June 4, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss interim Director of Athletics Jeff Hammond announced the hiring of women's tennis coach Dominic Modise Monday. The hiring is subject to approval by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.
"We are excited to welcome the new head coach of our women's tennis team, Mr. Dominic Modise," Hammond said. "We are enthusiastic that this experienced veteran coach elected to join the University family to lead our wonderful student-athletes. We are further motivated by his energy to make a difference for all those who proudly support the Golden Eagles. Dominic clearly understands people, leading and caring but foremost, the special opportunity to nurture our young people both on and off the tennis court. His experienced background and multi-dimensional talents make him a wonderful fit for the young ladies who proudly represent our University. We believe the best is yet to come for the Southern Miss Lady Eagle tennis team."
Modise becomes the eighth women's tennis coach in the program's history.
"I am excited to be part of Southern Miss Athletics and thankful for the opportunity," Modise said. "I am looking forward to taking the program to the next level."
Prior to coming to Southern Miss, Modise was named the head coach of the North Carolina Wesleyan men's and women's tennis programs in 2007. The 2012 season saw Modise's teams continue to raise the expectations of North Carolina Wesleyan men's tennis after capturing a fourth-straight USA South regular season title, tournament crown and NCAA berth. The Bishops were ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation earlier in the season after defeating Kenyon College, which recently made a national championship appearance. This season also saw Wesleyan's women's team turn the corner with a third straight winning season and a share of the program's first USA South regular season championship.
His five-year tenure at NCWC saw Modise produce 44 All-Conference performers (29 male, 15 female), four USA South Rookies of the Year (three males, one female), ITA Player of the Year to Watch, ITA Rookie of the Year, ITA Regional Doubles Champions, All-American (three males), NCAA Elite 8 and three Sweet 16 finishes, a Top 10 national rankings and one USA South Player of the Year. His Bishops combined for nine conference regular season and/or tournament championships, and he exits as the all-time winningest coach in the history of both programs. For his efforts, Modise earned the league's Coach of the Year award on four occasions.
Previous to NCWC, Modise helped the Buffaloes earn an NCAA Tournament berth and a third-place finish in the Big 12 Conference. Both overall records during the dual season (16-8) and in the conference (9-2) were school-bests since 1999.
Among his responsibilities, Modise assisted the CU success on the singles court at the No. 4, 5, and 6 positions. All three slots were a combined overall mark of 65-26 (.714), 47-21 (.691) in dual play, and 22-10 (.688) against the conference. He also coached the No. 3 doubles tandem of Melisa Esposito and Martina Sedivec to position champion conference honors with a perfect 9-0 record.
Before joining the Buffalo staff, Modise spent two years as head coach at Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, La.) rebuilding the men's tennis program after a 15-year absence. He guided NSU to the conference tournament for the first time in school history and coached the team to a top-five league finish with only two scholarship student-athletes.
Prior to his successful efforts at Nicholls State, Modise was the assistant men's and women's tennis coach at the University of New Orleans. There he coached a pair of women to national recognition among the elite Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Top-100 rankings and guided both programs to top-five finishes in the Sun Belt Conference. Additionally, Modise helped raise $15,000 to benefit the tennis programs and assisted with Children's Wish and the Privateers fundraising tournament. He has also been involved with fundraising through Legg Mason and the ATP Tour Futures Tournaments.
From 2000-02, Modise was the interim head coach University of Louisiana at Lafayette. At UL, he helped the Lady Cajuns reach a Top-75 national ranking and led the team to its best finish in school history. During his tenure, he coached one of his women's players to a national ranking of No. 111, the highest ranking of any UL tennis student-athlete in school history.
During his collegiate playing days at Central Alabama Community College, Modise ranked among the Top-20 in the NJCAA singles rankings and was nominated as a NJCAA Player to Watch. He was also voted the Most Inspirational and the Most Valuable Player by his teammates. In the classroom, Modise was named an All-WAC scholar athlete before completing his associate's degree in 1997. He went on to earn his bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in December of 1999. In 2003, he completed his master's degree in human performance with a concentration in sport management from the University of New Orleans.
Originally from South Africa, Modise speaks four languages: English, Dutch, Tswana and Zulu.
"Coach Modise brings a wealth of experience and success to Southern Miss," Senior Associate Athletics Director/SWA Sonya Varnell said. "He will be a tremendous asset to our program, and he has done an excellent job developing and recruiting student-athletes."