CLEVELAND – Case Western Reserve University Director of Athletics Dave Diles has announced the promotion of Kirsten Gambrell to head women's tennis coach. Gambrell, the reigning Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Women's Assistant of the Year, spent the past season as assistant coach for both Spartan men's and women's tennis.
"Kirsten has demonstrated all of the qualities necessary in providing leadership for our women's tennis program," said Diles. "Although her tenure at our university has been relatively brief, she has distinguished herself as an excellent teacher, coach and recruiter."
Gambrell assumes leadership of the women's team, which had been guided along with the men's squad for the past five seasons by Todd Wojtkowski, who will enter his sixth season at the helm of the men's program in 2013-14.
"I'm thrilled that Kirsten has accepted this opportunity, and I know that she will build on the foundation that Todd worked to establish for our program," noted Diles. "Todd brought both programs to national prominence, and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit. I'm sure that Kirsten and Todd will continue to work together for the advancement of both programs."
Working primarily with the women in her first season with the program, Gambrell helped the Spartans (12-9) to the No. 25 ranking in the final ITA national poll of the season. Under Gambrell's tutelage, the program achieved its first national ranking (No. 22) in April and qualified a player for the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in program history.
"We are excited to take this next step in advancing our programs," said Wojtkowski. "This will be a great way to build continuity amongst our staff, and we will be able to provide more in-depth coaching for our players as each team typically competes in very different locations throughout the year. No matter how you view this, it will be a positive for our student-athletes."
Prior to joining the staff at CWRU last summer, Gambrell spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. As a player, the Bay Village, Ohio-native, was a four-time Big East Conference Academic All-Star at DePaul University (Ill.) from 2007-10 and a key member of a Blue Demon squad that reached the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament in 2010. In addition, Gambrell advanced to the championship match of the 2008 Wilson/ITA Regional Doubles Tournament.
"I have always had the goal of becoming a head coach, and being able to achieve that goal with this team and at a place like Case Western Reserve makes it all that much more exciting ," said Gambrell. "I had a great experience working with both the men and women during such a special year in 2013-13, and now I have the opportunity to lead our women's program as it continues to develop at the national level. We have an extremely hard-working and talented group that I am lucky work with on a day-to-day basis. I can't wait to get back on the courts for another awesome season."
Gambrell earned her Bachelor of Science degree in education from DePaul in 2010 and a Master of Business Administration from Berry in 2012.