Dublin School is pleased to announce that Paul Wardlaw has joined Dublin as our new Athletic Director. Over a 33 year career, Wardlaw has coached collegiate tennis and soccer, taught in the classroom and served as a mentor to other coaches around the country. He joins Dublin after a 14-year engagement as Head Coach of the nationally-ranked Brown University D1 Women's Tennis team. He has also served as the Head Women's Tennis Coach at the University of Iowa (D1) and Kenyon College (D3). At Kenyon, his teams won three D3 National Championships, and Wardlaw was named the 2000 Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III Coach of the Decade. As the women's soccer coach at Kenyon, Wardlaw had an 84-53-9 record and coached nineteen NCAC All-Conference players. Wardlaw has been a frequent speaker and instructor at Intercollegiate Tennis Association events and the author of Pressure Tennis.
Why leave Brown and D1 Tennis Coaching to come to Dublin?
The biggest thing is the Dublin community. My wife Katy and I mainly raised our children on the Kenyon campus, and we miss the daily interaction of an intimate and intense community. When you are a D1 coach, you work intensively with a small group of high-level athletes. I am really looking forward to again working with 160 diverse kids instead of just ten.
I am also excited to build on the work that Brooks has done up to now. One of my favorite things over the years has been my work developing coaches -- whether assistants that worked directly for me or leading workshops at national conventions with coaches from all over the country. This new role allows me to coach, teach and help others develop their coaching style.
I don't think people can be happy unless we are creating -- this new role gives me the ability to be creative in multiple spheres.
You have had considerable competitive success. Other than having gifted athletes, how have you done that?
My coaching philosophy is founded on building healthy relationships. I break that down into six key relationships. A successful athlete has to have healthy relationships with (1) themselves; (2) teammates; (3) the team; (4) their coaches; (5) the sport they play, and (6) their parents. My job is to work to foster those relationships. It's the key to success.
What do you mean by a healthy relationship with the sport you play?
Ivy league and D3 athletes - who I have primarily coached - don't have to play the sport they were recruited to play. It is a continual choice for them. And invariably there are rough spots - injuries or discovering limits or finding new fascinations. For many athletes, sport becomes an integral part of their identity. Which makes it tough when they question why? If they don't have a healthy relationship with their sport, those rough patches can be really debilitating. Sport is supposed to be healthy and joyful.
You have spent a good part of recent years recruiting D1 and D3 athletes. What is it going to be like on the other side?
I am looking forward to helping our athletes find the right fit. Having been on the other side, I think I can be an excellent resource on how to approach the process. I have been on a lot of campuses and know a lot of coaches. There is a lot of misinformation out there about college recruiting. At its base, recruiting is about building relationships between an athlete and a coach. Students have to be actively involved in that.
So you are teaching Existentialism?
I am very excited to get back into the classroom. Existentialism is really about exploring how you want to live. I don't think it is very different from my coaching ideas. It is the same concepts about building healthy relationships between the self and the world.