Martin Parkes was named assistant coach for the program in August 2012.
Parkes is responsible for recruiting the highest caliber eligible student-athletes, scheduling and preparing practice and match days, along with player development, program development, and helping with fundraising and budgeting.
In 2016, Parkes helped the Lions claim their program-first SSC Regular Season title with a 6-0 record, and then saw them go on to defeat Lynn in the SSC Tournament final to claim their first-ever SSC Tournament title. Saint Leo also garnered their first-ever No. 1 ranking in the South Region, while also being named the No. 1 team in the nation for a solid part of the season. The Lions won their first-ever NCAA South Region title by taking down No. 6 West Florida, 5-4, to head to the NCAA Championships for the first time. In their first trip, they finished as National Runner-Up after falling to Hawaii Pacific, 5-3, in the National Championship match. The Lions finished 2016 with a 27-2 record overall, and a final national ranking of No. 2. On the season, the Lions saw first-ever wins over Barry, Armstrong State, and West Florida, and a first-ever road win over Lynn. The Lions also saw two individuals earn both singles and doubles ITA All-American honors, while garnering the No. 1 doubles pair in the nation. The Lions also saw their first-ever ITA South Region Champion, and then advanced to the ITA National Small College Championship, where he finished third.
In 2015, Parkes was named ITA National and South Region Assistant Coach of the Year. With the help of Parkes, the Saint Leo men's tennis squad was able to continue its national prominence, earning the program a postseason berth in the South Region. The Green and Gold concluded the season with a 16-6 record, a campaign that included the program's first-ever victory over Lynn University and finished the year competing in the South Region final.
Parkes brings over 15 years of coaching experience to the program, most recently serving as the current Saddlebrook Director of Mental Performance, and former International Tennis Federation team head coach, where he works with numerous top world ranking juniors, including:
During his coaching career, Parkes acted as personal coach or applied mental skills coach for ATP and WTA players including, Jonathan Marray (2012 Wimbledon Men’s Doubles Champion), Ross Connolly, and Heidi El Tabakh.
Parkes made an impact on the court as a player as he competed at Division I Campbell University, before graduating in 2004. He was tabbed the team’s captain and most valuable player en route to a 43-15 record in 2003-04. He also climbed to as high as No.60 in the NCAA doubles rankings during the 2002-03 season.
In the late 1990’s, Parkes garnered early career success as a nationally ranked junior then he spent time on the ATP Futures Tour, as well as the British Tour, the German League, and Wimbledon Pre-Qualifying events.
In addition, Parkes worked as a freelance performance coach with the Lawn Tennis Association National training center in Yorkshire (2003-06), at the Ilkley Tennis Club, the David Lloyd Leisure Club and the Heaton Tennis Club (1999-2006). He also spent two seasons (1999-2001) as the Leeds University women's tennis head coach gaining valuable experience to help head coach Chris Frusci on the women’s side.
Parkes carries a bachelor’s of science in both Psychology and Exercise Science, in addition owns a USTA P-1 coaching qualification and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist CSCS. He also graduated with a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in sports business from Saint Leo in May 2015.
He has been a professional member of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sports Psychology, an elite member in the United States Professional Tennis Association, as well as holding memberships to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the International Tennis Performance Association, and the Professional Tennis Registry-United Kingdom.
Parkes currently resides in New Tampa Fla.