The 2017-18 season marked Kirsten (Gambrell) McMahon’s sixth at Case Western Reserve and fifth as women’s tennis head coach.
McMahon, the 2013 Wilson/ITA Central Region Women's Assistant of the Year, spent the 2012-13 campaign as assistant coach for both Spartan men's and women's tennis. She was then promoted to women’s head coach in July of 2013.
During the 2017-18 season, McMahon led the Spartans to a 15-4 overall record and was nationally-ranked throughout the campaign. They were featured as high as 15th in the poll during the course of the season, the highest ranking in the program's history. The Spartans qualified a pair of athletes for the NCAA Division III Individual Championships, with Nithya Kanagasegar competing in the singles draw for the fourth-straight season, and teaming with Madeleine Paolucci in the doubles draw. The pairing, which earned All-America honors following a quarterfinals berth at the NCAA Championships, finished the year with a 23-9 record together, matching the program record for doubles victories in season.
In her first season at the helm of the women’s program, McMahon led the Spartans to the highest final ITA national ranking (22nd) in program history at that time. That ranking came on the heels of a season in which the Spartans (11-10) faced one of the nation’s toughest schedules with 11 nationally ranked opponents. The team also matched the best UAA finish (fifth) in program history.
McMahon assumed leadership of the women's team from Todd Wojtkowski, who had guided both the men and women for five seasons. Working primarily with the women in her first season with the program, McMahon helped the Spartans (12-9) to the No. 25 ranking in the final ITA national poll and the team’s first-ever national ranking (No. 22) in April. The team also qualified a player for the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in school history.
A former NCAA Division I standout at DePaul University (Ill.), McMahon joined the staff at CWRU following a two-year stint as a graduate assistant at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia.
A native of nearby Bay Village, Ohio, McMahon was a four-time Big East Conference Academic All-Star at DePaul from 2007-10 and a key member of a Blue Demon squad that reached the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament in 2010. In addition, she advanced to the championship match of the 2008 Wilson/ITA Regional Doubles Tournament.
Along with her playing experience, McMahon brings a multitude of instructing experience. Most recently, she served as an all-age instructor at the North Olmsted Recreation Complex, the Avon Oaks Country Club and the Bay Village Recreation Department. Prior to her time at Berry, she served in various instructing roles with the Rome-Floyd Parks & Recreation Department in Georgia and the Lakeshore Athletic Club in Chicago.
McMahon earned her Bachelor of Science degree in education from DePaul in 2010 and a Master of Business Administration from Berry in 2012.
- 2013 Wilson/ITA Central Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year
- No. 15 national ranking in 2018 (best final ranking in team history)
- 2013 NCAA Championship singles qualifier Sara Zargham (first female qualifier in school history)
- 2018 NCAA Championship doubles All-Americans Nithya Kanagasegar and Madeleine Paolucci (first All-Americans in program history)