CINCINNATI, Ohio – Sunday's Atlantic 10 Men's Tennis Championship was more than just a match for VCU. At stake was Head Coach Paul Kostin's 1,000th career victory. Not only did the Rams get the job done, but it was accomplished in fitting fashion.
After having the match moved indoors due to rain, the Rams gutted out a hard-fought 4-3 win over George Washington to claim the title and give Coach Kostin his milestone win.
"The most important thing was how hard our guys fought for the win," Kostin said afterwards. "They really battled for every point and did everything it took to get the championship. That's what we try to instill in our guys, do whatever it takes to get the job done."
Throughout his 23 years at VCU, Kostin and the Rams have piled up 22 conference championships (men's and women's combined) and will make their 33rd and 34th NCAA Tournament appearances this season.
"Coach Kostin's accomplishment is truly amazing. Reaching this mark on a day we win a championship is fitting, since what means the most to him is our team," Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin said. "His consistency over time sets a standard for coaches at every level in any sport."
In true Coach Kostin form, the first words out of his mouth were not about him.
"I've been fortunate to work with great student-athletes and assistant coaches, they're the ones behind all the wins," Kostin said. "The other thing is that it means I'm really old."
Kostin has been coaching for 32 seasons, 23 at VCU and nine at Arkansas-Little Rock. He now has an overall record of 1000-316 (.759) with a 731-208 (.778) mark during his time at VCU.
"He's a winner, and he builds people up as winners as he coaches and recruits them, and I'm so happy for him and the success he's had with program," former Ram Fredrik Eliasson, Kostin's first recruit at VCU, said. "It was great to be able to be a part of it at that early stage of his career."
Despite the milestone accomplishment, Kostin only has one thing on his mind, "I'm only worried getting win number 1,001 now."
The men's and women's tennis teams will learn their NCAA Tournament fate on Monday, May 6.