Marc Walters begins his sixth full season as the head tennis coach at West Virginia Wesleyan, following one of the most successful years in the recent past for the Bobcat programs.
The men’s team won the MEC regular season and tournament championships and qualified for a fifth consecutive NCAA tournament The squad reached the round of 32 with a 5-4 win over rival West Liberty in the NCAA first round, and finished 17-7 overall and ranked No. 3 in the ITA Atlantic region.
The women’s squad improved to 11-6 and earned their first ITA ranking since 2008, reaching a high of No. 8. The team defeated West Liberty and California (Pa.) for the first time in eight years, and moved up to third in the MEC standings after four straight fourth place finishes.
The veteran coach, who won his 100th match at Wesleyan this past year, has established a solid academic base and a wealth of depth in the programs, while continuing Wesleyan’s tradition of success on court. Walters has led the Bobcat men to the NCAA tournament in each of his first five years at the helm, including a Sweet 16 berth in 2013.
A native of Morgantown, W. Va., Walters has 21 years of collegiate head coaching experience, having previously built nationally competitive programs at Barton College (N.C.), and the University of Nebraska Kearney in Division II. Prior to coming to Wesleyan, he served as the head women’s coach at Division I West Virginia University from 2006-2010.
Walters brings a 579-297 (.660%) career coaching record coming into the Fall of 2017. Under his guidance, 31 Bobcats have earned All-MEC Honors, and the ‘Cats have seen 16 different players and doubles teams earn ITA rankings during that span. He continues to serve on both the NCAA and ITA ranking committees and the ITA Awards Committee.
Walters pushes his athletes in the classroom as well on court. His squads have regularly been recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) as All-Academic Teams (3.2+ GPA), with many members reaching All-ITA academic individual honors (3.5+).
The women’s team turned in a 3.72 GPA in 2017, good for first among all WVWC teams for the eighth consecutive semester. The Men’s program was the also among the best academic team on campus in 2017, with a 3.63 GPA. Both squads earned ITA All-Academic Team honors again this year, and no fewer than 26 of the 30 current Bobcats players claimed individual ITA All Academic honors (3.5+). At Barton, 11 of his 14 teams garnered ITA-All Academic Team honors, while his UNK teams earned the honor seven times between the two programs over five years.
Overall, his teams have now made ten NCAA regional appearances in DII, one Sweet 16, and have won seven conference titles between the men’s and women’s programs in his career.
The 2016 men’s squad (19-9, 7-2 MEC) qualified for the NCAA regional for the 10th consecutive season and won the Mountain East regular season championship. He was named the MEC Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year in 2014. Individually, the doubles pair of Aitor Reparaz and Joel Izquierdo won the 2014 ITA Atlantic Regional Title, earning a No. 8 ranking nationally. The duo reached the highest ever ranking for a Bobcat doubles team.
Graduated Senior Paula Pimenta was named 2013 MEC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in her first season at Wesleyan, while newcomer Rebekka Heigermoser earned the MEC FOTY last season. Pimenta was the 2017 Arthur Ashe Award winner in the Atlantic Region.
During his tenure, the Lady Bobcats have turned in four consecutive semi-final appearances in the MEC tournament and have finished in fourth-place each of his first three years. The women improved from 3-14 to 9-5 in his first full season with no seniors and five freshmen in the lineup. The 2017 edition of the Lady Bobcats will feature five returning lettermen and two new impact players. The men return 11 of their top 13 players and have three new impact freshmen and transfers joining the team.
The Walters File:
Years School Div-M/W Won-Loss W-L % NCAA
(1994-1999) Nebraska – Kearney DII-M/W 155-78 (.665) ‘97M, ‘98M, ‘98W
(1999-2006) Barton (N.C.) College DII-M/W 252-106 (.703) ‘01M, ’04W
(2006-2010) West Virginia University DI-W 54-46 (.540)
(2013-2016) West Virginia Wesleyan DII-M/W 118-67 (.625) ‘13M, ‘14M, '15M, ‘16M ‘17M