A proven winner at the Division I and Division II levels, Jim Poling is in his third season as the head coach of the men's tennis program at Army.
Poling led Army to the Patriot League title match for the second-straight year in 2004. It was the Black Knights 10th appearance in the past 11 years. Poling's squad posted an impressive 19-8 dual match record including a 5-1 mark in the Patriot League. Poling once again coached the Patriot League "Player of the Year", John Sabia, who finished the spring with a 18-6 singles record. Three other Cadets earned all-conference honors as well.
In his first season at the Academy, Poling guided the Black Knights to the championship match of the Patriot League Tournament. It was Army's ninth appearance in the past 10 years. Under his direction, senior Arnie Albornoz earned the Patriot League "Player of the Year" award and broke the school record for career victories with 65. Albornoz and John Sabia were named to the All-Patriot League first team while the brother tandem of Arnie and Rafael Albornoz earned first team accolades in doubles. Poling also guided the Black Knights to a pair of victories over arch-rival Navy in 2003.
Poling arrived at the Academy with 16 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate level, serving highly successful terms at Rollins (1993-2002), the University of Tulsa (1985-88), the University of South Alabama (1980-83) and Mississippi State University (1979-80).
The Winter Park, Fla., native continued a legacy of tennis excellence at Rollins, guiding the Tars to the NCAA Tournament during each of his nine years at the helm. After directing Rollins to a 25-3 record and a Division II national championship in 2001, Poling was named Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II National "Coach of the Year" in the spring of 2002. Poling led the defending national champion Tars to a 21-4 mark and a top four national ranking throughout the entire regular season. He also garnered Sunshine State Conference "Coach of the Year" honors for the second straight season (and third time in nine years), and was named ITA South Region "Coach of the Year" for the second time in six years. Poling led the Tars to a trio of Top 3 finishes in the NCAA Tournament during his first three years at Rollins. His Tars club posted a 21-7 dual-match record in 1996 and reached the finals of the NCAAs. For his efforts, he was named ITA South Region "Coach of the Year" for the first time. Poling had guided the Tars to a pair of third-place NCAA finishes the previous two seasons.
The veteran mentor continued to build on his list of impressive accomplishments the past two years. In addition to leading the Tars to the Division II national title in 2001, Poling presided over the National Rolex Doubles Champions, four All-Americans, the No. 3 doubles team in the nation, the top-ranked player in the nation, the conference player of the year and a pair of Sunshine State Conference team championships during that time. In all, three of his teams captured Sunshine State Conference crowns during his tenure at Rollins and authored an impressive 147-79 (.650) dual-match slate.
A 1970 graduate of Clemson University, Poling lettered three times on the Tigers' tennis squad. He was selected the team's most valuable player as a junior and helped Clemson to an Atlantic Coast Conference championship the following year. He went on to earn a master's degree in exercise physiology from the University of South Alabama in 1982. Following his graduation from Clemson, Poling served two years in the U.S. Army and was awarded the Bronze Star for service in Vietnam.
He began his collegiate coaching career with a one-year stint as men's head coach at Mississippi State, before moving to guide both the men's and women's tennis programs at South Alabama in 1980. Poling led the Jaguar men to three consecutive Sun Belt Conference titles and was twice named the league's coach of the year. During his third season at USA, the Jaguars captured the National Independent Tournament en route to receiving NIT "Coach of the Year" plaudits. He spent three years running both men's and women's tennis programs at Tulsa, earning Missouri Valley "Coach of the Year" honors in 1987, before moving on to Rollins in September of 1993.
Poling is married to Marianne Ingard Poling, a member of two national champion tennis teams during her undergraduate days at Stanford University. The couple has two children.