After 25 years of coaching, coach Bob Donaghy retired and left the tennis team’s fate in the hands of a new Bob, coach Bob Mackay.
From the beginning, through thick and thin, Donaghy led and maintained the Vaquero Tennis Team to what it is now. Consistently ranked amongst the highest teams in their division, the Vaqueros’ reputation has soared and roared in the Western State Conference within the last 25 years. Donaghy led the team to two championships in 1999 and 2000.
Completing seasons with consecutive second place standings from 1981-1987, the team has consistently had incredible members with intense competitive attitudes that raised the standards of their play. In their long – running second place streak, the Vaqueros had a 64-8 record within seven years, a record that may have been awarded many championships in a different time frame.
With competitors such as Ventura and Santa Barbara in their division, and College of the Desert in their conference, the Vaqueros have had tough competition. Within the 25 years, considering that in a junior college the players can only play the sport for two years, Donaghy said that the teams had incredible depth.
Donaghy has coached the teams to many victories through his motto of improvement. “In tennis, there’s almost no limit as to how much you can improve,” said Donaghy, “There’s always room for improvement.”
Considering the achievements made by Donaghy within his 25 years as a coach, Mackay has big shoes to fill as the new coach. Although this is the first run that Mackay has taken as a Western State Conference Coach, Mackay has racked up experience from coaching numerous teams in the community.
Mackay was a manager of the Glendale Parks Recreation and Community Service for 41 years. He coached the USA International Tennis Team in Europe in the summer of 1988. Mackay has also been the Tennis Pro for the Vaqueros starting from July 1, 1991, maintaining and facilitating the tennis courts of GCC.
Coming in with experience from almost every aspect as a coach, Mackay brings not only a new coach to the team, but a new standard to the level of play for the Vaqueros.
Mackay wanted to take the job as the new coach so that he could make a difference in the lives of young people.
“Whether you win or lose a match, not many people are going to care in the future,” said Mackay, “What you learn from being on the team and learn from the stress and pressures of the game, that’s what’s going to last.”
Donaghy expressed that there has been a lot of change within the last 25 years. Not as many students are able to put in the extra time to play like they did 15 to 20 years ago.
“Every kid’s got a new car or credit card bills to pay now,” said Donaghy. This makes it hard for them to work and compete at the same time. He also commented that in the past, players rode their skateboards down to school for practice.
Donaghy plans to be playing more tennis for himself now that he is relieved from his duties as the Vaquero coach.
He stated that this is a great chance for him to catch up on the things he missed out on because he was busy coaching. Donaghy plans to be spending more time with his father as well.
If you were to walk into his office, you’d see the many pictures he has of all the years of coaching.
The many awards that his teams have received and the memories of accomplishment can be felt.
Now they will all be memories of the times he pulled his hair out worrying about the next match.
“It doesn’t seem like it has been 25 years,” said Donaghy, “It feels like just yesterday the whole thing started.”
Donaghy closed by saying that he’s glad that Mackay is taking over.
“It’s good that I don’t have to worry anymore. It’s even better because Bob Mackay is doing a great job.”