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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Head coach Plunkett retires after 19 years

Coach+Tory+Plunkett+surveys+the+Texas+States+tennis+courts+in+San+Marcos.

Coach Tory Plunkett surveys the Texas State’s tennis courts in San Marcos.

With over 150 career wins as the women’s tennis head coach Tory Plunkett is retiring  after nearly 20 years at Texas State.
“I think it’s time for me to give that opportunity to somebody who’s possibly you know a little younger and has new ideas,” Plunkett said. “It’s time for me to pass the torch and move on.”
The tennis court is where Plunkett called home, she played college tennis at Northwestern State, helping them win a Gulf Star Conference championship in 1986. Then transferred to Texas Christian University to finish her college career from 1986 to 1989 and went on to play in the pro circuit.
“Tennis has always been a part of my life. As a junior, I played tennis among other sports but I kind of had to pick between one and I narrowed it down to soccer and tennis and ended up getting a scholarship to Northwestern State University and then transferred to TCU where I graduated from,” Plunkett said. “I did exceptionally well in college. Played on the pro circuit and I’ve [been] coaching college tennis for 25 years, so yeah, it’s always been a part of my life. It’s a great game.”
Before Plunkett was offered the job back in 2003, she was an assistant coach at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1994. She then continued her same position at the University of Texas at San Antonio for two years from 1995 to 1996 until going back to UTA for a head coaching position from 1996 to 1998. Plunkett then found her way to Texas State and has been here since her last season. 
“I was very fortunate to get the head position back in 2003 and I was very grateful,” Plunkett said. “I’ve met a lot of people who is on the athletic staff who have become my friends. The players that have come and go probably taught me more than I taught them.”
Throughout her coaching career, Plunkett has changed the culture of the sport and her players. She doesn’t just see herself as a coach but as a motherly figure to her athletes. Having seen many athletes come through the program, she has been someone they can depend on.
Assistant Coach Kendall Brooks worked alongside her for two years and has seen the way Plunkett cares about her players. 
“She truly cared about her players as people, as well as athletes. She was a competitor and wanted to win, but she would go to bat for any of her players and truly valued those relationships over any of the wins and losses,” Brooks said. “She enjoyed the development side of coaching and took a lot of pride from seeing her players improve through the years. And she was resilient. No matter what, she just kept working on finding a way to get better.”
Former Texas State tennis player Katy Collins, who played under Plunkett from 2012-to 2016, still uses the lessons Plunkett instilled in her during her time at Texas State.
“Coach Plunkett taught me so many things it is hard to put them all into words,” Collins said. “A major thing I have learned from her which has helped me even through life today would be to ‘go for it.’ Eliminate the fear of failure and fight for what you want, or for the win.”
Plunkett’s coaching style allowed her to mentor her players in ways that made for improvements beyond just a racquet swing or a serve. Her coaching made sure her players were always up to the mental challenges of being a college athlete, which helped better prepare Collins for life after tennis.
“Coach Plunkett believed in me and was able to greatly improve my mental strength. I am extremely thankful for this as I know I would not have been able to achieve what I was able to without her support and leadership.”
Having left the program better than she found it, Coach Plunkett is ready to say her farewells to Texas State.
“The opportunity that they gave me I couldn’t be more appreciated and more grateful knowing that I get to walk away with excellent memories, great friendships that will continue, and once a Bobcat always a Bobcat,” Plunkett said.
For more information on coach Plunkett, visit https://txstatebobcats.com/staff-directory/tory-plunkett/2.

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