Kendell Hale is entering his second season as the head coach of the UMKC men’s and women’s tennis program. Overall, the 2008-09 season will be Hale’s 15th as a collegiate head coach, where he has compiled a 243-154 overall record.
During his first season in Blue and Gold, Hale guided the men’s team to a third place Summit League finish, as the squad posted a 4-2 league mark. On the women’s side, Hale led the Kangaroos to three wins, which were the most for the program since the 2001 season. One of the victories - a 7-0 win over Centenary - snapped the program’s 58-match losing streak.
A total of four student-athletes garnered all-league honors under Hale’s guidance. Patrick Smith and Serge Ristivojevic were first team honorees on the men’s side, while Emily Lindsay became the first female first team honoree since 2003. Additionally, Dennis Schwarz earned second team all-league honors.
The Kangaroos also excelled in the classroom under Hale’s watch, as both teams were named ITA all-Academic teams. The men’s squad was the lone team from The Summit League to earn the distintion. Additionally, four student-athletes were selected as ITA Scholar Athletes, 17 were named to The Summit League Winter/Spring Academic all-League team and six were Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence honorees.
Prior to becoming a Kangaroo, Hale spent 13 seasons as the head coach at Rockhurst University, where he guided the Hawks to nine NCAA Tournament appearances in 10 years as an NCAA Division II university. He led Rockhurst to the Midwest Region Championships from 1995-97, and he coached six top-30 Division II student-athletes. His team finished the 1997 season as the 12th ranked team in the nation in the NAIA, which led to him being named the NAIA Midwest Region Coach of the Year.
Hale has been honored at every level since joining the coaching profession. He is the only coach to be named the USPTA College Coach of the Year four times (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006), and he has been selected as the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year on three occasions (2001, 2002, 2007). In 2003, Hale was also selected as the NCAA Central Region Coach of the Year.
Hale also was selected as the USPTA Coach of the Year in 2001, the USPTA Missouri Club Professional of the Year in 1998, and he was the USA Tennis Coordinator for Kansas City in 1997.
Not only did Hale have success on the court, but he also was successful in the classroom as well, as his teams at Rockhurst captured eight Team Academic all-America awards.
In addition to his duties with the Hawks, Hale has served as the tennis director at Oakwood Country Club since 2004. From 1997-99, he was the head tennis professional at the Plaza Tennis Center, where the venue was named the Facility of the Year in 1998. Before going to the PTC, Hale served as the head assistant tennis professional/junior coordinator at Kansas City Country Club from 1991-95.
Hale has also been a United States Professional Tennis Association board member for 10 years, and he is the USPTA tester for the Kansas City region.
Hale’s playing career began at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas, where he was ranked 43rd in the NJCAA national rankings. After a successful two-year stint, Hale played two seasons at Northwest Missouri State, where he helped the Bearcats to a No. 12 ranking in the NCAA Division II poll. He was the only NWMS player to win a MIAA conference title in 1990 and during that same year, he was the conference doubles runner-up.
Hale earned his bachelor of science degree in psychology/sociology from Northwest Missouri State in 1990. He then earned his masters of religious education from the Midwestern Seminary in 1997.