The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has named Daniel Bickett as the next head coach of the Phoenix tennis programs, Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie announced on Thursday. Bickett joins Green Bay following a one-year stint as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and six seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
“Daniel's individual and team coaching background set him apart from the very beginning,” said Gillespie. “His passion and energy for teaching and developing young people is contagious, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Phoenix Family.”
Prior to arriving at UW-Oshkosh, the native of Houston, Texas, oversaw a staff of four tennis professionals as the Director of Tennis at Premier Tennis & Fitness in Janesville, Wis. He also developed programming and instructional goals for both junior and adult tennis players, and worked with the Wisconsin Tennis Association to create league opportunities in an effort to revitalize the tennis community in the southeast region of the state.
"I am extremely grateful to Mary Ellen Gillespie and the rest of the athletic staff at Green Bay for providing me with this opportunity,” said Bickett. “I am honored to be taking over two programs that have grown under Mark Thomas and Sommer May, and I look forward to continuing our student-athlete's success on the court and in the classroom."
A graduate of UW-Whitewater, Bickett, 27, served as an assistant coach at his alma-mater from 2007-2013, where he oversaw six consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, including a stretch of six straight conference championships and a 46 conference-match winning streak on the women’s side.
Under his co-leadership, one of the Warhawks’ programs made NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances in five of his years at the school, including four straight seasons from 2010-2013. He coached six individual NCAA Tournament qualifiers and was twice named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Division III National Assistant Coach of the Year, in 2010 for his work with the women’s program, and again in 2013 with the men’s team. He also worked with Study Buddy, a UW-Whitewater academic program that stressed strong work ethic and led to the selection of 73 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athletes.
“Daniel’s collegiate coaching experience and enthusiasm for the position stood out from the beginning of the process,” said Craig Sandlin, the Associate Athletics Director for External Relations at Green Bay. “We are certain he will continue to build our men’s and women’s tennis programs and help us compete for Horizon League championships.”
Bickett’s other ventures in the sport have included an assistant camp director at the Warhawk Tennis Camp, the Head Racquets Professional at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill., and as the Varsity Boy’s Tennis Coach at Madison West High School, where he tutored five state tournament qualifiers, including a pair in singles play. In 2013, he coached the Wisconsin Cheeseheads, a youth tennis team from Wisconsin, to their first-ever World TeamTennis Junior Nationals Championship in San Diego Calif.
A graduate of Langham Creek High School in Houston, Bickett played the 2006-07 tennis season at UW-Whitewater. He received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from UW-Whitewater in 2010 and completed his master’s degree in Professional Development at the school in 2012.