Albin Polonyi begins his first season with the Colorado men’s tennis coaching staff. Polonyi spent the 2003-05 seasons as head coach for both the men’s and women’s tennis programs at Northern Arizona University.
At Northern Arizona University, Polonyi was responsible for managing two team budgets, recruiting, management of tennis operations, fundraising, and community service project coordination. During the 2005 spring, Polonyi led the Lumberjacks men’s team to a second-place Big Sky Conference finish and a semifinal appearance, finishing with a 10-12 record. As the women’s head coach he led NAU to the quarterfinals of the 2005 Big Sky Tournament and a second place conference finish in 2004. During his tenure at NAU, Polonyi helped his tennis program’s maintain a 3.0 grade point average or better.
Prior to his two-year stint in Flagstaff, Polonyi spent a year and a half as the Michigan State men’s assistant coach. In the 2003 season, he helped lead the Spartans to a 15-12 overall record, a Big Ten Conference tournament semifinal appearance, and the program’s highest national ranking ever (No. 56). In the fall, the Spartans advanced three players to the round of 16 and two players to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Singles Championship.
Polonyi worked as a teaching professional at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande, Fla., in 2001 and 2002. He is a two-time All-American (1993,1996) who captained the 1997 Boise State Broncos to as high as No. 2 in the nation and a No. 7 final national ranking while playing two years under 1997 NCAA Coach of the Year Greg Patton. Before coming to Boise State, he played at the University of Georgia. With the Bulldogs, he was a starter who helped the team to No. 2 and No. 5 national rankings in 1993 and 1995, respectively.
In 1993, as a freshman, Polonyi reached the semifinals in the NCAA Doubles Championships. In 1993 and 1996, he finished both years ranked seventh in the nation in doubles, and was ranked as high as first in the nation in doubles and 23rd in singles rankings during the regular season. He was the Rolex Region III singles and doubles champion in 1996, and has had success competing in events on the professional tour. He has the honor of leading teams to championships in three different conferences: SEC, Big Sky, and Big West. While completing a master’s degree in literature and creative writing at Bemidji State University in Minnesota from 1998-1999, Polonyi worked as a university writing instructor and guided the women’s team to its first women’s conference championship in school history.
After completing his master’s degree, Polonyi worked as writing program Director for the Zhejiang Forestry Institute in China in 2000. While in China, he did consulting work for American specialty-tea companies based on his interest in tea and background in the commodities business, having worked in the futures business at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange before graduate school. Upon return from a 14-month stay in China, Polonyi worked in Boston for George Howell, the world’s leading coffee expert. Polonyi is the first Westerner to be occupationally certified by the China National Quality Control for Tea as a Tea Taster, has published articles in tea and coffee trade journals on the subject of tea, and is currently overseeing a project with NAU to help translate and publish the second most important ancient Chinese tea classic.
Polonyi is a 1997 graduate of Boise State with a degree in English, and earned his master’s degree in literature and creative writing at Bemidji State University (Minnesota) in 2000.