May 5, 2008
Darren Haworth, head coach of the Eastern Washington University men's tennis team, was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year on Monday (May 5). The honor is the second straight for an Eastern Washington coach.
He led the Eagles to their best season since joining the NCAA Division I ranks in 1984. This year, Eastern Washington has set school records for wins (18), Big Sky wins (seven), winning percentage (currently .750 at 18-6) and winning streak (nine - from Feb. 2-March 8).
Eastern Washington claimed its first-ever Big Sky title with dramatic 4-3 wins over Montana State and Sacramento State in the semifinals and championship match, respectively. The Eagles trailed MSU 3-0 and the Hornets 3-1 before rallying for the wins.
Three of his players earned All-Big Sky first team accolades this year: Pannhara Mam, Nico Riego de Dios and Kyle Schraeder. That marked the first time Eastern Washington had ever had three players named to the first team.
He was named the team's head coach on Wednesday (April 30) after serving on an interim basis for the past year. Haworth performs in the same role for the Eagle women's squad, which reached the 10-win mark this past year for the first time in 15 years and won a postseason contest for the initial time in 14 campaigns.
Patrick Dreves earned the honors in 2007.
The Eagle men will play its first-ever NCAA Championship match at noon on Saturday (May 10). Eastern Washington takes on No. 3 UCLA (21-1) in a first round contest at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus.