Home Feature A Glance at @ButlerWTennis Head Coach Mat Iandolo’s First Season at Butler

A Glance at @ButlerWTennis Head Coach Mat Iandolo’s First Season at Butler

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The 2019-2020 Butler Women's Tennis Team. Photo courtesy of Head Coach Mat Iandolo.

Mat Iandolo was named head coach of the Butler women’s tennis program in June 2019. Iandolo came to Indianapolis with loads of decorated experience as the hub of the wheel for two “Power 5” women’s tennis programs, featuring 12 seasons at Utah followed by 16 seasons at Purdue.

“I have been fortunate to coach at the “Power 5” level for most of my career. I have taken two programs from the bottom of their leagues to very competitive at the top. I have a method for building, and the most important parts are very present in Butler’s program already, which include character, work, ethic, and commitment.”

Prior to Butler, Iandolo received Mountain West Conference Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, leading his team to back-to-back conference titles and NCAA Championship appearances. During his time at Purdue from 1991-2007, he collected Big Ten Coach of the Year accolades twice (1998 and 2003) with 10 student-athletes landing spots on the All-Big Ten First Team squad. The Boilermakers went to the NCAA Championships five times, and advanced to a regional final in 2006.

In Iandolo’s first season, the Bulldogs finished 6-7, including wins against Western Illinois, Valparaiso, Dayton, Wright State, Illinois State, and DePauw. His goal was to win as many Division I matches by the end of January than the program did all last season, which came to fruition.

“Seeing the confidence build in our team throughout the year was gratifying,” Iandolo said. When we rolled into Dayton and swept a doubleheader against Dayton and Wright State… it was a quick trip, but that’s when I knew this group was headed in the right direction. The way we came out and played aggressive and spirited during doubles was unreal every match. And when I initially looked at our schedule, I thought it would be a big ask to beat Illinois State and NIU. We beat Illinois State and almost beat NIU without two of our top five players!”

The Bulldogs were led by seniors Nina Bertino, Caroline McAuley, Lauren Padgett and Kendal Wilby, who Iandolo described as ‘upperclassman who led through selfless commitment to the younger people on the team.’ Even though the season abruptly ended with the coronavirus outbreak, Iandolo made sure his seniors were able to get some closure and go out on a high note.

“I simply promised the seniors that I will build a program that they will be proud to say they played in,” said Iandolo. “That group made such an incredible mark. It was a thrill to see the level of “buy in” from this group. Since our first meeting in August, we made the commitment to improvement and working together to get things done, and it happened.”

A new normal will be setting in for not only the Butler women’s tennis program, but for all sports, occupations, and life interactions. Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Greg Moore has put together a comprehensive core development program with a lot of body weight exercise, as well as cardio and stretching. Summer tournaments are still up in the air, but Iandolo is looking forward to next season already because of the core group he has coming back.

“Our freshman #1 Logan White was phenomenal, and Lauren Padgett was in the end playing at the level she hadn’t approached since she was 15, and one of the best junior players in the Midwest. She is coming back to play her 5th year. I am happy with the foundation before everything happened, and optimistic about next season as a whole.”

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