Joel Dendiu enters his third year as the head coach of the Pilots leading BC to a 22-21 mark during his first two seasons.
Dendiu graduated from Bethel College in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. At Bethel, Dendiu was a four-year member of the Bethel men's tennis team from 2003-2007 and helped the Pilots to a Mid-Central College Conference (MCC) Championship in 2005. Dendiu was a three-time NCCAA All-American and a three-time All-MCC selection in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He was also a two-time NAIA and NCCAA Scholar-Athlete and was awarded the NCCAA Sportsmanship Award at the NCCAA National Championships Tournament in 2005 and 2007. Upon his departure from the BC tennis program, Dendiu landed second overall on the Pilots' all-time singles win list with 53 wins to 20 losses and finished in a tie for first with all-time doubles wins with an overall record of 57-26.
Coach Joel Dendiu follows closely in the steps of his father, Professor John Dendiu, who coached the Bethel tennis program from 1997-2000, accumulating a men's record of 41-12 and a women's record of 47-19. During his tenure, Coach John Dendiu guided the Pilots to two NCCAA National Invitational Championships (men's in 1999; women's in 2000) and the tennis program's first NCCAA National Championship title in 2000 on the men's side.
John Natali enters his 16th season as the director of tennis for the Bethel College men's and women's tennis program. His primary duties include recruiting, scheduling of matches, as well as coaching alongside men's and women's second-year head coach, Joel Dendiu.
Natali enjoys working with the young men and women in the tennis program in a very positive and encouraging manner. His goal is to motivate them to work hard in practice daily and then to see that effort translate into success in their matches. To Natali, the most important aspect is their growth academically and spiritually.
Natali’s Pilot Profile:
- NCCAA National Champions in 2006 (Women’s)
- Men’s NAIA Scholar Team in 04-05, 05-06, 07-08, 08-09, 09-10, 10-11, 11-12, 12-13, 13-14, 14-15 & 15-16
- Women’s NAIA Scholar Team in 05-06, 06-07, 07-08, 08-09, 09-10, 10-11, 11-12, 12-13, 13-14, 14-15 & 15-16
- Conference Tournament Champions in 2005 (Men’s)
- Men’s Record of 112-153
- Women’s Record of 160-142
Player Accolades under Director Natali:
- 4 NCCAA Ministry-Athlete Awards (3 – Men, 1 – Women)
- 3 NAIA All-Americans (1 – Second Team, 2 – Honorable Mention)
- 42 NCCAA All-Americans (23 – Men, 19 – Women)
- 61 NAIA Scholar-Athletes (28 – Men, 33 – Women)
- 62 NCCAA Scholar-Athletes (26 – Men, 34 – Women)
- 5 NCCAA National Tournament Sportsmanship Awards (3 – Men, 2 – Women)
- 8 Conference Champions (4 – Men, 4 – Women)
- 23 All-Conference Selections (13 – Men, 10 – Women)
In addition to his role as director of tennis, Natali works in many areas in the athletic department including concessions, student workers, and game day operations.
John is a life-long resident of Mishawaka and enjoys spending quality time with his brothers, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces. He also enjoys many other sports, particularly basketball, here at Bethel College.