Sponsored by IMG Academy

Friday, June 8, 2012

Georgia Tech's Bryan Shelton Hired to Replace Andy Jackson at Florida; Roland Garros Finals Set, No US Players Remain

All the speculation here and elsewhere about who might be selected to replace Andy Jackson as the men's tennis coach at the University of Florida didn't include who was named to the position today: Georgia Tech women's coach Bryan Shelton.

I had personally thought that Florida women's coach Roland Thornqvist might interview for the job, and perhaps he was offered it and declined, but, as is related in the Gatorzone.com announcement today, he was very much involved in the process. I don't think I've ever heard one coach quite so complimentary of another, publicly or privately, but Bryan Shelton's reputation is such that it doesn't surprise me either.

Shelton, who attended Georgia Tech and coached the women for 13 years, leading the Yellow Jackets to an NCAA title in 2007, just signed the nation's top recruiting class, so the decision wasn't an easy one. Yet even the Georgia Tech announcement of his departure refers to the opportunity this is for Shelton, while also mentioning the construction of their new 16-court tennis facility.

I did a Question and Answer session with Shelton two years ago, which is available for subscribers at the Tennis Recruiting Network. Next week, look for my Q and A with Roland Thornqvist, which was conducted before Jackson resigned.

At the French Open Junior Championships, both US players still contending for titles were eliminated.  Mitchell Krueger, the No. 8 seed, lost to No. 6 Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium 6-3, 7-5. I tried to watch the live scoring, but it wasn't working properly. John Martin, writing for the New York Times Straight Sets blog, has an account of the match here.  Coppejans will face No. 5 seed Filip Peliwo of Canada, who came from behind to defeat Adam Pavlasek of the Czech Republic 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-0.  For more on that match, and Peliwo's preparations for Sunday's final, see this Canadian Press article.

The girls final will feature unseeded Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia against No. 2 seed Annika Beck of Germany. Schmiedlova downed German qualifier Antonio Lottner 7-5, 6-1 in today's semifinal, and Beck beat No. 12 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-3, 6-3.  For more on the semifinals, see the ITF junior website.

In the doubles, Taylor Townsend and her partner Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, the top seeds, lost to No. 6 seeds Montserrat Gonzalez of Paraguay and Beatriz Haddad-Maia of Brazil 6-2, 7-6(3). Gonzalez and Haddad-Maia will play No. 2 seeds Daria Gavrilova and Irina Khromacheva, who advanced with a 2-6, 6-3, 10-7 win over unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus and Donna Vekic of Croatia. Martin also wrote about Townsend's loss in doubles here.

In the boys doubles, Pavlasek recovered from his disappointment in singles to reach the final with Vaclav Safranek, also of the Czech Republic. The No. 7 seeds defeated unseeded Thiago Monteiro of Brazil and Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy 7-5, 6-4. They will play unseeded Australians Andrew Harris and Nick Kyrgios, winners over French wild cards Enzo Couacaud and Alexandre Favrot 6-1, 6-3, in Saturday's final.

The complete draws can be found at the tournament website.


Austin said...

I dont really know what to say about the hire at Florida. I can't really say anything bad about it, Shelton is a terrific recruiter, but I dont know how it will translate to men, may be seamless. I will say he has had some defections at GT, but obviously recruits great to a place that isn't all that intruiging to go to college unless you want to be in the heart of a big city. He has the pro experience to relate to recruits, I am curious who the other candidates were.

One candidate I think we can rule out for Alabama, if he ever had any interest in the first place, is Mike Sell. His wife is the new coach at LSU. I have no clue who Bama is going to hire. One additional candidate I want to throw out there is Cedric Kaufmann from UK.

dallasoliver said...

Hey Colette -

I just modified your 2010 Shelton interview so that it is free for a few more weeks.


Jenny Miran said...

Hey Colette,

I was wondering what the situation would be for the recruits who've just signed to attend Georgia Tech and find out that coach Shelton is now leaving. I'm certain he was the main reason they signed up and GT probably sold them on the school based on him being their coach. So what can they do now? Can they ask to have their LOI disregarded ? I know that coaches change jobs but realistically they dont do it very often and it seems unfair that you could be recruited based on one understanding (that coach Shelton was in charge) and then have it changed at the last minute.

Colette Lewis said...

@jenny Miran:
It is my understanding the school can release the student-athlete from the NLI, but it is up to them, and the penalty for a student-athlete not honoring an NLI is a year of eligibility.

collegetennis said...


Excellent article on the myth of the student athlete:


10ismenace said...

I think however if there is a coaching change that if the student athlete has the option to be released from that school.

Colette Lewis said...

from the NCAA website:
A prospective student‐athlete signs an NLI with an institution, not with a coach.  If the coach leaves, the prospect is still bound by the provisions of the NLI.

Jim Wright said...

On the defections at GT. One was not able to do the academic work at GT; one was a failed relationship with a male GT tennis player; one was a move back home to Ohio State; only one was related to coach. The relationship soured when she came back overweight from Christmas break as a freshman. A benching at the end of the season was the last straw.

tony said...

I'm curious to hear everyone's opinion on how successful Bryan will be transitioning from coaching women's to men's tennis and how long it will take for him to be fully comfortable. Also, does anyone else think that this could ever happen in another sport (soccer, basketball, etc.) where a coach can go from coaching men to women or vise versa and have an easy transition.

Fan of Bryans said...

Bryan is a super guy and the type of person people would want their sons to go play for. I can't think of any great coaches who had national success with both genders at the Division I level, so it should be interesting to see. If anyone can do it, I think Bryan can.

jo said...

@collegetennis, that may be true of big time football/basketball, but is a bit less prevalent when it comes to tennis

Tennis4life said...

Wow........... i think this was a very selfish decision on Coach Shelton's part. Bring in the top recruiting class and then leave just weeks before school begins? That was a very harsh move on his part. I hope GTech lets all the recruits out of their Letters of Intent.