In a unique college tennis matchup of father versus son, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) (NCAA Division I), led by Head Coach Kendell Hale, will take on the University of St. Mary (NAIA), led by Head Coach Austin Hale, this Saturday, January 27 in Kansas City, Missouri. The meeting between the two teams will be the first in program history. 

Joining the Roos in 2008, Kendell Hale (Austin’s father) has orchestrated an amazing turnaround for Kansas City, leading his teams to numerous school-record win totals, five conference regular season titles, seven conference tournament crowns, and seven NCAA Tournament appearances. 

With his notable success, Kendell Hale has earned many distinctions for his coaching, including being named the 2009 USTPA Missouri Valley College Coach of the Year, 2010 USTPA National Coach of the Year, 2011 Summit League Men’s Coach of the Year, 2013 Summit League Women’s Coach of the Year, and 2018 WAC Men’s Coach of the Year.

“It’s like my career as a coach has come full circle and I see my younger self in my son as he begins his career in a sport he loves. It’s been fun to be there for each other and experience a true mentor/mentee relationship” said Kendell Hale. “St. Mary’s just started a Men’s and Women’s program, and he is their first full time coach and has done a tremendous job recruiting to fill both his rosters with good talent. I’m just super proud of my son for following his dreams like mine many years ago to do something that you love and find a way to get paid for it. I’m proud of who he is as a person and his heart for student athletes. I know the successes will follow him. As far as the match this weekend, we have had fun with it. I never let him win at anything growing up and I’ve kept a few secrets up my sleeve for just this occasion!”

Newer to the coaching scene, Austin Hale (Kendell’s son) began his tenure at St. Mary during the inaugural 2022-23 season. Prior to his start at St. Mary, Austin played at Missouri Baptist University, where he would win a conference championship and make a strong run in the NAIA national tournament with his team. After graduating from Missouri Baptist, Austin spent time coaching as an assistant at McKendree University as well as UMKC before returning to Missouri Baptist.

In addition to his experience as an assistant coach at the collegiate level, Austin has also spent time as a head coach for Platte County High School and Westminster Christian Academy where he would learn the game even further and continue to develop his skills as a coach. 

“It is incredibly special to be able to coach against my dad. To be in the same sport and the same profession is extremely unique” said Austin Hale. “Watching many seasons of his coaching and now getting to have a match against him as a coach is pretty surreal. We have always been super competitive with one another, so I am excited to compete against him for the first time as a coach.” The Roos and Spires are set to play in Kansas City at 9:00 am CT this Saturday, January 27th. For more information and details regarding the match, visit

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