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New Bishop’s tennis coach has impressive resume

Mariel DeYoung has played and coached at some of the highest levels of college tennis, so it’s safe to say that she finds herself in a different world this fall.

DeYoung, a two-time NCAA All-American, took over the reins of the girls’ tennis program at The Bishop’s School this year. She said she is enjoying the change in atmosphere.

“When my friend told me about the opportunity, I thought it would be a lot of fun,” DeYoung said. “I’m happy to be coaching again, and I’d like to create some excitement at Bishop’s within the tennis program.”

DeYoung moved from Atlanta to San Diego this year when her husband, a professional baseball scout, took a job with the San Diego Padres. In the course of her full-time job at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, she learned about the coaching vacancy created at Bishop’s when long-time coach Jose Ruelas stepped aside.

She jumped at the chance and has spent the last month adjusting to her new role.

“It’s definitely more low key here,” said DeYoung, adding that the atmosphere playing and coaching at the NCAA Division I level was intense. “There’s not much of a comparison.”

DeYoung (formerly Mariel Verban) is a native of Georgia and began her college tennis career at Wake Forest. She was named the Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year in 1998, and the following season was selected as an All-American, becoming just the seventh women’s tennis player in Wake Forest history to be so honored.

She transferred to Georgia and was named an All-American for the Bulldogs in 2001. DeYoung helped the team to a USTA/ITA national indoor team championship and a pair of appearances in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships.

DeYoung said she has high expectations for her team at Bishop’s, but also understands that her players have a lot else on their plates and that tennis is just a small part of their high school experience.

“It’s a good opportunity to help them become better teammates and teach them what it means to be accountable, responsible and part of something,” De-Young said. “When these girls go to college and then go get jobs, they’re going to need to be part of a team. If anything, that’s what I’m trying to teach them.”

Gregory Ball covers sports for La Jolla Light. He can be reached at ballgregory@yahoo.com.