Today’s news:

St. John’s taps Rebhuhn, Copeland as new coaches

St. John’s Athletic Director Dave Wegrzyn filled the head coaching positions for both the men’s and women’s tennis team last week as Eric Rebhuhn was named the new head men’s tennis coach and Kyle Copeland was tapped as the new women’s tennis coach.

“We’re excited to have Eric and Kyle join the St. John’s family,” Wegrzyn said. “Both coaches have had success at the collegiate level and are proven teachers in the game. We think they will be great leaders for our student-athletes and help guide the teams to success.”

Rebhuhn joins St. John’s from the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as the men and women’s head coach for the past three years. The Great Neck native led the women’s team to an 18-7 overall record, including an 8-1 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference last year. The Panthers were ranked 74th nationally in the Collegiate Tennis rankings.

The men’s team finished the season 15-13, its first winning season since 1993 and were ranked ninth in Region V in the rankings.

Rebhuhn earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Concordia College in 1993, where the men’s tennis team was nationally ranked and won over 150 matches during his four years.

Rebhuhn, who played professionally and trained under Carlos Alvarado, also serves as the head tennis professional at Leewood Golf Club in Eastchester.

Copeland joins St. John’s after serving as the tennis pro at the Binghamton Racquet Club in Edgewater, N.J. A 1992 graduate of Pepperdine, Copeland had a successful six-year career as a touring pro, competing in more than 12 different countries on the Virginia Slims World Championship Series Circuit.

Copeland competed in Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the French Open and the Australian Open and was ranked 10th in the world in doubles with Lori McNeil before retiring.

Copeland served as the head women’s tennis coach at William Patterson University in Wayne, N.J. from 1998-00. She handled all aspects of coaching and recruitment for the Division III program, guiding the team to one of its best records in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

In addition to her tennis experience, Copeland, who earned her degree in television broadcasting, has served as sports editor of Mentor Magazine, a publication designed to motivate black and Hispanic young people, has appeared in TV and print advertising and served as assistant director of One to One New York, a national, non-profit mentoring program.

In other St. John’s coaching news, Red Storm women’s basketball head coach Darcel Estep named Brooke Renkins a new assistant coach last week.

Renkins served as a graduate assistant coach at Kean University last year while obtaining her Masters of Arts in Behavioral Science degree. The Cougars finished with an overall record of 9-15.

A four-year letter-winner at Manhattan College, Renkins was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and MAAC Long Distance Shooter of the Year in 1997. She was also the Lady Jaspers captain her senior year and holds the school record for career three-pointers (215) and was the program’s 13th 1,000-point scorer.

“I am excited about Brooke joining our staff,” says Estep. “Her loyalty as a player and a graduate assistant are what intrigued me to bring a person of her caliber to our staff. Since she is not far removed from being a student-athlete, Brooke understands the pressure of being a student-athlete, which will help her bond with the team right away. She was an outstanding player at Manhattan and we look forward to having her work with our program.”

A native of the Bronx, Renkens’ primary responsibilities will include overseeing and developing the camps, clinics and community service in addition to serving as the team’s academic coordinator.

Another St. John’s coach, men and women’s head swimming coach John Skudin, participated in the 2001 National Lifeguard Championships last week in Miami Beach.

Skudin serves as captain of the Long Beach team. Last year he finished third in both the International Ironman and the American Ironman, while placing second in the Surf Ski, fourth in the Surf Swim and eighth in the Landline Relay. His team finished 19th out of 39 teams in last year’s competition.

Skudin has coached the St. John’s men’s and women’s swim teams for the past 11 years and last season guided the men’s squad to a school-best second place finish at the Big East Championship as Skudin was named men’s Big East Coach of the Year for a second time in his Red Storm career.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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