Sept. 24, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz. - TUCSON, Ariz.--University of Arizona women's tennis coach Brad Dancer has left the Wildcat program to become the men's head coach at Fresno State University.
Dancer has been UA's head coach for two years, compiling a record of 16-26. The 2000 Wildcats earned the school's 14th berth in the NCAA Championships in Dancer's first season.
"We're very appreciative of the job Brad did with the Wildcat program," said UA senior associate athletics director Kathleen LaRose. "His teams won league playing honors and academic honors, and gained some national recognition in a short span," LaRose said.
Last year Michelle Gough received the West Region Tennis Magazine/ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportmanship and Leadership Award and in his first season Gough and junior Lindsay Blau captured the Pac-10 doubles championship and Region VIII title, earning All-America honors.
Arizona will conduct a national search for a successor to Dancer, LaRose said, while assistant coach Simon Thibodeau continues as interim head coach. Thibodeau joined the program last year
LaRose also announced that men's coach Bill Wright has been promoted to Director of Tennis, with responsibilities covering administration of both the men's and women's tennis programs for the university. Wright has been the UA men's coach for 16 years and won National Coach of the Year honors in 1978 while at California. He'll continue as UA's head men's tennis coach.
"Bill's leadership continues to be one of the bright spots in Arizona athletics," LaRose said. "We're sorry to see Brad leave the women's program, and felt at this juncture that assigning a director of tennis programs would be in UA's best interests."