ristivojevic and Gustavo Guerin also received all-Summit League honors. Ristivojevic broke the school record for single season singles victories (18), while Smith and Berryman set the single season doubles mark (18).
In 2009, Hale guided the men's squad to a 14-7 overall record and a 5-1 mark in Summit League play. After finishing as the regular season runner-up, Hale led UMKC to a Summit League Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth with a tight 4-2 victory over top-seeded Oral Roberts. The tournament final win gave the 'Roos their 14th victory of the season, which tied the then school record for single season victories. A trio of players earned all-league honors, while Bret Berryman was tabbed The Summit League Newcomer of the Year.
Under Hale's guidance, Patrick Smith closed out the 2009 season with six straight victories to give him a total of 14 singles wins on the year. The 14 victories were tied for the second most wins in the single season record books. Hale also led the 'Roos to unprecedented success at the Wilson/ITA Central Region Championships, as he coached players to the Round of 16 for the first time in school history.
Hale has made great strides with the women's program in eight seasons.
The 2017 season was the premiere season for the UMKC women's tennis team as the squad picked up its first ever Western Athletic Conference title and berth in the NCAA Tournament. On the year, UMKC finished 13-10 overall including wins over Seattle U and New Mexico State en route to the conference title. Yana Grechkina was named First Team All-WAC and WAC Freshman of the Year, while Melinda Johnson joined her on the first team and Aliona Ladutska and Mariam Kurasbediani were recognized as second team members.
During the 2016 season, the Roos went 7-17, picking up a pair of conference wins over Chicago State and Seattle U, while Marina Albert was named Second Team All-WAC.
The 2015 season had some high points for UMKC, as it started the season 6-0 at home to shatter the school record. The 'Roos finished the year 8-2 at home and 10-12 overall. Dimitra Stavrianakou was again the leader, earning first-team All-WAC for the second straight year, while getting second-team All-WAC in doubles with partner Maddie Schulte. The team dropped a tight match in Kansas City at the WAC Championships in the semifinals to finish the year. It was the fifth time in school history that the team recorded double-digit wins, all of which have come under Hale.
2014 was the first for UMKC in the WAC and it had to cope with the loss of two of the top players in school history. The squad advanced to the league tournament semifinals despite that, and was led individually by Dimitra Stavrianakou, earning All-WAC honors, as well as Amelie Amsallem who was an All-WAC doubles pick.
In 2013, UMKC battled injuries and finished second in the league, before advancing to the Summit League Championship match for the second time ever. The squad fell 4-3 in a hard-fought contest in the championship. Three players, Laura Bouet, Eva Dalvai, and Dimitra Stavrianakou all earned all-league honors, while Hale was named the Summit League Coach of the Year.
2012 saw the 'Roos again break the school record for wins with 13, and they secured their first winning record since 1991-92 at 13-12. Laura Bouet and freshman Maddie Schulte both earned all-league honors, while the team boasted the top four individual career match winners in school history.
In 2011 the team set another school record with 12 wins, and advanced to its first ever Summit League Tournament Championship match. Laura Bouet was honored with all-conference accolades.
In 2010, Hale guided the 'Roos to a school record 10 victories and a 6-2 mark in Summit League play. UMKC finished third in the regular season standings to qualify for the league tournament for the first time since only the top four teams advanced. A trio of student-athletes - Laura Bouet, Eva Dalvai and Jillian Yakominich - each earned all-Summit League honors.
In 2009, UMKC posted five wins and finished with a 4-4 mark in Summit League play. The five victories were the most for the program since the 1999-00 season, while the four league victories were the most in a single season in school history. In Hale's first season in 2008, he led the 'Roos to three victories, one of which was a 7-0 triumph over Centenary that snapped the program's 58-match losing streak.
The Kangaroos also have excelled in the classroom under Hale's watch. The men's team earned ITA all-Academic Team honors in 2008 and 2012 and the women's squad received the distinction in 2008, 2009 and 2012. Additionally, 11 student-athletes have been selected as ITA Scholar Athletes, 50 have been named to Academic All-League teams and 34 were Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence honorees.
Prior to becoming a Kangaroo, Hale spent 13 seasons as the head coach at Rockhurst University, where he guided the Hawks to nine NCAA Tournament appearances in 10 years as an NCAA Division II university. He led Rockhurst to the Midwest Region Championships from 1995-97, and he coached six top-30 Division II student-athletes. His team finished the 1997 season as the 12th ranked team in the nation in the NAIA, which led to him being named the NAIA Midwest Region Coach of the Year.
Hale has been honored at every level since joining the coaching profession. He is the only coach to be named the USPTA College Coach of the Year five times (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009), and he has been selected as the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year on three occasions (2001, 2002, 2007). In 2003, Hale was also selected as the NCAA Central Region Coach of the Year.
Hale also was selected as the USPTA Coach of the Year in 2001, the USPTA Missouri Club Professional of the Year in 1998, and he was the USA Tennis Coordinator for Kansas City in 1997.
Not only did Hale have success on the court, but he also was successful in the classroom as well, as his teams at Rockhurst captured eight Team Academic all-America awards.
In addition to his duties with the Hawks, Hale has served as the tennis director at Oakwood Country Club since 2004. From 1997-99, he was the head tennis professional at the Plaza Tennis Center, where the venue was named the Facility of the Year in 1998. Before going to the PTC, Hale served as the head assistant tennis professional/junior coordinator at Kansas City Country Club from 1991-95.
Hale has also been a United States Professional Tennis Association board member for 10 years, and he is the USPTA tester for the Kansas City region.
Hale's playing career began at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas, where he was ranked 43rd in the NJCAA national rankings. After a successful two-year stint, Hale played two seasons at Northwest Missouri State, where he helped the Bearcats to a No. 12 ranking in the NCAA Division II poll. He was the only NWMSU player to win a MIAA conference title in 1990 and during that same year, he was the conference doubles runner-up.
Hale earned his bachelor of science degree in psychology/sociology from Northwest Missouri State in 1990. He then earned his masters of religious education from the Midwestern Seminary in 1997.