May 15, 2013

McNamara Named Northeast Coach of the Year by ITA

Led Bulldogs to Third Straight Ivy League Title, NCAA Appearance

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale women's tennis head coach Danielle McNamara, who led the Bulldogs to their third straight Ivy League championship and NCAA Tournament berth this season, has been honored by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as Wilson/ITA Northeast Region Coach of the Year. This is the second time in three years McNamara has earned that award, as she was also honored in 2011.

McNamara led No. 35 Yale to a 17-4 mark this spring, including a 6-1 record in the Ivy League that earned the Bulldogs a share of the league title with No. 55 Columbia. In addition to reaching a high of No. 23 in the national rankings, Yale went undefeated at home for the third straight season (34 straight wins). The Bulldogs also earned four spots on the All-Ivy League team -- three singles players (senior captain Elizabeth Epstein (Chicago, Ill.), freshman Madeleine Hamilton (Greensboro, N.C.) and junior Annie Sullivan (Deerfield, Ill.)) and one doubles team (Epstein and Sullivan). Hamilton was the league's Rookie of the Year, the first Bulldog to earn that honor since 1998.

McNamara, who just finished her seventh season as head coach, has led Yale to four NCAA Tournament appearances and four Ivy League championships. The Bulldogs are 110-41 overall and 42-7 in Ivy League games during her tenure. A native of Leominster, Mass., and a graduate of Leominster High, she first joined the Yale coaching staff as an assistant in 2005.

In addition to their success on the court, the Bulldogs have also been active in the community under McNamara. For her efforts, she won the 2010 USTA/ITA Campus and Community Outreach Award for the New England region. Yale has excelled academically as well -- the team has had 19 ITA Scholar Athlete selections and five Academic All-Ivy League honorees in her first six years. The team as a whole has received ITA All-Academic Team recognition from 2008 through 2012.

McNamara has excelled at recruiting too, as the Bulldogs have brought in five straight classes ranked in the top 25 nationally by Tennis Recruiting Network.

As a student-athlete at Michigan from 1996-2000, McNamara was an All-Big Ten selection and the Big Ten Sportswoman of the Year.  She was nationally ranked as high as No. 8 in doubles and No. 27 in singles and was the first player in Michigan history to participate in all three college national championships (All-American, National Indoors and the NCAA Championships). 

Among her other accomplishments, McNamara won one gold and one bronze ball in national USTA events.  She was also selected to coach the USTA Girl's 18 New England national team at the National Team Championships in 2008 and 2009.

McNamara is a current member of the ITA Board of Directors, Division I Operating Committee and the USTA New England Collegiate Committee. She was the co-chair of the 2009 ITA National Indoor Championships tournament committee and the chair of the 2009 ITA Northeast Regionals tournament committee. 

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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