Frank Supports Bulldog Women's Tennis
May 14, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. - Tennis has always been a big part of Brett Frank's life. The Bulldog women's basketball assistant was first introduced to the game in the summer of 1981 when his hometown of Bokchito, Okla., built the cities first tennis courts adjacent to where he went to school.
"Tennis hit the town by storm when the court was built," Frank said. "I was nine years old and there was a waiting line everyday to get to play. It became the focal point for one full summer. That is where I drew the passion for the sport."
Frank eventually started playing tennis on a regional circuit, with one of his close friends, where he'd play in tournaments within a 100 mile radius of his 620 person town a couple of times a month. Success began when Frank competed with his friend on a doubles team.
"That also encouraged a love for doubles that I don't think a lot of people have," Frank said. "In that part of Oklahoma I think it was because there wasn't that much competition than we were actually good. But if you are playing something and you are having fun, being successful and getting trophies from it, then you want to keep playing it."
Frank stopped playing in tennis tournaments when he got into high school because of the hectic schedule of baseball and basketball summer leagues he was competing in.
Although he stopped playing competitively, his love for the game never diminished. He has been to the U.S. Open three times and saw his two favorite women's tennis players, Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport, play in person in the fall of 2003.
In April of 2002 when Frank was hired at Fresno State, he quickly became friends with the then men's and women's tennis coaches Brad Dancer and Kevin Epley. When the relationship was formed with the coaches, Frank started to travel with the team to post-season tournaments on his dime.
"By the second year, I was going with them to Rice to watch the conference tournament," Frank said. "I've been following tennis closely ever since."
When Epley and Dancer left, Frank became friends with the new women's coach Simon Thibedeau. Frank once again found himself at Bulldog tennis matches, with many coming during the post season.
Since 2002, he has attended two regionals at Cal, one at Arizona and the regional last year hosted by Fresno State.
He has also been to three WAC tournaments, including this year's tournament hosted by Hawai'i. This weekend he will be in College Station, Texas, to support women's tennis team against No. 1 Northwestern in the Sweet 16. It will be the third time Frank has gone to watch the Bulldogs in the Sweet 16.
"How can you not want to support a team that is so talented," Frank said. "Especially at the doubles spot where the past several years that team is competing for a national championship on a regular basis."
After spending couple of days in College Station, Texas Frank will vacation with a few friends in Costa Rica. When he returns he plans on watching the Dogs No. 1 ranked doubles team of Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova and the No. 15 ranked doubles team of Melanie Gloria and Tinesta Rowe compete in the NCAA singles and doubles tournament. Gloria and Rowe will participate in the single tournament.
"Join the State - Fresno State"- Follow the Fresno State women's tennis team at the NCAA tournament on Gobulldogs.com.