NMMI Sports Press
The new Bronco men’s head tennis coach has a lot in common with his predecessor, which is a big plus for the program.
William O’Connell, who left the position after the successful spring 2016 program to further his education as well as play more himself, was a former New Mexico Military Institute netter who played two years under coach Gene Hardman, then went on to play at a four-year school.
New head coach Daniel Dominguez is also a NMMI alum, who played in 2007 and ’08 under Hardman. Those Bronco squads qualified for nationals both seasons and were ranked in the top 10 in 2008.
The El Paso native then played at DII Western New Mexico University, where the Mustangs won the Rocky Mountain Conference championship in 2008, ’09 and ’10, reaching the NCAA final eight in 2011.
All that is very good news for the Bronco squad.
“I’m very pleased we were able to fill some of the big shoes we just lost with somebody of equal caliber who has a good background in tennis and is an alumnus of the school,” said athletic director Jose Barron. “I’m very excited to have him on board.”
Dominguez is equally excited to be back at his alma mater.
“My experience here at NMMI remains one of the best times ever, so coming here is really an honor,” he said. “I’m happy to be back here as a staff member and I’m going to do my best.”
The coach will be working with O’Connell for a week or so while he learns the ropes, and hopes to learn from Lady Bronco head coach Dan O’Connell as well.
“I’m going to try to learn as much as I can from what he does, then try to make the program into my own,” he said.
Dominguez only met his team for the first time Monday afternoon, but from what Dan O’Connell told him, he’s excited about his new charges.
“I think I’ve got a good group of kids, and Dan’s trying to get a couple more kids coming in for the spring, so I think we’ll have a strong team,” he said.
And Barron thinks the school has a good coach.
“He brings a lot of historical knowledge about the program and a lot of the expectations in many regards with him. And, of course, the program will be his and he’ll be able to give his own spin to it.”
Dominguez, O’Connell and both Bronco squads will see their first fall action Sept. 3 and 4 at the 18th annual Southeastern New Mexico Open at Cahoon Park.