Three years after returning to the place where his post-graduate life began, Eric Mahone was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year last season!
“I was honestly taken aback to be named the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year,” said Mahone, who begins his four season with the Saints. “I am truly honored, however, we’ve only just started to build this program into what it will be.”
“I became a tennis professional at nineteen years old, the summer before my second year at Holy Cross College as a student, and have been coaching ever since,” noted Mahone.
Originally from South Bend, he attended St. Anthony Grade School and Penn High School. Upon graduation, he went to Holy Cross College for two years before attending Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on a tennis scholarship where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Government. He considered a move to become a lawyer, but this love of the sport and ability to make a successful and rewarding living kept him on the courts.
“I was the assistant men’s and women’s tennis coach at the University of Chicago for three years, and then the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at the University of Dayton for three years,” said Mahone. During that time, he also completed a Certificate in Executive Management from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.
Life as a coach
His career choice as a leader of the tennis teams has offered him many fulfilling, memorable, and great moments.
“There are several ‘best parts’ to my job. Mentoring our young men and women is number one. Secondly, being back at the school I love, which played such a pivotal role in my life, is a dream come true. For me, Holy Cross is not a step on the road, it’s a destination,” said Mahone.
No job is perfect, and coaching can have challenges along the way.
“The most challenging part of the job is making sure I’m recruiting young men and women that live up to the standard that Father Tyson, Monica Markovich, and Tom Robbins expect. Tennis ability is secondary on the list. We are looking for ‘great people’ first and foremost,” noted Mahone. “Secondly, I am looking for the highest level of academic achievement. After those two goals are met, then I look at their tennis ability.”
Impact on players
The Mission of Holy Cross College is to educate and form global citizens with the competence to see and the courage to act. All administrators, faculty, and staff are called to assist students in their formation to be Christ-like students and embrace and advance the Holy Cross mission of the College in all professional activities.
“First off, I hope my players develop lifelong friendships with their teammates and a genuine love for Holy Cross and the Holy Cross community,” said Mahone. “Secondly, I hope they develop into leaders while they are here. Lastly, I hope they leave Holy Cross and our team as fully developed adults.”
Married to Brianne, a Nurse Practitioner in Cardiology with Beacon Health System, and father to son Liam, he enjoys calling the Holy Cross community his home. He is living his dream and plans to stay for quite some time.
“My plan for the future is to continue to build our program into one of the tops in the country,” said Mahone. “I plan to continue our teams’ academic success – both teams have a 3.5, or higher, grade point average.”
Pictured is men’s and women’s head tennis coach Eric Mahone with his wife Brianne and son Liam.