Steve Bickham has completed three seasons as the Head Coach of Men's Tennis at Pomona-Pitzer, and has quickly lifted the program to new heights.
In 2016, the Sagehens ended the year with a 16-9 overal record. Pomona-Pitzer finished as the No. 9 team in Division III and held as high as the No. 4 spot during the regular season. The Sagehens also added two more All-Americans to their list as Spencer Simonides and Graham Maassen earned All-American honors in doubles.
In 2015, the Sagehens finished the season with a 26-7 record while climbing as high as No. 3 in the national rankings, earning Bickham the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) West Region Coach of the Year Award. Of the 26 wins, 16 came against teams that were nationally ranked, eight of which were in the top 15, including a 6-3 win over No. 1 Amherst and a 5-4 win over No. 3 Middlebury. Pomona-Pitzer defeated four of the eight teams that qualified for the NCAA Quarterfinals (Amherst, Middlebury, Trinity and Chicago).
In his first year at the helm, Bickham guided the Sagehens to a 17-8 record, a No. 10 national ranking, and a runner-up finish in the NCAA West Regionals, after Pomona-Pitzer had finished with an 11-14 record and missed the postseason the year before he arrived. In addition to his success on the court, Bickham earned the 2014 Sectional Community Outreach Award for Southern California from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and ITA in his first season with the Sagehens.
Bickham arrived at Pomona-Pitzer with over 25 years of experience in the tennis industry, as a player, a coach, in private industry, and in the non-profit sector. He spent the previous two years as the executive director of the USTA Idaho District in Boise, where he managed all operations for the district office. In that role, he also served as the executive director of the Idaho Tennis Foundation, a non-profit organization set up to support the youth and education programs developed by USTA-Idaho.
Prior to working for USTA-Idaho, Bickham served as director of tennis and operations for Youth Tennis San Diego from 2005-2010. He was responsible for the operation and management of the Barnes Tennis Center, a public facility with 25 tennis courts, a 3,000-foot conference room and education center. His facility hosted NCAA events, USTA junior and adult national championships, and dozens of USTA events, while he oversaw recreation and education programs for over 250 kids and adults monthly. He was named the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) San Diego Tennis Pro of the Year in 2009.
Bickham's coaching experience includes three years as the head coach of both men's and women's tennis at Division I Northern Arizona University from 2001-03, where he led the women's team to its first ever top 75 ITA ranking. He also spent three years as an assistant coach with the men's tennis program at Arizona State, helping the Sun Devils to a No. 15 national ranking in 1995, while also coaching the NCAA singles champion (Sargis Sargsian).
Bickham's involvement with tennis has also extended to private enterprise, as he was the owner and president of Performance Management International for 15 years, founding the company in 1990 to assist with club management, player coaching and event management in the tennis industry. His clients included tennis programs in Michigan, Vermont, Arizona, New Mexico and Montana, while he continued to serve as a Professional ATP Tour Coach for Sargsian, including trips to Wimbledon, the French Open and the U.S. Open.
A 1987 graduate of the University of New Mexico with a major in history and a biology minor, Bickham was a Division I All-American tennis player for the Lobos and played professionally on the ATP tour for four years after graduation, earning a top 500 world ranking. He also has an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.
|Title:||Assistant Men's Tennis Coach|
|Previous College:||B.A. - Pomona College '15|
Connor Hudson enters his second year as an assistant coach with the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Tennis program, after a standout career for the Sagehens from 2011-2015.
Hudson earned All-America honors in doubles as a senior in 2015, while qualifying for nationals in both singles and doubles. He was a first-team All-SCIAC selection and was named the Pomona-Pitzer Male Athlete of the Year for his role in helping the Sagehens set a school record with 26 wins and tie the highest final ranking in program history (No. 4).
Over the course of the season, Hudson twice earned singles wins over the No. 1 ranked individual in the country, and twice picked up singles wins against the No. 1 ranked team in the country. He finished with a 14-10 record, and had the clinching singles win in a 5-3 victory over Texas-Tyler in the NCAA Tournament.
A native of Golden, Colorado, Hudson began his career at the bottom of the Pomona-Pitzer singles lineup as a walk on, but worked his way up to the No. 1 spot in both singles and doubles for his season year. He graduated from Pomona College in 2015, and was a SCIAC All-Academic team and ITA Scholar-Athlete selection.