"Success" is a good word to associate Russel Sterns with. Sterns has been a prominent name for St. Edward's Tennis since his debut in 1984, and has sent a precedent in the south for SEU championship programs . He has obtained an overall record of 140-102 for the men's team and an overall record of 84-108 for the women's team. His conference record stands at 74-15 for the men and 34-43 for the women. He has been rightfully named Men's Tennis Coach of the Year five times, and Women's Tennis Coach of the Year twice.
In 1987, Sterns took over the coaching duties for the St. Edward's Men Tennis program, and in 1989 he assumed the duties for the Women's program as well. From 1987 to 1999, while SEU was part of the Heart of Texas Conference, Sterns obtained an overall record of 115-83. He led them to five Conference Titles making them the winningest tennis program in NAIA.
Since 2000, his teams have produced an overall 25-19 record for the men's program and a 27-18 overall record for the women's program in NCAA Division II competition. In '00 his men's team qualified for the National Tournament, making it to the 32nd round. In '01 the men's team finished 20th in the nation with a 10-7 record. His women's team also qualified for the National Tournament, competing in the 32nd round in '01 and '02.
Sterns first came to the Hilltop to play for the Hilltoppers in 1984, after transferring from Temple Junior College in Temple, Texas. During both his junior and senior years, his team qualified for the NAIA National Tournament, after winning the Conference Championships. Individually, Sterns was a conference finalist his junior year, and the conference singles champion his senior year. In 1996, he was the #2 ranked tennis player in the State of Texas in the USTA 35's division.
Sterns earned his undergraduate degree in Business in 1985 and a master's degree in Sports Management in 1999, both from St. Edward's University.
Sterns has spent most of his life involved with tennis and has worked with numerous state and nationally ranked juniors outside of his college programs. Sterns became USPTA certified tennis professional in 1988 and spent several years as the club professional at Quail Creek Country Club in San Marcos, Texas.
In addition to coaching, Sterns, became the SEU Special Events Coordinator for the Athletic Department in the fall of this year. He has piloted the way of tennis for St. Edward's University. When people think of SEU Men's and Women's Tennis they think of "success"