RICHMOND, Va. – Outside Paul Kostin’s office is a large display case that is home to more than two decades of VCU Tennis trophies – the ones that would fit, anyway. A couple of years ago, with no more room left in the display case or in Kostin’s office, new trophies started piling up on a table behind the receptionists’ desk.
It doesn’t appear as if this trophy-space issue will rectify itself anytime soon.
On Sunday, Kostin brought home another souvenir from Cincinnati, where the Rams won their first Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Tennis Championship 4-3 over George Washington. The victory was the 1,000th of Kostin’s 32-year coaching career, a milestone reached previously by just three other Division I coaches.
“I feel lucky and very fortunate because I had so many good athletes, good tennis players, play for me, both men and women,” Kostin said. “Also, I’ve been having some good assistant coaches helping me. In this business and in any business, you don’t do things alone.”
While he hasn’t done it alone, Kostin, 1,000-316 overall at VCU and Arkansas-Little Rock, certainly has done it his way.
A native of Stockholm, Sweden, the 59-year-old Kostin is tough without being taxing. He cares deeply about his players, but he’s careful not to coddle them. He’s not afraid to say what’s on his mind, but he’s also usually the first person in line to provide a former player with a glowing reference.