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Search for new women’s tennis coach continues

BY PATRICK RAFFERTY | OCTOBER 09, 2009 7:20 AM

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Filling a head coaching void was the last thing the Iowa women’s tennis team expected to have to do this season.

Jane Meyer, the Iowa senior associate athletics director, said the search for a new head coach remains open, and the identity of the next coach will not be revealed until department officials have found “the right fit for the job.”

“We are required to advertise for at least two weeks,” she said. “And then we will complete the process when we find a right fit and the right candidate for the job.”

Pinpointing the right candidate might be the toughest task during the fall tournament season. With the college tennis slate underway, most qualified coaches are already invested in their programs.

However, former Iowa coach Daryl Greenan did leave the Hawkeyes five days ago after accepting a head position at Mississippi State.

Meyer said the athletics department is looking for someone to handle an already established program.

“Our goal is to recruit a highly qualified coach who can continue to move our women’s tennis program forward,” she said. “We are looking at someone who has a degree, first of all, someone who has Division-I coaching experience — experience coaching and recruiting quality students and quality athletes.”

Myers said the coaching application can be viewed online on the university’s website. According to the application, “desirable qualifications” for the position are: a master’s degree, NCAA Division-I head-coach experience, and a minimum of five years of successful intercollegiate coaching.

The athletics department will also receive feedback from Iowa players who will meet and interview the coaching candidates. However, the players don’t get the final say.

Iowa volunteer assistant coach Chris Lueth said the team is looking for a coach who can not only lead but can also reach out to the players. Greenan was a very easygoing guy, Lueth said, and the team bought into his philosophy.

“He was very friendly with the women, always trying to make sure there were no conflicts among the team,” Lueth said. “I think those are things that attracted the women to come to Iowa, attracted them to Daryl as a head coach.”

Without a head coach this week, the team has made a few adjustments, such as changing practices times. With Iowa assistant coach Mira Radu currently in Los Angeles with sophomore Sonja Molnar for the All-American tournament, Leuth has been given some increased responsibility.

“I’ve been running all the practices and pretty much being the only coach around this week.” he said. “I’m going to be traveling with the team and helping out at those away tournaments, which was not something I had planned on doing. But in an effort to help out, I’m going to be doing that.”

He said the team has handled the situation well, which is a reflection of the Hawkeyes’ respect for their assistant coach.

“They’re all very confident in Mira’s ability to coach the team,” Lueth said. “I don’t think they have any lower expectations or let down on their part because of their trust and faith in Mira.”


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