Roger Follmer guided Washington University in St. Louis to the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis National Championship in 2008, establishing the Bears as one of the premier programs in Division III.
Follmer, the 2006 and 2009 ITA/Wilson Division III National Coach of the Year, has mentored 34 All-Americans to date – Brian Alvo (2002, 2004), Charlie Cutler (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Chris Hoeland (2007, 2008, 2009), Neil Kenner (2003), Ari Rosenthal (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006), Adam Putterman (2012, 2013), Ross Putterman (2012, 2013), Isaac Stein (2010, 2011), John Watts (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and Max Woods (2010, 2011) – in 12 seasons as head coach of the Bears.
Watts, who placed second at the NCAA Singles Championship in 2007, captured Washington University's first men's tennis individual national championship in 2010. He also won the Division III Wilson/ITA National Small College Singles Title in 2007 and 2009. Watts finished his career as the all-time wins leader with a 238-43 career mark. Putterman capped his career by winning the 2013 NCAA Division III Singles National Championship, joining Watts as the two national champions in school history.
Follmer guided Washington U. to a 20-7 record in 2013, and advanced to the to the NCAA Division III semifinals for the sixth-straight season. The Bears also captured their second University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship in school history with a 5-4 win over No. 3 ranked Emory University April 28 in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Follmer was also named the UAA Coaching Staff of the year for the third time.
The Bears completed one of the best seasons in school history with a fourth-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Division III Championship. WU set a new single-season record for wins with a 22-4 overall record, and they posted a school-record 19-match winning streak. Washington University also captured its first UAA Championship with a 5-4 win over Emory.
In addition to the 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 fourth-place finishes, the Bears advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2003, 2004 and 2007.
In the 2008 NCAA Championship season, Follmer guided Washington U. to a school-record 21-4 overall mark and a second place finish at the UAA championship. The Bears rebounded from a loss to Emory in the UAA championship with a 5-3 victory over the Eagles on May 15 in Lewiston, Maine, claiming their first-ever national championship.
In 2006-07, the Bears posted a 20-5 overall mark and appeared in the NCAA quarterfinals for the fourth time in school history. In 2005-06, Follmer guided the Bears to an 18-3 overall mark and a second-place finish at the UAA Championship.
Off the court, Follmer’s players have also been getting the job done in the classroom. For the 2012-13 school year, the Bears boasted a 3.545 team grade-point average to earn 2013 ITA All-Academic Team honors.
Follmer, who has posted a 213-71 (.750) record in 12 years at Washington University, arrived on the Danforth Campus from the United States Naval Academy, where he served as the men’s tennis assistant coach for two seasons. During his tenure in Annapolis, he helped guide the Midshipmen to a pair of 18-11 seasons and back-to-back appearances in the Patriot League Tournament final. Navy also earned its first national team ranking in February 2000.
Prior to his work at the Naval Academy, Follmer spent three seasons as the assistant coach at Purdue University. Working with 1996 Big Ten Coach of the Year Tim Madden, Follmer helped bring the Boilermakers from last place in the Big Ten to a No. 38 national ranking and an appearance in the final of the 1999 Big Ten Championship.
A 1991 graduate of Lindbergh High School in St. Louis, Follmer was a two-year tennis letterman and senior captain at Purdue University. He graduated in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology and earned his master’s degree in special education, also from Purdue, in 1999.
Follmer also served as head coach of the World Team Tennis St. Louis Aces for the 2009 season. He led a team that consisted of Kim Clijsters, Liga Dekmeijere, Mislav Hizak, Anna Kournikova, Tripp Phillips, Sam Querrey and Ashley Weinhold to a 5-9 overall record.