Walker to Coach USTA Collegiate National Team for Second-Straight Year
May 29, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – University of Memphis women’s tennis head coach Lee Taylor Walker was selected to coach the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Women’s Collegiate National Team for the second-straight season, where he will travel around the country coaching some of the top American collegiate players this summer.
“It’s a real privilege to coach this team again,” Walker said. “The relationships made on last year’s team will last a lifetime, and I’m looking forward to continuing with some of those same people this summer as well as meeting new players and coaches.”
The USTA Women’s Collegiate National Team is comprised of individuals that qualify based on their accomplishments during the fall and spring seasons while playing for their respective schools. Players that are automatically chosen for the national team include winners of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championships, USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, ITA Player of the Year, ITA Rookie of the Year, NCAA Singles champion and the highest-ranked collegians in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. A total of six players will be named to the team.
North Carolina freshman Jamie Loeb and Virginia sophomore Danielle Collins have clinched spots on the collegiate team this summer after Loeb captured the ITA All-American Championships, National Indoor title and was named ITA Rookie of the Year. Collins took home the NCAA Singles title earlier this week to secure her place on the national team.
Walker and USC associate head coach West Nott are returning for their second season with the team along with newcomer Felix Alvarado, who is the assistant general manager and director of tennis at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in New York City. The three coaches will assist USTA National Coach Dustin Taylor, who is in charge of the USTA Collegiate National Team for USTA Player Development.
“One of the best parts of this opportunity is learning more from our great coaching staff,” Walker said. “Dustin and West are two of the best and I know I will come away with fun and innovative techniques that can be applied to our team here at Memphis.”
Walker, who will coach at six tournaments this summer, will begin his coaching duties with the national team on June 16 in Bethany Beach, Delaware, followed by a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. The first two tournaments will be the only clay court competitions before the team finishes out the summer on hard courts. During the month of July, Walker will travel with the squad to Sacramento, California, Evansville, Indiana, Austin, Texas, and Fort Worth, Texas.
Last season, the women’s collegiate team saw success under Walker’s guidance as former All-Americans Nicole Gibbs (Stanford) and Lauren Embree (Florida) won titles.
“The team did incredible last year and we are planning on this year’s team being just as successful,” Walker said.
Current Memphis volunteer assistant coach Mary Weatherholt was also a member of the 2013 collegiate team, advancing to the second round of the Sacramento 50k in July.
“Having Lee as a coach on the team last summer was invaluable,” Weatherholt said. “He helped not only with the technical aspects, but with my tennis and life development as a whole, and maybe importantly he created a very fun and joyful atmosphere for me and everyone else on the team too.”