Sean Maymi has seen it before.
A tennis program looking to regain its mojo.
Four years ago, Nebraska’s new men’s tennis coach was working at a junior training center in Maryland when Adam Steinberg called. After Maymi spent a few years away, Steinberg, the new coach at Michigan, wanted Maymi back in Ann Arbor to help rebuild the program.
“Four years later, we were 14th in the country and really feel like we had two guys who could be All-Americans this year, and it felt like we gained some ground,” Maymi said. “Nebraska is in a similar situation. A team that wasn’t ranked, that didn’t make the tournament, and I felt like I had just gone through all that and I had the experience to help turn it around.”
Maymi was hired by Athletic Director Bill Moos in June and will take over a program that has plateaued. Nebraska finished 11-15, including 1-10 in the Big Ten in 2017-18. The Huskers were 5-19 the previous season. The program hasn’t finished higher than eighth since its first season in the Big Ten six years ago.
Maymi replaced Kerry McDermott, who was NU’s coach for 36 years.
This is Maymi’s first head coaching gig.
He graduated in 2003 from North Florida, where he met 1999 U.S. Open finalist Todd Martin. When Martin was in Jacksonville, Florida, Maymi would hit with the two-time Grand Slam finalist, who rose as high as No. 4 in the rankings.
After college, Maymi was struggling on the pro tour, frustrated after his trainer got hurt and couldn’t work with him anymore. Martin suggested that Maymi volunteer as a coach at Northwestern, Martin’s alma mater.
“I had coached some Division II and Division III, just helping some people out,” Maymi said. “And I really loved my experience in college and loved those stints, so it made sense to follow that route.”
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Maymi then took an assistant coaching job at Fresno State for the 2005-06 season. In 2006, he began his position at Michigan as an assistant. He was named ITA Midwest Regional Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008.
During Maymi’s tenure there from 2006-2011, the Wolverines made the NCAA tournament every season. They made the round of 16 in 2007-08.
In 2012, he left to work with Martin in Florida. Martin ran an academy that instructed players from all over the world. Maymi coached teens from Europe and even some pros.
“It helps me a ton with the college guys,” Maymi said. “I can see a kid in college and say, ‘You’re missing a certain grip and that’s what’s hurting you, and you didn’t do that at an early age,’ and a lot of different things developmentally and from a mental standpoint. How a kid reacts and how to talk to them in a specific way that might get the message across better.”
Maymi returned to Michigan and took on more duties from 2015 to 2018. That, he said, prepared him to become a head coach.
When the Nebraska job opened up, he reached out to the school. An interview with Moos and a job offer later, he is now a Husker.
Maymi is still in the middle of moving his family to Lincoln, plus doing some recruiting and trying to grab lunch with current players when he can. Replacing the second-longest-tenured coach in Nebraska history will take some effort, but Maymi already sees ways of improving.
The first being laying the groundwork with work ethic. The second being the schedule, which he wants to be tougher.
But a turnaround won’t happen overnight, and Maymi knows that. And he’s OK with it.
“When I got into college coaching, being a head coach was something (that was) for sure a goal of mine,” he said. “And to do it at a place at the Big Ten and a school like Nebraska is obviously really great.”
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July 1: Air Force's Nic Ready hit a total of 55 home runs, including 21 in the final round, to edge Clemson's Logan Davidson in the College Home Run Derby.
June 28: Oregon State celebrates beating Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 of the CWS championship series. The Beavers were down to their last out in Game 2 before a fielding blunder by the Razorbacks gave Oregon State a second life, which it took advantage of en route to the program's third CWS title.
June 18: John Olson, and Mary Olson, of Joslyn, Missouri, take cover under ponchos during a rain delay at the College World Series. Weather provided a huge problem in the 2018 CWS.
June 15: Cam'ron Jones checks out Omaha.com, or perhaps Snapchat, during the Huskers' Friday Night Lights camp.
June 9: Terence "Bud" Crawford celebrates his knockout victory over Jeff Horn to win the WBO welterweight title.
May 19: Fremont's Lucas Arps celebrates after winning the Class A 400-meter dash.
May 19: Lincoln Lutheran's Josie Puelz celebrates after clearing 12-2 in the Class C girls pole vault final.
