Anderson, Mark and Pat


Mark and Pat Anderson provided stability and growth to the Otterbein Tennis programs over nearly 20 years of service, ranging from 1998 all the way into 2018.


The women’s program was desperate for a consistent leader in the late 90’s after the Cardinals had three coaches in just one full year. Anderson, with no prior experience at the college level, was hired for the position and slowly began turning things around.


Pat went to a physical education class shortly after arrival to scout, convincing two girls to join the team and getting her lineup to the minimum of six. The group ended that season with eight players total to begin showing improvement. Four years later, in 2001, the women’s program won its first Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) title. They claimed another in 2003 after sweeping the regular season and tournament, although no NCAA bids were awarded at the time.


Mark served as his wife’s assistant during the initial uptick, before getting hired as head coach of the men’s program in 2008. He also didn’t hold much “tennis” experience prior to that, instead enjoying a standout swimming career at Miami (Ohio) where he ended up making the Olympic Trials in the backstroke.


Mark, who picked up tennis at age 25 while on active duty in the air force, spent the next seven years (2008-15) leading the men’s roster and accumulated 77 wins. The Anderson’s (together) helped Otterbein deliver its best combined year in program history during the 2014 campaign, reaching their pinnacle as both squads won the OAC and made their first NCAA appearances in school history.


The women’s side, behind 4x OAC Player of the Year Julie Stroyne, posted a whopping 20-3 record and represented at nationals in Virginia. The men’s team, going 19-5 overall, beat Messiah to open the “Big Dance” before falling to national power Carnegie Mellon. When it was all said and done, Pat had compiled an overall record of 247-160 that included a 130-43 mark in league play. She racked up four OAC Coach of the Year honors while Mark added another following the stellar run in 2014.

Under their guidance, both programs also maintained high GPA’s off the court and chalked up multiple academic awards as a result.

The duo also manufactured a competitive playing career of their own, including a silver medal in 55-mixed doubles at the 2007 Senior Olympics in Louisville, Ky. More recently, they represented Ohio playing pickleball at the Senior games down in Alabama. Both are members of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and have helped run Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Division II Tennis Tournaments locally. Pat was also a “playing captain” for the USTA across a 16-year period.


Pat (from Rome, N.Y.) and Mark (from nearby Upper Arlington) have two daughters that also picked up tennis along the way. The husband/wife duo still plays the game while enjoying time with their four grandchildren.