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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

René Vidal announced as next NIU men’s tennis head coach

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Courtesy of René Vidal
NIU men’s tennis head coach René Vidal looks off into the distance. Vidal was announced as the next NIU men’s tennis head coach Tuesday. (Courtesy of René Vidal)

DeKALB Former McKendree University men’s and women’s tennis head coach René Vidal was named NIU men’s tennis head coach Wednesday, NIU Athletics announced.

Vidal served as McKendree’s head tennis coach from 2020 to 2024. In 2022, Vidal led the Bearcats’ men’s tennis team to its first Great Lakes Valley Tennis Championship in program history. 

McKendree finished the 2022 season with a 21-3 dual record and a No. 22 ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

“Thanks to (NIU Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation) Sean Frazier and (Senior Associate Athletic Director) Chris Barker for believing in my leadership ability and vision for NIU men’s tennis,” Vidal said in an NIU Athletics press release. “The time to maximize our potential is now.”

Before coaching at McKendree, Vidal was a men’s tennis assistant coach at Washington University in St. Louis. There, he helped guide the Bears to a No. 9 ITA ranking and its 13th straight NCAA Division III Elite Eight appearance in 2019.

Vidal is set to succeed former NIU men’s tennis coach Patrick Fisher. Fisher officially resigned from the position on Nov. 30, 2023, after being charged with domestic battery for an incident that occurred on Oct. 3, 2023.

The Queens, New York, native will start his NIU coaching career on Feb. 12.

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