May 17: Omaha Roncalli's Thomas Alitz cheers after scoring the winning run in the Class B state championship on a hit by Logan McGill with two outs in the seventh inning.
May 17: Omaha Creighton Prep's Eric Allbery, right, jumps on the dogpile as the Junior Jays celebrate their Class A state baseball title.
May 16: South Sioux City celebrates after defeating Elkhorn South in the Class B state soccer championship.
May 16: Kearney's Christian Dakan hoists the Class A state soccer trophy alongside his teammates.
May 14: Millard North celebrates its Class A state championship win against Omaha Marian by kissing the trophy.
May 14: Elkhorn celebrates its Class B championship win against Omaha Skutt.
May 9: Creighton's Will Robertson celebrates with Jack Strunc, left, after homering the fifth inning. The Jays beat UNO 10-6.
May 6: The Omaha Storm Chasers play below the newly dedicated Steve Pivovar Press Box at Werner Park.
April 21: Nebraska coach Scott Frost leads the Huskers during the Tunnel Walk on Saturday.
April 19: Awardee Dante Pettis and former Nebraska football player Johnny Rodgers, right, pictured during the Jet Award dinner.
April 19: Former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne attends the Jet Award dinner.
April 18: UNO's Malik Moore pitches against Nebraska. The Mavericks knocked off the Huskers for the first time since 1997.
April 11: Creighton's Will Robertson, left, and Thomas Luevano celebrate scoring on a triple by Jack Strunc.
April 11: Elkhorn South's Mo Gohr gains control of the ball in the Metro Conference tournament.
April 3: Scott Frost directs Husker football practice.
March 31: The boy campers pose for a photo at the Athletes' Training Center Futures Camp at Iowa West Field House.
March 27: Creighton defeats Nebraska 3-1 in the first matchup of the year.
March 25: Kansas' Malik Newman drives to the basket, drawing a blocking foul on Duke's Wendell Carter. The Jayhawks went on to defeat the Blue Devils in Omaha and advance to the Final Four.
March 17: Arizona State defeats Nebraska in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Nebraska Wesleyan celebrates winning the NCAA Division III men's basketball championship.
March 17: Creighton defeats Iowa in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Creighton's bench cheers as Michael Emodi hits a walk-off homer off Wichita State pitcher Chandler Sanburn in the Jays' home opener.
March 12: The Creighton women's basketball team celebrates making the NCAA tournament.
March 10: Wahoo celebrates winning the Class C-1 boys basketball title.
March 10: Nebraska City Lourdes' Quinten Vasa, center, holds up the trophy with his team.
March 9: Glenwood celebrates after winning its first boys basktball state title in school history.
March 3: Scotus' Maggie Feehan celebrates after winning the Class C-1 title.
March 3: Superior celebrates a Class C-2 championship win over Ravenna.
Feb. 25: Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night. The Huskers went on to defeat Penn State.
Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night.
Feb. 24: Creighton's Marcus Foster, left, and Davion Mintz celebrate Creighton's 89-83 overtime victory over Villanova.
Feb. 24: Omaha Creighton Prep's Colin LaFave competes in the 100 fly at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 24: Lincoln Southwest's Anna Heinrich, left, and Josie Ford celebrate their first and second-place finishes in the 50 free at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 17: Kearney’s Phillip Moomey is in the top 20 of his weight class in two national polls. Only a handful of underclassmen are ranked ahead of him.
Feb. 17: Omaha Burke's Jakason Burks does a backflip after defeating Millard South's Caleb Coyle during the 106-pound Class A final at the state wrestling championships.
Jan. 28: Omaha Lancers coach and General Manager David Wilkie talks with players during first-period action.
Jan. 26: UNO's Luke Nogard skates past the referee.
Jan. 16: Nebraska's Nicea Eliely gets excited during pregame introductions as the Huskers went on to beat Iowa.
Nebraska's James Palmer celebrates a home victory over Illinois with Isaiah Roby.
Jan. 9: Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, left, talks with former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne during the Outland Trophy banquet.
Jan. 4: Omaha Burke's Shereef Mitchell brings the ball up court in the Metro holiday tournament.
Jan. 1: In his final game with Central Florida, now-Nebraska coach Scott Frost raises the Peach Bowl title after defeating Auburn.