Norton, Mass.- Today's spotlight is Alex Wong, the Head Coach for Men's and Women's Tennis, as the Wheaton Lyons will be zoning in on staff, student-athletes, and alumni that help make Wheaton Athletics such a special place. Be sure to check out our next spotlight on Wednesday!
Name: Alex Wong
Position: Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach
Years at Wheaton: less than 1 year (7 months!)
Hometown: Newton, MA
Schooling: BA Wesleyan 2003, MBA Bentley 2010
Questions & Answers
What do you love about working at Wheaton College?
It has only been a short while since I started at Wheaton, but when I stepped onto campus, I could feel how special a place Wheaton truly is. The community is so warm and inviting, and everybody has been great in welcoming me to Wheaton. I am also fortunate to have amazing teams with passionate and bright student-athletes. They have welcomed me into the Wheaton Tennis family with open arms, and made the transition smooth for me. I am so thankful to be a part of this community and I am excited to see what the student-athletes on the tennis team will accomplish during their time at Wheaton and afterwards as well.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I try to play some tennis when I can, as I still greatly enjoy playing and competing when I have the opportunity. If I cannot get on the court, I will still try to find a way to stay active, whether it is with working out or going on a run. Besides that, I try to see family and friends and spend time with them as much as possible, especially my two nephews and one niece.
What was your path to end up at Wheaton?
I started my coaching career at Bentley University and was the Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach there for 11 years. It was an amazing experience and a great way to start my coaching career. I then took the Head Men's Tennis Coach position at Vassar College and was there for five years. A great school that is similar to where I went to college. We had great, passionate student-athletes and it was great to return to Division III. From there I came back to the New England area as I wanted to come home. I took the Assistant Women's Tennis Coach position at Brown where I was for about one year. And that brings me to Wheaton! I am so glad to be back again coaching Division III, and with both a Men's and Women's team. I found that I missed coaching the other team when I only had one team so being back to coaching both is really great. We have amazing student-athletes here at Wheaton and I am so fortunate to be a part of an amazing community.
How do you enhance the student-athlete experience?
I think that it all starts with my passion for mentoring student-athletes. I truly love the sport of tennis, but even more than that I love having the opportunity to mentor student-athletes through sport. Helping players grow and develop on and off the tennis court is great to be a part of and I treasure the relationships that I form with the student-athletes. I believe my teams would characterize me as somebody who cares about them and is pushing for them to achieve all that they can achieve. With those characteristics as part of my guiding philosophy, I believe that we form relationships that last past graduation but also lead to an outstanding experience while on campus.
What is your most memorable memory at Wheaton?
My most memorable moment came this past spring on our Spring Break. While it was not on our campus, it was with both teams. We had made it out to California for our Spring Break, a sense of relief and joy for us to be able to be together and focus mainly on tennis. There was a lot of concern regarding Covid-19 and what it would bring to our campus, our season, and our lives. But on our first day of Spring Break, we made it out to the local High School to hold our practice. It was quite rainy before, but cleared up nicely, enough for us to get our practice in. We took over nearly the entire facility and had probably our best practice of the season. The energy was high, everybody worked extremely hard, and the engagement to team was at its peak. I just remember seeing many of the things that we had worked so hard on in practice all coming together. And for that time period, everybody embraced being a part of the Wheaton Tennis team. We all forgot about classes, schoolwork, Covid-19 and everything that surrounded that. It was a great day and a memory that has re-measured our standards for how we practice and what we can achieve.
Rapid Fire Questions
Favorite place to eat in Norton? The Best Sandwich Shop and Deli
Favorite event to attend at Wheaton College? Hmm, I cannot say I have been to much but I am looking forward to attending events such as the Head of the Peacock once we can get back on campus!
Favorite sports team? Any Boston/New England team but I follow the New England Patriots the most
Favorite place on the Wheaton College Campus? I have not been at Wheaton too long so I need to explore more, but I do love the Clark Outdoor Tennis Courts. It feels like our own space where we can still be on campus but away from everybody so we can separate and get to work as a team.
Favorite Movie? La Bamba (My friends and I watched it over and over when we were young and we loved the music)