DURHAM, N.C. -- Jamie Ashworth, head coach of the Duke women’s tennis team, was named the 2014 Wilson/ITA National Women’s Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Tuesday, May 20. The national coach of the year recognition is the first of Ashworth’s career.
“It’s an honor because [the award is] voted on by your peers,” Ashworth said. “Everyone knows how hard we all work and what goes in to running a successful program. To be recognized by my peers in such a way is not only a great honor for myself, but also for the program. It says a lot about our program and the amount of respect that people have around the country for our program.”
Ashworth, who garnered his fifth Wilson/ITA Carolina Region Coach of the Year award earlier this year, helped guide the Duke women’s tennis team to the quarterfinal round of the 2014 NCAA Team Championship, marking the eighth time in Duke history the Blue Devils advanced beyond the round of 16. Duke posted a strong 2014 season that saw the Blue Devils atop the ITA rankings an ACC-record nine weeks, including five consecutive. For the second time in school history, Duke claimed the National Team Indoor Championship with a thrilling, 4-3, win over eventual NCAA Champion UCLA. The Blue Devils also owned a 13-match winning streak throughout the season. In his 18th season as head coach, Ashworth earned his 400th career win at Duke earlier this year and currently owns a 410-98 (.807) record overall.
In addition to the Duke women’s tennis team’s accolades on the courts, the members of the team have proven just as successful off the playing surface, showcasing a 3.56 grade point average and participating in a variety of community service projects throughout the year.
“I think that Duke as a whole provides our student-athletes with an opportunity to become the best they can, both on the court and off,” Ashworth said. “The student-athletes that we’ve had have taken advantage of that, from what they’ve accomplished in the classroom to what they accomplished outside the classroom in the community, to what they accomplish on the court. There’s no better place in the country, in my mind, to be the best you can be in all three facets of that. Duke’s a great place and there are great people at Duke that allow our student-athletes to accomplish everything they do, both on and off the courts. They take advantage of all the situations they’re in and in a small way, we benefit from that. They’re great about becoming better people, not just better tennis players. You can see that in our results, but more importantly, you can see that in how they develop in their four years as people.”
Four members of the Duke women’s tennis team, including sophomore Beatrice Capra, junior Ester Goldfeld, senior Hanna Mar and freshman Alyssa Smith are scheduled to compete in the NCAA Individual Championships beginning tomorrow at 9 a.m.