Peterson to Retire From Women's Tennis Coaching Staff
April 27, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Charlotte Peterson, the head coach for the University of Memphis women's tennis team, has announced that she will retire effective immediately it was announced Friday. Peterson recently completed her 32nd season at the helm of her alma mater.
"On behalf of the entire Tiger Athletic Department, I would like to thank Coach Peterson for her many years of dedicated service to Lady Tiger tennis and the University of Memphis," said Athletic Director R.C. Johnson. "To have given 32-years of one's life for the betterment of collegiate tennis is indeed a tribute to Charlotte and shows her deep devotion to the University."
In her 32 seasons at Memphis, Peterson coached 15 all-conference players, including 10 Conference USA all-league honorees. In 2003, Peterson's Lady Tiger team had its first-ever ranked doubles tandem, as Sabrina Lindemann and Monica Gonzalez-Gordo were ranked No. 31 in the country in the September rankings.
Peterson also coached all three members of the Lady Tiger tennis program that are in the M-Club Hall of Fame. Stacy Seamans-Muzzi was the program's first inductee in 1992. Annika Ewaldsson, the program's all-time singles leader, was the second inductee in 2000 and Christina Ladyman was the most recent inductee in 2005.
"After coaching for 32 years at the University of Memphis, I am ready to seek a new direction in my life," Peterson said. "I know I coached some of the finest young ladies over the past years at Memphis and I have been very blessed by the Lord to have had this opportunity to coach for so long. I am very appreciative of the confidence the university has placed in me as the coach and for the support they are giving me now in my leaving this position."
Under Peterson's leadership, Memphis has earned Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team honors in each of the past six seasons. She has also had players named to the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll 64 times since the league's inception in 1996 and senior Christina Wieser was named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team before this year's conference championships. Wieser was also named one of the department's Female Scholar Athlete award winners in April of 2007.
The 2005-06 Lady Tiger team posted the athletic department's highest team GPA and the 2004-05 team had the highest women's tennis team GPA of any program in Conference USA.
Peterson joined the Lady Tiger coaching staff in 1975-76 after completing both her undergraduate and master's degrees at then-Memphis State University. As a graduate student, she had served two years as an assistant coach under former Lady Tiger head coach Mary Lou Johns.
A graduate of Kingsbury High School, Peterson, who specialized in doubles play in college, started a unique fundraiser for the women's tennis team. In 1997, Peterson formed the Lady Tiger Bass Fishing Tournament, which has been an annual tournament held at Sardis Lake, Miss., with funds benefiting the women's tennis program.
In 2005-06, Peterson was one of a handful of Memphis tennis players who formed a camp introducing older players to tennis. Throughout her Lady Tiger career, Peterson has been an active member in the Memphis community, conducting clinics while also being active in church activities.
Her Lady Tiger team finished second in the Metro Conference in 1981-82 and posted a top five finish in 13 conference tournaments, including the Metro Conference, the Great Midwest Conference and Conference USA.
Peterson will remain on special assignment with the U of M Athletic Department.
"Coaching is such a wonderful profession, but it does take its toll on the human side of the person," Peterson said. "I want to leave while my health is still good and see was I can accomplish in the future years ahead of me. My past players are my family and their love and support has been tremendous."