How are college team line ups determined?

texrunner

New User
I’m sure there are many factors that go into it, but in general, how do college coaches determine their teams’ lineups? Do some do a tryout type format once practice begins, do coaches hold challenge matches throughout the season, does it depend on the teams they are playing, etc...
I assume a coach doesn’t just go by UTR’s like a lot of high school coaches do. And also I would think with freshmen there would be a bit of a learning curve even for the strongest of players...living away from home, adjusting to demanding course work etc etc.
 

andfor

Legend
UTR's have some weight but mostly results from match play. Summer and fall results and challenge match play all can factor in, each coach has their own system. Playing style can also factor in some cases placing a player a spot or two higher or lower in the line up. Saw a case where a school had the 3rd best player in the 1 line due to his being a senior and 2 and 3 being lowerclassmen, that said those differences in overall ability was close to hairsplitting. No stacking (sarc.)!
 

texrunner

New User
UTR's have some weight but mostly results from match play. Summer and fall results and challenge match play all can factor in, each coach has their own system. Playing style can also factor in some cases placing a player a spot or two higher or lower in the line up. Saw a case where a school had the 3rd best player in the 1 line due to his being a senior and 2 and 3 being lowerclassmen, that said those differences in overall ability was close to hairsplitting. No stacking (sarc.)!
Is it like in high school where you can only move a player up or down one spot?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
When I watched Isner play in the NCAA indoor team championships, he played in the #2 spot.

I also recall watching a Stanford-USC team match live in 1991, where Jonathan Stark played against Byron Black at #3 singles spot - two guys who would team up to win the French Open 3 years later!
 

andfor

Legend
Is it like in high school where you can only move a player up or down one spot?
Similar, once the first dual is played moving the players within the line up one spot per match is about it. *I don't have the exact rule or how its worded in front of me. LOL. This started a big debate a few months back, but that's close to how line ups are set, then players moved up or down one line once the dual season begins.
 

Fabresque

Hall of Fame
It’s up to the coach. Some base it solely on UTR and encourage tournament results. Some base it on challenge matches during practices. Some base it on previous match play. Some do a combination. Everybody’s different.
 

NoChance

Rookie
Fabresque is indeed the winner. Trouble is, not all coaches let their players know ahead of time what the criteria will be for selecting players for the lineup.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Trouble is, not all coaches let their players know ahead of time what the criteria will be for selecting players for the lineup.
I encourage players to ask themselves, “Why do you need to know how a lineup is selected - is that for the team’s benefit, or your own?”
 

bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
I encourage players to ask themselves, “Why do you need to know how a lineup is selected - is that for the team’s benefit, or your own?”
Why shouldn't players ask? The coach might be corrupted and accepted bribes from other players' parents so that their kids can be slotted higher in the line up.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Why shouldn't players ask? The coach might be corrupted and accepted bribes from other players' parents so that their kids can be slotted higher in the line up.
Lol. I suppose anything is possible. Look, I think asking a general question about how the lineup is selected is fine. And I have no problem providing an answer, going into some detail about how I do it.

The problems usually come when a player continues to ask about the lineup, or worse, openly criticizes it. IME, it’s a very slippery slope between the above scenario, and this one.
 
Last edited:

haqq777

Legend
Our coach always made us play matches within the team and we practiced a bunch together as well so we knew who the top guys were. Guys were allowed to throw a challenge too if they felt they deserved a higher spot. If it was very close though our coach decided who would play at what spot, (but usually we knew ourselves too given how much we hit with one another). Past season matches were never an indicator for us of our lineup spot. It all depended on form at that time.
 
When I played college, we determined the lineup with challenge matches played before the start of each season. Sometimes it wasn't necessary because we knew where we stood, but if there was a new guy or someone who had gotten better or worse, we'd have a challenge.
 

jdlive

New User
Different rules sometimes. I recall an Illinois vs Penn St match some years ago where the Big Ten rules differed from NCAA (or ITA?) rules. Illinois had adjusted their lineup because a player was returning from injury. PSU protested and got a point overturned and ended up winning the match as a result.
 
I'm the coach for an NAIA college and our rules are pretty specific in regards to moving players up and down the lineup.

No more than one spot switch for singles/doubles and can be up to 2 spots switch for doubles if with a new partner.

You are supposed to put lineup in order of strength but many coaches sandbag and can get away with it. There's a plethora of excuses to use and evidence to prove why your lineup is what it is on that day. Protesting the lineup must be done at the start of the match and mentioned to the head ref and the opposing coach.

To a certain degree you can't really prove someone is better than another even is UTR shows they are a full .5 point apart based on competitive edge. I may have a 3rd year athlete ranked lower on UTR than an incoming freshman ranked higher; however my 3rd year athlete knows how to win from experience. I'd be more comfortable putting them higher in the lineup. That would also be my rationale.

Some coaches can be corrupt or have poor intentions which does occur, we've competed against that. At the end of the day, a protest can occur but the logistics of it happen after the match. So you are better of playing your best against your assigned opponent and deal with the rest later.
 

bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
Classless question. I hope he tells you none of your damn business. He'd certainly have a right to.
WTF... Why are you so sensitive about this? How is the question classless?

He does not have to tell "exactly" how much he get paid, just a ball park figure so that others who are interested in coaching for NAIA colleges know what they are getting into.

I tell people how much I make, ball park figure, along with retirement/health/dental/pension/401k matching benefits if they are interested in working for the company. That will help people make informed decision.

