Q&A: Pat Cole, All-Decade Honoree

By PAT JAMESON

Sports Editor

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Q: How did you first hear that you won the award?

A: I was actually in Brooks having brunch on Friday morning and one of my friends on the team, Kevin Snyder, who works in Sports Information Department,  told me. I guess they received an email to let them know it was released. He was the first to know and immediately texted me so that was really cool. I didn’t even know the All Decade Team existed or if it was a thing so I was pretty surprised.

 Q: Can you talk about what it means for you to receive this honor?

A: I was speechless. I wasn’t really a highly recruited athlete in high school and a lot of the things I’ve accomplished I’ve never dreamed of being able to achieve. This was incredible and my coaches and I owe all the credit to my teammates, coaches, and my parents.

 

Q: When did you start playing tennis and what made you fall in love with it?

A: I started playing when I was four or five. I played tennis, hockey and soccer all of elementary school. When I got to high school I decided to focus on tennis. I don’t know what it was about it but it was my favorite of the three and I fell in love with it. Ever since then I’ve been playing tennis full time as my only sport.

 

Q: What made you decide to come to Allegheny and continue your career here?

A: I knew I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school and the atmosphere was really appealing to me. I visited and did a few overnights in schools similar to Allegheny and went through the whole recruiting process. I met with all the coaches and met the guys on the team. It was difinately a combination of the tennis program and the school. I liked the managerial economics major they have here. I did two on campus visits and felt like Allegheny was the right place for me.

 

Q: How would you describe your career at Allegheny?

A: I’ve loved it every step of the way. Like I said before I didn’t really come in with any expectations, I just love tennis and knew I wanted to be on the team. The things I’ve had a chance to compete in and my awards are all great, but I just love playing tennis. I don’t feel like there’s anything I need to achieve before I graduate. Whatever happens happens, I go to practice everyday and work as hard as I can and just hope the results go with it. I just enjoy playing.

 

Q: What are your plans post-graduation?

A: I’m a managerial economics major and applying to a bunch of jobs in the business analyst and consulting fields. The entreupernerial track is appealing too. I don’t have anything lined up yet but I hope to work for a few years and go to MBA school down the road and go from there.

 

Q: What do your team is looking to accomplish this season?

A: Coming into this season I think this is the most fired up we’ve ever been. We haven’t graduated seniors in two years, this will be the third year in a row, so we’ve had a really close group of core guys. I think we’re all really excited. We played Denison in a really close match last week and that got us really fired up because they’re a tough team. We’ve never cracked the top three in the NCAC and that’s one of our goals. We play a number of nationally ranked teams and one of our goals is to reach the top ten in our central region. Those are our specific goals but we just compete every single match and like I said, we play a lot of tough teams. Anytime we can make it close or pull off an upset is great. We’d like to get a chance to do something like that this year.

 

Q: Who do you think has been most instrumental in your success?

A: Well I think it’s really been everyone. My teammates have been great and while this was an award for me, they were all genuinely happy. They got me a picture frame and everyone signed it. It’s been really easy enjoying being on the team because of my teammates. Our head coach has worked hard with me and helped me get to where I am today. My parents live in Michigan and they drive out to almost all our matches and have supported me my whole life. It’s really everything, I don’t have a specific pinpoint to one of those but everyone who is involved has made it really easy for me to continue playing tennis and showing up every day.