Former Lamar player David Wong is in his fifth season as head coach at Lamar University after spending the previous two years as an assistant.
Wong knows the rich tradition of Lamar tennis as a former player, and continues to build the program with the idea of returning to that success. In his first year, Wong took a pair of young teams and began to see them grow by the end of the season.
This year's men's team is full of youth, with five freshman and three sophomores, while the women has two seniors in Kendall Gibbs and Tara Shelander. The Lady Cardinals bring a lot of experience to the table, with Shelander and Andrea Martinez boasting first team all conference honors in doubles and Martinez being named second team all conference in singles for a second straight year.
"My main goal is for the players to have a good college experience and continue the strong tradition of Lamar tennis, both academically and on the courts."
Last year Wong coached the LU women to a fourth place finish, while the men finished in fifth. Along with the accolades of Martinez and Shelander, Hayley Bakker was named second team all conference, and the tandem of Emilio Kirby and Juan Pablo Altorre earned second team honors in doubles.
Wong helped coach the Lady Cardinals to a fourth place finish in the Southland Conference standings in 2000, his second season as an assistant, and two players off that team were named all-conference. In 2002, Wong had a pair of all-conference players as former Lady Cardinal Catalina Paz earned all-conference, while former men's player Jakob Paulsen was named Southland Conference Freshman of the Year.
A scholarship athlete at Lamar from 1980-84, Wong's international ties are a big asset to Lamar's recruiting. Wong has also benefited from playing for top coaches, such as legendary Lamar coach Ron Wesbrooks. Wesbrooks led Lamar to five Southland Conference championships in 17 seasons. During Wong's four seasons at Lamar, the Cardinals put together a 57-43 team record and the 1980 team is one of only three Lamar teams to win 20 matches in a season.
He also played for, and trained under, Ken DeKoning, who was a former Davis Cup player and team captain for Holland, and Humphrey Hose, a number one player for Venezuela who reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 1975.
As a player, Wong has continued to excel as evidenced by his 1996 no. 2 ranking in the state of Texas in Men's 35 singles. He and his wife were also the no. 1 ranked Husband/Wife Doubles team in Texas that same year.
A USPTA certified Tennis instructor, Wong is also the Director of Tennis at Brentwood Country Club in Beaumont.
As a coach, Wong has worked with state and nationally ranked junior players, as well as adult tennis teams in local, sectional and national levels.
A 1997 graduate of Lamar University with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Wong currently resides in Nederland with his wife Missy. Wong has three children -- Michael, Sydney and Jayci, and two stepchildren -- Brandon and Mindy.