Oct. 2, 2002
Sophomore Francisco Zepponi, the Broncos' 2002 Rookie of the Year and Mad Dog of the Year recipient, recently sat down with first year assistant coach Brett Masi during the Broncos first week of fall practice. Brett was named to the men's tennis coaching staff following a successful year at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he set numerous records for the Mustangs. Three weeks into his young Santa Clara coaching career, he was asked several interesting questions by the returning Bronco.
Q: Brett, I heard that you are from Southern Cal...where did you go to school?
A: I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Q: You came upon great success as a player there, right? What was the most memorable experience in tennis that you had in your four years at school?
A: Well, individually it was beating Robert Kendrick, who was top 5 in the country at the time, then a week or two later, moving up to #38 in the national Division 1 rankings. It showed I could hang with those guys and the confidence rolled over to a 19-match winning streak... now Robert is among the top 200 players in the world.
Q: On our trip to Tahoe with the team, you said your Dad was the basketball coach at UC Riverside? Do you think coaching is in your blood, or was it something else that made you decide to go into coaching?
A: It's both. Growing up with a coach, you see what goes on day in and day out. I've been in a college athletic setting my whole life. My dad has coached for 25 years in college. Also, when you are done with playing, you know that you either want to stay in the game or get out. Either quit playing, keep playing, or try to stay in and teach what you know...and that's what's best for me.
Q: I'm guessing you're a basketball fan then? Do you have game? Favorite team?
A: Oh yeah, I love basketball and fell that I'm pretty good as a player too. My dad taught me everything and I've played my whole life. My favorite team would have to be the Lakers.
Q: How do you feel about coaching at SCU?
A: I'm really excited. I'm going to be able to learn from George what he learned from his experience as an assistant coach and then be able to apply that one day as a head coach. The athletic department here is very supportive of the program, and the staff has been very nice. As for coaching the team, it's an exciting opportunity because it's something new and challenging. Together with all you guys we can continue to build on our success.
Q: Who has been most inspirational to you?
A: Aside from my parents, there are two people. One is my first coach, Ed Bull. He taught me the fundamentals and how to perfect them. He told me in order to be perfect you have to practice perfect.
At age 15, Jay Harvey was my coach. He's the reason I excelled in the sport and why I'm here today. Jerry showed me how to play matches and under his tutelage my game grew.
Both Ed and Jerry believed in me and were always there to support my dream.
Q: Do have any expectations about the team, yourself, or SCU that you want to tell us?
A: The only expectations that I have are to represent school in a fashion we like - to give 110% all the time and be devoted to the team, Santa Clara University, and oneself.
Q: In the short amount of time that you have been here at SCU, what has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you?
A: So far, the night out with the guys in Tahoe, also known as the double-down experience.
Q: What do you feel about the tennis lingo that the men's team has developed? Are you going to try to incorporate any Southern Cal slang with ours?
A: It's necessary. We have our own little language, but it's nothing new. All teams have it. Yeah, I'll get my two cents in every now and then.
Q: What is your own favorite quote?
A: I have two. The first is, "Don't let anyone ever make you feel like you don't deserve what you want. Strive to achieve, and be the best." The other, "A vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, and at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is looking."
Q: How would you describe yourself? What's your coaching style? Fashion style? Are you single and looking, or are you taken?
A: As a personality, I'm very true. My style is SoCal all the way... beach look you know. I'm very hard-nosed, and am one of the most competitive people you will ever meet. Every little thing is a competition. I'm single, but if the opportunity presents itself, you know, whatever...
Q: Tell us something about you that nobody knows.
A: I'm a great masseuse.
Q: What's it going to be like when we play Cal Poly this year?
A: I'm a Bronco now. Let's tear them up together.