June 25, 2013

Merrimack Tabs Former Warrior Peter Arsenault to Lead Men's and Women's Tennis Teams

PETER ARSENAULT NAMED MERRIMACK TENNIS HEAD COACH, ADDS TWO TO STAFF

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – After an extensive nationwide search, former men's tennis captain and 2006 Merrimack College alum Peter Arsenault has been named head coach of the men's and women's tennis programs, as announced Thursday by Director of Athletics Jeremy Gibson.

"We are very excited for Peter to have the opportunity to lead our men's and women's tennis programs and welcome him back to campus," Gibson noted. "After making such an impact on the program as a player, we have full confidence in Peter's leadership ability and his vision for our student-athletes. I am confident he will be an outstanding representative of our Department and the College."

Arsenault will also add Max Eppley and Andy Severance to the program's staff as assistant coaches, joining Liam Hoare, who enters his third season with the program next year.

"I am honored to become more involved again in this close family of Merrimack tennis players and alumni," Arsenault noted. "The men's and women's tennis programs have developed considerably in the recent years under coach Stevens and coach Tully. We have two very talented teams this year, and three excellent assistants in Liam, Max, and Andy. I know we are all excited to see how much we can improve, and we are looking forward to having a lot of fun in the process. I feel humbled and blessed to be a part of it."

A 2006 Merrimack alum with a degree in business administration, Arsenault will return to his Alma matter after serving two years as team captain during his junior and senior campaign. He was an instrumental force behind the reviving of the program when it was on the brink of being cut, and as a player helped pave the foundation for what has become a perennial conference, regional and national contender at the Division II level.

He will inherit a men's program that repeated as Northeast-10 Conference champions in 2012-13 en route to earning its sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, as well as a women's side that just missed out on a postseason berth and has a strong returning nucleus in place for next year and beyond.

While with the Warriors, Arsenault was a top-three singles player and top-two doubles partner during his four-year tenure. But his biggest contribution came in the form of his two years as team captain, when he was instrumental toward raising support for the program when it faced potential elimination as a varsity sport on campus.

After several players and his previous head coach left the program prior to his sophomore year, Arsenault was told that the Merrimack men's tennis team would be cut as a varsity sport. But the Bristol, N.H., native took it upon himself to recruit players, hold practices and negotiate with college administrators until they agreed to reinstate the program a few months later.

That prompted the hiring of eight-year head coach Chris Stevens, who – with Arsenault as one of his top players on the court – helped mold the program into the perennial contender it is today. Despite being seven years removed from the team, Arsenault has maintained his strong ties with Merrimack tennis, and even volunteered his assistance during the team's spring break tip in 2012 down in Florida, forming relationships with many current players in the process.

Recently, Arsenault has been working toward a Ph.D. toward Public Administration & Policy at the University at Albany while serving as an adjunct professor at Plymouth State University since September of 2011. He also spent three years as a tennis instructor at both Next Level Tennis and at the Jasper Valley Swim and Tennis Club located in his hometown of Amherst, N.H.

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