Mills College’s Athletic Department welcomed Tony Canedo as its new head tennis coach for this upcoming season. Canedo brings 30 years of tennis experience to Mills, including playing professional tennis throughout Europe and coaching both men and women’s teams throughout the United States. With his new team of eight, half returners and half incoming players, Canedo is excited to share his knowledge and love for tennis.
The Campanil: What influenced you to play tennis?
TC: I started playing tennis at age four [and then] competitively at age eight until being recruited for college.
The Campanil: Why did you choose to play tennis?
TC: My older sister was in lessons and I was the squeaky wheel [who] wanted to get into it. I loved it.
The Campanil: What was your tennis career like when you played professionally in Europe?
TC: I played in the ITF (International Tennis Federation) and ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) pro tours, [which] is considered the third level in the satellite circuit. I travelled all over Eastern and Western Europe and North Africa playing for about five years. I was centrally located in the South of France, so that was a lot of fun. It was a great way to see the world.
The Campanil: What was your biggest accomplishment in your tennis career?
TC: I won a tournament in Denmark, which was probably my biggest professional [accomplishment]. I won the Maryland State Olympics, [too], which was fun.
The Campanil: What is your experience in coaching?
TC: I worked at the Milwaukee School of Engineering about eight to ten years ago, for about four years. I took the team to the NCAA the year that I left. In terms of coaching, I have been lucky to have great coaches my whole life from the times that I was a junior [in high school], to college, to when I was playing for a living. I have always had great direction and good solid coaches.
The Campanil: What made you transition from playing tennis to coaching?
TC: I was too old to play and be competitive. I love coaching, [especially] that light bulb moment when a player gets it.
The Campanil: Why did you choose Mills?
TC: When the opening occurred, I always wanted to get back into college coaching and it so happened that Mills was right here. I live in Oakland so it was an easy transition, but the fit was perfect. It allows me to coach the team and the PE classes and be more involved with the campus life and, of course, I have my own tennis academy, which I get to use the courts for.
The Campanil: Do you have any goals for this upcoming season?
TC: To finish better than where we started. For every player it is going to be relative to where they start and to where they finish. I think as a team, to get that whole sense of family and support and that “one for all, and all for one,” it is going to be fun.