Aug 29, 2012, 9:23 AM EDT
Men’s tennis head coach Bobby Bayliss makes his first appearance on the UNDerground blog, as he and his team prepare for their trip to Dublin, where they will take on the Irish Davis Cup team this weekend.
Wednesday morning and we are ready to take off for Dublin. What a wonderful opportunity for our guys! Carrying everyone’s passports, football tickets, etc. I have never felt so important. This trip has just begun, but is already a blur. Very little sleep last night going over the last second details. We are meeting last year’s captain, Niall Fitzgerald, as he is accompanying us and will actually play for the Irish Davis Cup team on Friday. This was more difficult than I had imagined because Niall is now the graduate assistant coach at Tulane and – after some deliberation – he took a 27 hour bus trip to O’Hare, as all flights and trains from New Orleans are shut down due to Hurricane Isaac. Go figure!
This whole trip came about as a result of a conversation I had in Dublin last summer when I was there recruiting/evaluating the players at the Irish Junior Championships. Jimmy McDonough, the director of tennis and I figured it out and a quick conversation with Garry Cahill, Irish Davis Cup captain, cemented the idea. The last year has seen it come to fruition with lots of assistance from many people – Beth Hunter of the Monogram Club [football tickets], John Anthony and his staff [travel], and Jill Bodensteiner [NCAA Compliance and general advisor]. It has been rewarding to work with former players Barry King and Niall to make everything become a reality.
So now it’s off to Dublin. Our bus has arrived and as I run out the door, I am trying to think of what I have forgotten to do, but most of all I am very excited for our players and this wonderful experience they are going to have. It is frequently said that Notre Dame is a place where dreams come true and our trip is just one more example of that adage. Off we go to the land of smiles, freckles, and occasional showers!
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