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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Catching Up on College Coaching Changes; Pepperdine Men's Team Put on Probation, Vacates Championships, Loses Scholarships; Maryland Men's Tennis Dropped

While I was at Wimbledon, a slew of college coaching changes were announced as schools prepare for the upcoming fall season.

Probably the most eagerly awaited announcement came from Georgia Tech, with Rodney Harmon named to replace Bryan Shelton as the women's coach there. Harmon, who was the head of men's tennis for the USTA until 2008, had been coaching privately in Florida the past several years. Harmon played college tennis at Tennessee and SMU, and coached at the University of Miami for a few years.

Shelton, who took over the men's program at Florida, hired former Illinois NCAA champion Amer Delic as his assistant. Delic, who had played Davis Cup for Bosnia this spring and was still playing on the ATP tour as recently as last month, has had many injuries the past few years and wasn't able to return to the Top 100. Delic grew up in Jacksonville Florida after immigrating and played his junior tennis in the Florida section before joining Craig Tiley at Illinois.

Matt Hill, the former Mississippi State men's assistant, has been named men's head coach at the University of South Florida, following the retirement of Don Barr.

Jenny Garrity has resigned as head women's coach at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington after 13 seasons.

Drake Bernstein, who was the women's assistant at the University of Alabama this year, is returning to Athens as the women's assistant at Georgia, replacing Frank Polito. Bernstein is from the Athens area, and he is just two years removed from playing for the Bulldogs.

Max Norris, formerly a volunteer assistant for the University of North Carolina women's team, takes Bernstein's place at Alabama.

Roberto Aspillaga has been named women's assistant at the University of Colorado, replacing Courtney Nagle, who was assistant for only one season. Aspillaga comes to Colorado from Purdue.

Derek Schwandt, formerly an assistant for the Fresno State men's team and a volunteer assistant for the Unversity of Virginia men's team, has been named men's assistant at Georgia Tech. He replaces Conor Pollock, who resigned after being arrested last March.

Stephen Huss, a Wimbledon men's doubles champion who retired from the ATP tour last year, has joined Virginia Tech as the men's assistant. He replaces Christophe Bonadona.

Former Florida State assistant Mat Cloer has been named men's assistant coach at North Carolina State. He replaces Stephen Ward.

Men's tennis is one of seven sports that has been officially discontinued at the University of Maryland after supporters were unable to raise the funds necessary to ensure the teams' long-term survival.

The current women's coach at Maryland, Dianne Matias, will not return to that position, according to this article from the school's daily student newspaper.

And Pepperdine University has been put on probation and has lost scholarships in several sports, including men's tennis. The tennis team must vacate its conference titles and NCAA appearances going back to the 2007-2008 season. This is the same action that had the Pepperdine men's team ruling itself ineligible for postseason play last year. The complete NCAA ruling is here.