Dr. Robert Screen enters his 34th season at the helm of the Hampton University Men’s and Women’s Tennis program. He is the winningest coach all-time among NCAA Division I coaches for men’s and women’s tennis. Not only does Dr. Screen hold this impressive position amongst collegiate coaches, but he is also the most successful African-American tennis coach in the history of the game.
When the Pirates were members of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) they won 22 consecutive conference championships and two Division II national championships. The Pirates were national championships in 1976 and 1988, and are the only Historical Black College to win a national tennis title.
The Pirates finished as the number two team in the country six times from 1985 to 1994 (1985, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994) their last year as a Division II member. Their final three years in Division II competition, the Pirates lost in the national tournament championship match.
Since joining the Division I ranks and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in 1996, the Pirates have won four consecutive conference titles. Last year he guided the Pirates to their first Division I national tournament, losing in the first round to Alabama.
Women's tennis was added in 1996 and Dr. Screen continued his excellence, guiding the Lady Pirates to the MEAC title in 1996 and 1998.
Dr. Screen is a 1953 graduate Hampton Institute (Hampton University). He received his M.A. from New York University and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Along with his duties as the Head Tennis Coach, Dr. Screen is the Chair of HU's Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. In 1994 he coauthored a textbook in his field with one of his former students, Dr. Norma Anderson of Howard University. The text is entitled Multi-Cultural Perspectives in Communicative Disorders and is used by many major universities and colleges throughout the country.
The success of the tennis program has been tremendous and with that, it was not a hard decision for the Hampton University administration to make putting a name on the stadium. The Neilson/Screen Stadium is named on behalf of Coach Neilson, who coached Screen during his collegiate career.