Gyulai Named SMU Women's Head Coach; Oklahoma St Coach Jamea Jackson in the Spotlight; Appleton Tribute; Schneider Chooses North Carolina
The SMU Mustangs have been without a head coach for the women's team for a long time, with Lauren Longbotham Meisner leaving for Auburn back in early October of 2011. Today the school announced Kati Gyulai, currently the head coach of the University of Wyoming women, has accepted the position. Although young, Gyulai has previous head coaching experience prior to her three seasons leading Wyoming, her alma mater. She was men's and women's head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2006-2008. For the complete release, see the SMU athletics website.
Former top 50 WTA professional Jamea Jackson didn't play college tennis, but as the assistant coach at Oklahoma State for the past three years, she has gained a lot of insight into what it can offer. She explains her perspective in this USTA college spotlight, and also answers questions about her experience coaching the USTA Collegiate Team during the past two summers.
I tweeted a link to the sad news last Friday that former Boise State tennis player Steve Appleton, the CEO of Micron, who was killed in a private plane crash in Boise, Idaho. The loss was devastating to the Boise community and the university, where Appleton served as a mentor, role model and philanthropist, as well as an employer. The ITA provided this tribute to the 51-year-old father of four.
The top recruit of the 2013 class, reigning Kalamazoo 16s champion Ronnie Schneider, has already announced his college choice. The Bloomington, Indiana junior said last night that he has made a verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina.
Yesterday's new ITA men's team rankings, the only rankings released, saw no change in the top 5, with USC followed by Virginia, Ohio State, Georgia and Florida. Stanford, previously ranked 6th, fell to 9th, with Kentucky, Baylor and UCLA moving up a spot. There won't be another ranking for the men's team until after the Team Indoor February 17-21, although new individual rankings will come out next Tuesday.
In notable Pro Circuit matches today, 15-year-old wild card Liz Jeukeng picked up a big win at the $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, beating lucky loser Federica Grazioso of Italy 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-2 in the first round. She will play top seed and defending champion Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic on Thursday.
At the $100,000 YP Challenger of Dallas, Denis Kudla reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 win over Mischa Zverev of Germany. Kudla will play another unseeded German, Stefan Seifert, for a place in the semifinals. The wild card doubles team of future Texas A&M Aggies Mitchell Krueger and Shane Vinsant will play a first round match against the top-seeded team of Carsten Ball of Australia and Amil Shamasdin of Canada later tonight.