Menlo News March 07, 2024

Knights welcome Sargeant as director of tennis

Cal assistant coach takes helm this summer from legendary coach Bill Shine

Former Stanford and current Cal assistant coach Francis Sargeant ​will be Menlo School’s ​Director of Tennis, starting in June. He succeeds ​the esteemed Bill Shine, who announced last year that he would be retiring and that 2024 would be his last season coaching at Menlo School after a 29-year, state record-breaking tenure.

​Sargeant will take the reins of the girls’ and boys’ tennis teams as head coach and will oversee the entire Middle School and Upper School program. 

​”We are thrilled to announce that Francis Sargeant will become the next Menlo School Director of Tennis​,” Director of Athletics Earl Koberlein said. “He has big shoes to fill and I was nervous about trying to replace the legendary Bill Shine, but Francis is an incredible fi​t for us. He has a wealth of playing and coaching experience. As a ​NCAA Div​. I collegiate player, Div​. I men’s and women’s collegiate coach​, and coach for middle school and high school​ boys and girls, Francis has the ability to effectively coach, motivate, develop, train and build relationships with our middle schoolers and high schoolers alike. I am very excited for Francis to lead our tennis programs​.”

​Sargeant is in his fourth season as men’s assistant coach for Cal, which went from No. 51 to No. 20 national ranking in 2023. He coached the team to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Championships.

Before Cal, Sargeant spent the previous several seasons coaching at Stanford. He was a volunteer assistant coach for the Stanford men’s team in 2020-21, when he helped lead the Cardinal to the second round of the NCAA tournament​ and a No. 2 national ranking. The season before, he served as an assistant coach for the Stanford wome​n, which reached a No. 1 ranking. He was a volunteer assistant coach for the Cardinal men for the prior three years.​

S​argeant, who was an all-conference selection and captain at BYU, first learned about Menlo ​tenni​s through a former college teammate who played for the Knights. ​”If his skill, attitude, and effort were any indication of Menlo’s overall greatness (which I’m sure they were), I cannot wait to hit the court with the Knights,” Sargeant said about his teammate.

“I’m beyond excited to work with the Menlo tennis program. Menlo’s reputation as an academic and athletic powerhouse precedes it in the best way, and I feel very lucky to be a part of such a storied and prestigious program,” Sargeant said.

​”I want to thank my former mentors and head coaches at Stanford and Cal. My experience with these two college programs helped me better understand the game, and become the coach I am today.”

​Shine, who elevated Menlo tennis to consistent national prominence, will continue with the boys’ tennis team through the spring, and Sargeant will start at Menlo over the summer.