Mathew Barlow

Abilene High School alum Mathew Barlow has been named to lead the Bethel College tennis programs for men and women.

NORTH NEWTON — Tony Hoops, director of Athletics at Bethel College, has announced the appointment of Matthew Barlow as the next head coach of the Thresher women’s and men’s tennis programs.

“We are thrilled to have Matthew join our staff and lead our tennis programs,” offered Hoops.

“He was our top choice for many reasons.”

Barlow most recently served as the assistant coach for the women’s and men’s tennis teams at Washburn University, an NCAA Division II school in Topeka, Kansas.

During his two seasons as an assistant for the Ichabods, Barlow recruited two All-American players hailing from Germany and Ecuador, while helping develop the team into a national contender. The Ichabods reached the Elite 8 of the 2018 NCAA DII Championships during Barlow’s tenure, the furthest they have progressed in program history.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to lead the Thresher tennis programs this upcoming season,” Barlow said.

“After meeting with Bethel’s great staff and seeing their rich history of tennis success, I know the tools are in place for the programs to compete at a high level in the conference and nationally.”

Barlow has strong roots in player development, coming from his days as the tennis professional at both the Topeka Country Club and the Country Club of Missouri.

“I am very thankful that Athletic Director Tony Hoops is allowing me to bring my tennis coaching experience and knowledge into a role at Bethel College. Go Threshers!”

Barlow himself became a student of the game during his time as a player for the Washburn Ichabods. He was a three-time All-conference selection in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA), while also earning MIAA Scholar-Athlete nods and an MIAA Sportsmanship Award.

A Bachelor of Physical Education graduate from Washburn, Barlow’s commitment to his personal growth as well as the team’s success as a player helped him capture All-American status from the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2016.

“From the moment of our first conversation I knew he would be one that would be a great fit for our athletic department,” Hoops said.

“He embodies the values and drive that our coaching staff share with one another. I can’t wait to see the cultural shift he will bring to our tennis programs.”

Barlow, a 2013 Abilene High School graduate, is the son of Dan and Terri Barlow of Abilene. He was a multiple sports athlete while in high school and he won numerous NCKL awards in tennis as well as being Class 4A State Runner-up in singles his senior year.

In athletics, Bethel competes within the 13-school Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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