Entering his final year of eligibility Kevin McQuaid thought it would be a culmination of the player he had developed into in his four years on the Santa Clara men's tennis team. Unfortunately for McQuaid, this season was not what he had projected due to a career-ending knee injury that would not rehabilitate well enough to play competitive tennis again. While he was disheartened that he would not be able to compete on the courts in a Santa Clara uniform during his final academic year, he did want to stay involved with the program as much as possible. This dedication to the team allowed McQuaid to become the student assistant, working directly under Head Coach Derek Mills.
"This year I have changed my role on the team," said McQuaid. "Instead of being a player being coached, I am the one helping coach. It has been a role I needed to transition into, but I really enjoy using my tennis knowledge to help teach the guys."
As a player, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native earned All WCC Honorable Mention for his performance on the court in his freshman season after posting 18 singles and 12 doubles victories. After redshirting his sophomore year due to a knee injury that would persist to bother him and eventually lead to ending his career as a player, McQuaid came back in his redshirt sophomore season to get 20 wins in doubles and be named to the All WCC Second Team. In his redshirt junior season his knee injury continued to be bothersome.
"I had to have knee surgery mid-season, which was a difficult choice to make," said McQuaid. "After the surgery I worked tirelessly rehabilitating, but I was not healing as fast as I had anticipated and the trainers would not clear me to play. I was finally cleared to play in our match versus Harvard and played at the No. 1 doubles position with Jan Macek for the first time. We were able to pull out an 8-5 win to get us the doubles point and edge us over Harvard 4-3, for the win. It was a great win for me after missing much of the season, coming back and helping the team win."
McQuaid fondly remembers that match as the biggest win of his career. As this season concludes he will be graduating from Santa Clara and will not be part of the active roster after this season; however Kevin McQuaid will always be a Santa Clara Bronco.
He will be honored on Monday April 14, before the men's tennis team's final home match versus Texas-Pan American at 5:00 p.m.