New coaches must step up to replace local college legends at Barry, Miami-Dade Colleges

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Dr. George Samuel spent the past 31 years as the men’s tennis coach at Barry University.

Susan Summons spent the past 35 years as women’s basketball coach at Miami-Dade College.

Samuel, who won five NCAA Division II national titles at Barry — including the championships in 2020 and 2021 — has been replaced by Thomas Hipp, who is one of his former players.

Hipp, a three-time All-American in singles and doubles while at Barry, is the program’s career leader with 67 singles wins.

Since his playing days ended, Hipp was a Barry graduate assistant coach from 2006 to 2011. He then spent two years as Barry’s full-time assistant coach. Now he returns to Barry after having served as head tennis coach at Flagler University since 2013.

Summons compiled a 622-445 record at MDC while graduating 93 percent of her players. And while MDC did not win national or state titles during her tenure, Summons led her teams to 26 appearances in the state tournament.

Replacing Summons — on an interim basis for the upcoming season — is Erica Redman, who has spent much of the past four decades with her mentor.

Redman, listed as a 5-foot-3 point guard back then, played for Summons at Boston’s Roxbury Community College. Among junior college players, Redman ranked third in the nation in steals and assists, leading Roxbury to the national tournament for two consecutive years.

She then completed her playing career as a two-year starter at Florida A&M, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism.

But after five years of working as an assignment editor/producer at television stations in the Miami and Naples areas, Redman took a job as Summons’ assistant at MDC.

Redman was Summons’ assistant and then associate head coach for each of the past 35 years, and she will now get the chance to run her own program in 2021-2022.

McPherson set for Sunday

Former MDC student Paige McPherson – now relatively ancient for her sport at 30 — is set to return to the world’s biggest stage Sunday night, seeking her second Olympic medal in taekwondo.

But McPherson, who spoke to the Herald from the airport on July 16 at the start of a long journey to Tokyo that was to include a six-hour trip through customs, said she is feeling great.

McPherson, who is 5-foot-8, is ranked fifth in the world as a welterweight (67 kilos or 147.7 pounds).

“Generally, taekwondo athletes are deemed most successful from ages 18 to 23,” McPherson said. “I’m the first USA female to make it to three consecutive Olympics in taekwondo.

“I’m making history, and I understand the difference in my 21-year-old and my body at 30, especially in a combat sport.

“It’s almost unheard of to maintain high performance in taekwondo for this long, but I feel strong.”

McPherson burst onto the taekwondo scene in 2012, winning a bronze medal at the London Olympics.

Since then, she has won eight major medals, including gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, a gold at the 2018 Grand Prix in Taiwan and a silver at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.

All that winning has led her to Tokyo for what she hopes is the culmination of an impressive career.

“I feel I have an edge because of my experience,” said McPherson, who also went to the Rio Olympics in 2016 but did not medal. “The Olympics are a whole other monster. You are not just competing for yourself. Everyone is watching, and some athletes have a hard time handling the pressure.”

THIS AND THAT

Belated condolences to the family of Ken Stibler, Biscayne College/St. Thomas University’s first men’s basketball coach who died last month at age 89. He was also the school’s founding athletic director. As basketball coach, he led upset wins against bigger programs like Houston, Yale and Southern Miss.

FIU has two Olympians: diver Maha Gouda, competing for Egypt; and Elinah Phillip, a swimmer for the British Virgin Islands.

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