FYI - while I haven't been very active with new posts I have been keeping my coaching carousel and transfer pages updated so make sure you click on those tabs to stay in the loop.
The NCAA Tournament hasn't even started yet but coaching openings are popping up all across the country. We knew that Virginia had a men's head coaching opening after Brian Boland announced he was headed to the USTA and on Friday we found out that the women's job is going to be open as well. Virginia Athletic Director Craig Littlepage announced that Mark Guilbeau had resigned after 12 seasons with Virginia coming off a season in which it failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008. Guilbeau led the Cavaliers to back-to-back conference championships in 2014 and 2015 and his 201 wins are second all-time in school history behind only Phil Rogers who won 260 matches in a 22-year period that came to an end right before Guilbeau's hire. According to Virginia's release, Guilbeau had one year remaining on his contract and the school would be paying it out. Below are some quotes from Virginia's release:
The latest USTA Top 25 is out with both the Wake Forest men and Florida women remaining at No. 1. The men's top five stayed the same with UCLA surging up to No. 6 after defeating USC last week while USC actually comes up one spot to No. 7 after the loss. Cal moved up four spots to No. 8 after knocking off Stanford, idle Texas A&M moved up two spots to No. 9, while Oklahoma State fell four spots to No. 10 after Oklahoma whipped them. South Florida was the only newcomer in the top 25 while Tulane dropped out after UCF blanked in the AAC Tourney.
The women's top three remained the same with Vanderbilt and Stanford swapping spots for No. 4. I personally thought Vanderbilt should have been No. 1 after defeating Florida twice in the last week en route to winning by far the deepest conference in the country.
Pepperdine's win over USC helped boost the Waves ranking up two spots to No. 6, Oklahoma State came up two spots to No. 7 after roughing up West Virginia and Iowa State, Georgia fell two spots to No. 8 after losing to Auburn, Texas Tech came up one spot to No. 9, and Georgia Tech fell three spots to No. 10 after falling to Duke. Auburn made the biggest jump by rising six spots to No. 16 after beating Georgia while Texas A&M dropped the most at four spots after losing to LSU. Both USC and LSU entered the top 25 while Florida International and TCU departed.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) announced the hiring of Dann Nelson as the Vaqueros new men's tennis coach. Nelson comes to Edinburg after spending the last 11 seasons in Carbondale as head coach of Southern Illinois. Nelson led SIU to a share of the regular season conference championship last season despite the program spending most of the season on the chopping block due to the state of Illinois's budget woes. SIU got a one-year reprieve and will be back this fall but Nelson probably made a wise decision to secure his future for many years to come.
Southern Illinois women's head coach Audra Anderson was promoted to the Director of Tennis and will now assume the role as the new men's head coach after the departure of Dann Nelson to UTRGV. Anderson has gone 140-83 (.627) in nine seasons at SIU which gives her the best winning percentage in school history. Jonny Rigby, who graduated this past May, will serve as a graduate assistant for a program that is now going year-to-year due to the financial woes in the state of Illinois. Normally I add a picture when the school puts its news release on Twitter or Facebook but as far as I can see they didn't put it on social media anywhere which is pretty poor considering how quiet things are this time of year.
New Oklahoma men's head coach Nick Crowell announced the hiring of Nate Feldman as the Sooners' new assistant coach. Feldman, who played at Minnesota from 2002 to 2004, was the assistant coach under Jay Udwadia at Oklahoma State for the last two seasons. He also has head coaching experience after leading both the men's and women's teams at Norfolk State from 2011 to 2014. Bobby Reynolds, who was OU's assistant last year, is now the head coach at Auburn.
The draws for the US Open National Playoff were released today with Nick Meister (UCLA '12) the top seed on the men's side and Ayaka Okuno (semester at Georgia in 2013) is the top seed on the women's side. The doubles draws should be out soon with singles getting underway on Friday in New Haven, CT. Below are the draws with Universal Tennis Ratings listed as of 8/19.
The participants for this year's American Collegiate Invitational were release today. The tournament will take place during the second week of the US Open with the winner earning a wild card into the following year's US Open if they meet certain criteria.
The US Open National Playoff singles tournament wrapped up today with both former collegians remaining in the draw falling in the finals. Jose Statham claimed the men's title with a 6-1, 6-2 over Nick Meister (UCLA '12) while Sophie Chang took the women's title with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Sanaz Marand (North Carolina '11).
Both Statham and Chang earned wild cards into the US Open qualifying tournament, which begins tomorrow, although it doesn't look like they'll play their first round match until Wednesday. The women's doubles tournament will be decided on Tuesday between the top two seeds as both Ashley Weinhold/Caitlin Whoriskey (Tenn '10) and Jacqueline Cako (Arizona St '13)/Daniell Lao (USC '13) pulled through today.
Friday was a busy day for the coaching carousel with Cal Irvine, Old Dominion, and Iowa each announcing head coaching hires.
UC Irvine announced that Mike Saunders, who served as the interim men's head coach last season, has been named as the permanent men's head coach. Saunders, who is a 1990 UC Irvine graduate, took over as the interim coach last October after Trevor Kronemann, 117-126 (.481), stepped down to become the Director of Junior Tennis at the Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA). Saunders led the Anteaters to a 17-9 record last season before they bowed out to UCSB in the Big West semifinals.
Bowling Green State Director of Athletics Bob Moosbrugger announced the hiring of Stephanie Damacio as the Falcons new women's head coach. Damacio, a 2011 Wichita State graduate, had been the assistant coach at BGSU for the last two seasons with the squad going 2-36 (.053) in that time frame. Damacio replaced Olga Elkin who departed for Nebraska-Omaha after a rocky two seasons which saw a slew of losses (36) and a lot of outbound transfers (7).