Ron Gendron, the winningest coach in program history, enters his 13th season as the head coach of the Bryant University men's tennis team in 2018-19.
Since his arrival to the program in 2003, and after taking over the reins of the program in the fall of 2006, Gendron has developed the Bulldogs into one of the best tennis programs in the Northeast. Gendron, the six-time Northeast Conference Coach of the Year, has posted a 153-122 overall record (123-110 in Division I) in dual matches, including a remarkable 34-4 mark against NEC opponents.
Gendron has led the Black and Gold to five-straight NEC Championships and five-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Along the way, Gendron has been named the NEC Coach of the Year six-straight years, a league record.
In 2017-18, Gendron assembled one of the toughest schedules in program history and watched as the Bulldogs met it head on. Bryant won 14 matches on its way to a school record fifth-straight tournament title. The Bulldogs faced three nationally-ranked opponents and visited all three military academies during the year. Bryant saw the fruits of its labors as it swept the year-end NEC awards with Matt Kuhar earning player of the year and Wilson Dong earning rookie of the year.
Gendron led the Bulldogs back to their fifth-straight NEC Tournament appearance in the 2016-17 season, as the Black and Gold steamrolled their way through the conference tournament. The Bulldogs surrendered only two points in the regular season and three points in the postseason against NEC foes. The Bulldogs' 4-2 win over No. 4 Fairleigh Dickinson and a 4-1 victory over No. 2 Saint Francis U. led Bryant to its fourth-straight NEC Title and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Gendron coached the Bulldogs' to their first-ever set victories, as Matt Kuhar and Michael Plutt won sets in No. 1 and No. 5 singles, despite Bryant's 4-0 loss to No. 14 Oklahoma in the first round. Kuhar joined Gendron as a major award winner in the 2016-17 season, capturing NEC Player of the Year, while nine Bulldogs were named to the NEC All-Conference teams.
In the 2015-16 season, the Bulldogs three-peated in the NEC Championship, earning the No. 1 seed in the tournament and defeating No. Wagner, 4-0, and No. 3 Saint Francis U., 4-0, on their way to the title. Bryant received an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, where they drew their best matchup to date in No. 16 Oklahoma State. The Bulldogs ultimately fell, 4-0, to the Cowboys in Stillwater Okla. Ten Bulldogs earned All-NEC selections, while Gendron took home NEC Coach of the Year and Michael Plutt was dubbed NEC Rookie of the Year.
Gendron and the Black and Gold followed up their 2014 win with their second-straight NEC Championship in 2015, downing rival Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-3, in another epic battle. Gendron, who earned his third-straight NEC Coach of the Year honor, also led Bryant to its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships, this year earning the right to battle #2 Baylor in the opening round. Led by NEC Rookie of the Year Matt Kuhar, seven Bulldogs earned All-NEC honors.
In 2013-14, the Bulldogs put together their finest season to date under Gendron's leadership, finishing 18-11 overall while posting yet another perfect showing against league opponents (10-0 from 2011-2014). Earning the top seed at the Northeast Conference Championship for the second-straight year, Bryant ran the table in 2014, capturing its first-ever NEC Title. The Black and Gold also earned their first DI appearance in the NCAA Tournament, despite a grueling schedule that included over 25 dual matches and six nationally ranked opponents, earning the right to play the #3 overall seed Ohio State.
Gendron was named NEC Coach of the Year for the second-straight season, while five Bulldogs earned All-NEC postseason honors, including four first-teamers. Graduating senior Dana Parziale closed the books on his prolific Bulldog career in which he won over 160 matches during the course of his four years in Smithfield, including 46 in 2013-14. For his efforts, Parizale was recognized by the ITA and was the named the Northeast Region’s Most Improved Senior of the Year after going 14-10 at the No. 1 singles spot in 2014.
In 2012-13, Gendron led the Bulldogs to the top seed at the 2013 NEC Championships and an appearance in the NEC Championship Finals. Bryant finished 14-10, including an impressive 6-0 against NEC opponents. The Black and Gold earned six postseason honors, including Coach of the Year for Gendron and Rookie of the Year for Max Vogt.
In 2010-11, the Bulldogs have enjoyed tremendous success under Gendron, leading the team to a 15-6 overall record during the 2010-11 season, while guiding then-freshman Parziale to a tremendous season, as the rookie became the program's first-ever Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year. At the culmination of an illustrious and record-breaking career, Bulldog senior Cristian Balestrieri was recognized for his immense success after being named the Male Student-Athlete of the Year at Bryant University.
During the 2008 season, Bryant’s last of the Division II era, Gendron and the Bulldogs went a remarkable 21-4 en route to the 2008 Northeast-10 Conference Championship, including a perfect 10-0 mark in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Black and Gold earned a berth in the NCAA tournament where they would advance to the second round. All of this earned Bryant its first National Ranking in the program's history. Balestrieri captured three major end-of-year awards: Freshman of the Year, Player of the Year and I.T.A. Freshman of the Region.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Gendron was also a developmental coach with the U.S. Professional Tennis Association.
As an assistant coach with the Bryant men's and women's tennis teams from 2003 until being named head coach of the men's program in the fall of 2006, the Bryant women's squad won three consecutive Northeast-10 Conference titles.