Citing personal reasons, Gigi Fernandez resigned as the USF women’s tennis team head coach, USF announced on Thursday. Fernandez will remain with the team as a volunteer assistant coach, a press release stated.
A standout player as a professional, Fernandez came to USF after the 2002 season with the Bulls, coming off a 9-14 season. When she arrived, the team was ranked 71st in the nation. The Bulls finished ranked 49th this season, the highest since 2001.
“The decision to resign my position as head coach of the women’s tennis program at USF was a difficult one,” Fernandez said in a press release. “The three years that I spent at this university, coaching the ladies on the team, have been some of the most rewarding years of my life.”
In her three seasons with USF, the Bulls went 27-34. This season’s winning record was a first for the program since 2000, and the third-place finish at the Conference USA Champions was the highest since 2000.
“I look forward to helping my successor continue the successful path that I initiated,” said Fernandez, who recently earned a psychology degree from USF. “And I will remain committed, in my new role as a voluntary assistant, to the growth of the tennis program and my alma mater.”
USF Associate Director of Athletics Barry Clements, who administers the USF tennis programs, said in a press release that the Athletic Department would conduct a national search for a new head coach.
“We’re very appreciative of the job Gigi Fernandez has done and we look forward to her continued support of our program as a volunteer assistant,” Clements said. “We’re very pleased with the direction Gigi has our program headed in, and we are intent on seeing that continue.”