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.”

Chris Heady covers Husker football and writes general assignment stories about the Nebraska sports world. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email:

(1) comment

Drew Vandemore

Excellent hire! Welcome coach- lets get on top of the B1G where we belong!

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