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With 828 wins, head coach Mark Rosewell is the winningest general in any sport in Northwest history. Rosewell recently wrapped up his 26th season as the Bearcats’ head men’s and women’s tennis coach. The 2010 campaign marked his 28th as a collegiate head coach as he spent two years at his alma mater, University of Central Missouri, for two seasons prior to arriving at Northwest.
Rosewell has built Northwest into one of the strongest programs in the MIAA and the nation. He’s won 18 MIAA tournament championships – 11 with the women and seven with the men. He led the Bearcat women to the NCAA tournament in 15 consecutive seasons (1995-2009). The men have made 13 appearances since 1995.
Rosewell earned his 20th MIAA Coach of the Year award after leading the men to the 2010 MIAA Tournament title and the women to the 2010 MIAA regular season championship. The men finished the season with a program-record 22 wins (against five losses) while the women finished 17-7 overall and 7-0 in conference play.
In addition to the success of Bearcat tennis in the spring, Rosewell has seen similar successes in the fall. Northwest has hosted either a men’s or women’s ITA regional championship 18 times in the last 19 years. A Northwest student-athlete has won the championship and advanced to nationals on the women’s side three times in the last six years with Kristina Vucenov’s championship run in 2007 being the latest. Gena Lindsay won back-to-back regional titles in 2004 and 2005. Chris Smith and Jake Saulsbury won the men’s regional doubles tournament and advanced to nationals held in Fort Myers, Fla., in 2006.
Northwest has had three MIAA Most Valuable Players since the award was first presented in 2003. Rosa Tapia was the co-winner of the award in 2004. Lindsay won back-to-back MVP honors in 2005 and 2006. Malcolm Harrison earned the honor on the men’s side this past spring.
In addition, Rosewell has brought in three MIAA Freshman of the Year student-athletes. Pablo Acebedo (2004) and Vijit Sehgal (2008) were recipients on the men’s side. Veronica Castilla became the Bearcats’ first female honoree in 2007.
Northwest’s women reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament in 1997 and 2003 – the best finishes in Bearcat tennis history. The 1997 team had a program-record 28 wins and won 24 matches in a row at one point. The 2003 team finished with 24 wins and brought home the team’s third consecutive MIAA crown.
Rosewell has won the men’s and women’s MIAA championships in the same year five times – the most of any MIAA coach. The most recent occurrence was 2002. Rosewell also accomplished the feat in 1987, 1996, 1997 and 2001.
A college tennis player in his own right, Rosewell compiled Central Missouri’s best career winning percentage in the 1970s. He earned both his bachelor’s degree in physical education and master’s degree in industrial safety engineering at UCM. It was while he worked on his master’s degree that Roswell served as head tennis coach for both the Mules and Jennies of Central Missouri.