Dick Gould

Dick Gould a former Head tennis coach at University of Stanford could be very easily compared to Sir Alex Ferguson (27 years FC Manchester United manager, won 38 trophies) of American College tennis. Dick coached Stanford for 38 years from 1967–2004 and won 17 NCAA team championships. His Stanford teams won national championships in 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000. They were also four times NCAA runners-up. He is the winningest coach in Stanford men's tennis history. During his coaching career at Stanford he worked with 9 players later ranked top 15 in ATP singles such as John McEnroe, Gene Mayer, Alex Mayer, Roscoe Tanner and Tim Mayotte and 14 players who have reached top 10 in ATP world doubles rankings, including 7 No. 1 ranked doubles players, McEnroe, Jim Grabb, Jonathan Stark, Alex O'Brien, Jared Palmer, and Bob and Mike Bryan. Gould was twice named the Intercollegiate Tennis "Coach of the Decade," for the 1980s and then for 1990s. He has also been named to multiple halls of fame.

You mentioned once, that when recruiting, you always looked at the ranking of the player, which gave you the picture of how good of a competitor is he...?

DG: Yes, well, back in the day, when I was coaching, American junior players were not involved much in international tournaments (other than the Grand Slams) such as ITF junior tour they all play now. The Americans all played against each other in the States, so the national rankings were very accurate. The higher the ranking, regardless of style of play or “talent,” really reflected who knew how to win and who most probably had what it took to be a winner. Every coach wants winners to build a successful team. I always felt it was important to recruit on actual results – which accurate rankings measure – rather than on “potential,” if at all possible....

Did you recommend to your players to go professional after the college?

DG: Turn or not to turn... I would explain the pro and cons of making such a decision. There was only one player I did not want to let go, and that was Roscoe Tanner – my first premier recruit. If he returned for his senior (last) year of college, we would have been odd-on favorites to win our 1st (of the 17 to follow) national team championships – Roscoe was the one person who really turned us into a winning program, and I encouraged him to stay to finish what he had started. However, he was determined it was time to turn Pro – he proved himself correct by reaching the Wimbledon finals a couple of years later and losing to Borg in tough 5 set match. My job was to prepare my players for a pro career and give them my support. If that meant leaving school a year or two early, then so be it . . .

What would you say to Top players are born or top players are made...?

DG: The age-old question!! Actually, a little bit of both. I believe, that basketball players are the best true athletes in the states. In top tennis there were lesser great athletes, when I was coaching. Nowadays there are more top players who are greater complete athletes then 20 years ago. I still believe, that in tennis the physical skills are not necessarily the most important factor deciding on who will become a top tennis player except maybe at the very top, but it certainly does not hurt to have great innate athletic ability!

What do you think about Mytennisprofile.com and its idea of having a global professional / competitive tennis network, database of organizations and individuals, where players and coaches can cooperate on global scale like never before.

DG: Very impressive, mytennisprofile.com is a fascinating, all-inclusive concept – I think you have really hot on something good for so many people – Good luck to this product! The web site is addressing many different things, from player placement to job placement to tournament opportunities, etc. The personal and school profiles are good, and should be a big help to users.