He'd certainly have the right not to disclose but the question is a legit, not a classless one.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
Outside of america I think people are much more sensitive about sharing things about compensation - it shouldn't be something to be shy about, though. It allows employers to get away with a lot.
My coach based our lineup on practice match results and then competitive results (he might move a guy down who had lost a few matches in a row). We played practice matches almost every week - you got a pretty clear picture of who the best players were pretty quickly. Basing things on ratings seems silly, but also when I played there wasn't the UTR system, which seems more universal (lol) than other rating systems, so I guess you can put a little more weight on it.
 
@PURETENNISsense: How much do you get paid as a tennis coach at your NAIA college? Do you get 401k retirement contribution, pension, health & dental benefits, vacations, sick days?
Lets put it this way...

For a single person, you would live fine with just the coaching salary but you wouldn't be saving much at all if any. A small second job would be required to assist with the income, especially if you live in the city. Suburbs would before affordable but this all depends on what college you are the coach at and the cost of living in that area.

Health and dental benefits are alright, still takes a nice chunk out of the bi-weekly pay.

Vacation and sick days are ok as well. Nothing special. Typicaly 2 weeks PTO, day off for birthday, etc.

All in all, from what we see and feel about college tennis from the outside perspective, it's nothing like that as a coach. If I summed up my job I would describe it as:

1) 50% personality management (if you recruit properly)
2) 30% admin work and meetings with players
3) 20% coaching tennis
 

bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
Lets put it this way...

For a single person, you would live fine with just the coaching salary but you wouldn't be saving much at all if any. A small second job would be required to assist with the income, especially if you live in the city. Suburbs would before affordable but this all depends on what college you are the coach at and the cost of living in that area.

Health and dental benefits are alright, still takes a nice chunk out of the bi-weekly pay.

Vacation and sick days are ok as well. Nothing special. Typicaly 2 weeks PTO, day off for birthday, etc.

Very good info. Thank you.

You mentioned not being able to save at all, if any, for being a tennis coach. That is really a concern because in order to have a good retirement income, one needs to start saving as early as possible because rule of compound interest. That's where the 401k, or 403b for non-profit or universities, and the 5% or 6% matching come in, and also personal saving.

Hat off to you for being a college tennis coach. You must have really loved the job and not doing it for the money.
 
Very good info. Thank you.

You mentioned not being able to save at all, if any, for being a tennis coach. That is really a concern because in order to have a good retirement income, one needs to start saving as early as possible because rule of compound interest. That's where the 401k, or 403b for non-profit or universities, and the 5% or 6% matching come in, and also personal saving.

Hat off to you for being a college tennis coach. You must have really loved the job and not doing it for the money.
Thank you!

It's a fantastic and extremely rewarding job knowing that you are helping to shape and mold the future of so many impressionable young adults. However, considering the significance of the role, I feel 100s of colleges coaches are devalued with their compensation. Its a very demanding full time job and having to do that role well and have another job on the side does complicate life.
 

bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
Thank you!

It's a fantastic and extremely rewarding job knowing that you are helping to shape and mold the future of so many impressionable young adults. However, considering the significance of the role, I feel 100s of colleges coaches are devalued with their compensation. Its a very demanding full time job and having to do that role well and have another job on the side does complicate life.
Having another side job really sucks, especially when your main job, at the university, does not pay enough to sustain yourself. The bigger concern is not being able to save for your own retirement early on. That's a big disadvantage because in saving for retirement, time is the essence.
 
Having another side job really sucks, especially when your main job, at the university, does not pay enough to sustain yourself. The bigger concern is not being able to save for your own retirement early on. That's a big disadvantage because in saving for retirement, time is the essence.
Absolutely!

Have you seen this?
Was sent via newsletter from Darryl Cummings college coach/UTR founder


Was from 2018, but essentially if you can see how massive the budget was for many colleges at the top of the list, it gives you an idea of the Coaches salaries.... 6 fig for sure. Towards the bottom of the list, likely most NAIA colleges. Budgets are typically higher than Coaches yearly Salary.
 

bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
Absolutely!

Have you seen this?
Was sent via newsletter from Darryl Cummings college coach/UTR founder


Was from 2018, but essentially if you can see how massive the budget was for many colleges at the top of the list, it gives you an idea of the Coaches salaries.... 6 fig for sure. Towards the bottom of the list, likely most NAIA colleges. Budgets are typically higher than Coaches yearly Salary.
My alma mater beloved Ohio State University (OSU) spends 2.36M/year on tennis. Of that 2.36M/year expense, 327K/year goes to Ty Tucker as salary & benefits.

I graduated in 1991 and my starting salary as a C/C++ programmer was 37K/yr. I can't imagine a coach make less than that in 2020, so sad.
 
My alma mater beloved Ohio State University (OSU) spends 2.36M/year on tennis. Of that 2.36M/year expense, 327K/year goes to Ty Tucker as salary & benefits.

I graduated in 1991 and my starting salary as a C/C++ programmer was 37K/yr. I can't imagine a coach make less than that in 2020, so sad.
Yea, it's kind of a shame but many coaches are also part-time when the institution can't afford or won't want to pay them for full-time. Really takes away from the player experience at that point. 2.36 mil is crazy for a sports team budget like tennis in college. There's a pretty significant turnover rate for college coaches as well in the NAIA, except for those who are in contention or winning Natl Chps.
 

andfor

Legend
LOLOLOLOL panties in a twist, buddy?
In retrospect probably wasn't my place. I find asking someone what they make in public when you don't know them a little uncouth. Maybe a private message would be more appropriate, maybe I'm just an old codger. It's the internet so who cares when hiding behind a keyboard. HAHA.
 
Top