Oct. 29, 2001
TUCSON - Former University of Arizona All-American Vicky Maes was named head women's tennis coach at her alma mater today.
Maes, 27, has been a coordinator for the past 20 months for the UA athletics department's model program (CATS) to enhance the personal development and community service of student-athletes. Since her graduation from the UA in May 1999 she also has been a tennis instructor on the junior level and spent one year working with the Wildcat program as a volunteer coach.
Maes, a native Belgian, succeeds Brad Dancer, who left UA last month to take the head men's job at Fresno State University. Dancer was head women's coach for two years, compiling a 16-26 record and earning an NCAA berth in 2000. Assistant coach Simone Thibodeau has been leading the program in the interim.
"This is absolutely a dream come true," Maes said. "I am so excited to be heading the program and only foresee great things happening. This university and this community mean so much to me and I cannot wait to get started," she said.
Maes, a UA honor student with a major in marketing and an international business studies certificate, was a four-time All-American for the Wildcats from 1995-1998 and was the nation's top-ranked player in 1996 and 1997. She was UA's No. 1 singles and doubles player throughout her career and also earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors four times as well as the league Player of the Year honor in 1996.
She was named to the Pac-10 All-Decade team in 1998, won the Arizona Women's Sports Foundation College Athlete of the Year honor in 1996, was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection, a GTE Academic All-America choice in 1996, a finalist for the NCAA's Great Eight award in 1998, and was UA's top female student-athlete as winner of the Ruby Award in 1998, among other honors.
"We're delighted to have Vicky take over our women's tennis program," UA athletics director Jim Livengood said. "Her outstanding background as a player, student and citizen bring all the tangibles and intangibles required for a leader of young student-athletes. The fact she's worked closely with so many people through her job with the CATS program will also help us make a quick transition," he said. Livengood added that Thibodeau has been offered the opportunity to stay on as assistant coach.
As a player, Maes won the Pac-10 Indoor Doubles Championship in 1995, won the National Intercollegiate Clay Championships in 1996, was a finalist in the National NCAA Rolex Championships in 1996 and was a finalist of the Pac-10 Indoor championships in 1997. She also was ranked in Belgium's national top 10 throughout the 1990s, won several Belgian National Women's Open tournaments and was a semi-finalist for the National Open Singles Championship in 1998.
Maes, who is fluent in Dutch, English and French and conversant in German, has international playing experience as winner if the ITF Singles Championships in Buenos Aires in 1993, a semi-finalist at ITF Singles Championships in Lisbon in 1993 and considerable other junior international tour events.
She was a three-time captain for UA's squad, vice president of the student-athlete advisory board for two years, a member of that board as a sophomore, a member of the Peer Athletic Leaders Board as a junior and participated in Pacific-10 Conference and NCAA Leadership activities as UA's representative. She was active in community service throughout her playing career and through her work coordinating athletics department's community service activities.