The UNCW women's tennis program has developed a national presence under the guidance of 2011 and 2102 Colonial Athletic Association Coach-of-the-Year Jenny Garrity.
Garrity begins her 17th season as a collegiate tennis coach and 13th overall with the Seahawks in 2012-13. The enthusiastic coach has compiled a successful track record at three different NCAA Division I institutions and has led the Seahawks to 10 consecutive winning seasons, including their highest ITA national ranking this past spring.
Playing a schedule that featured seven nationally-ranked opponents in 2011-12, the Seahawks rallied behind savvy upperclassmen Christina Lee and Casey Dashiell to fashion one of the most successful campaigns in the program's history. The Seahawks climbed to as high as No. 63 in the ITA rankings, earned the No. 2 seed at the CAA Tournament and racked up several individual honors on the year.
Lee and three other players - Angie Sekely, Kelly Cameron and Alyssa Ritchie - collected All-CAA honors in singles, while Sekely, Lee, Ritchie and Olga Blank were honored for their doubles play.
Moreover, Ritchie was selected CAA Co-Rookie-of-the-Year following a 17-3 ledger and Garrity garnered Coach-of-the-Year honors for the second straight year.
Academically, last year's team excelled as well. The team posted the highest grade point average among UNCW's 19 intercollegiate teams at 3.67 and Lee was voted CAA Women's Tennis Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year for the second year in a row. The women's tennis program has been an ITA Academic All-American Team for the past nine seasons - awarded to programs whose team GPA is a 3.25 or above for the entire academic year.
In 2010-11, the Seahawks scaled as high as No. 67 in the ITA poll and was received the ITA national sportsmanship award for the month of April.
Garrity's club made a big haul at the 2011 CAA's post-season banquet. Garrity was named the CAA's Coach-of-the-Year and junior Christina Lee became the school's First-Team All-CAA selection. In addition to Garrity and Lee, freshmen Angie Sekely (Second-Team) and Kelly Cameron (Third-Team) were recognized and Sekely and Olga Blank collected Second-team All-CAA accolades in doubles.
In addition, Lee picked up three additional major honors. She was named the Carolina Region recipient of the ITA's Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship, earned Capital One Academic All-District honors and was selected the CAA's Women's Tennis Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year for her work in the classroom.
In 2009-10, three players - Lee, Lindsay Leblang and Kayla Schwenk - earned All-Conference honors, the team was recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) as an All-American Academic squad, and every player was honored academically by the ITA after the team compiled a sparkling 3.80 grade point average.
On top of that, Garrity recorded her 200th victory as a head coach with a 7-0 victory over Mount Olive on April 10, 2010.
In 2008-09, UNCW went a sparkling 19-3 for an .864 winning percentage and was ranked 69th by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) in late spring. In addition, the doubles tandem of Lauren Isenhour and Schwenk collected a ranking of No. 64 on March 19, 2009.
The Seahawks went a perfect 14-0 against non-conference opponents behind All-CAA performers Schwenk and Isenhour. Schwenk was named Third-Team All-CAA in singles and was joined on the Second-Team All-CAA doubles unit by Isenhour.
Prior to Garrity's arrival in 2000, no Seahawk had ever been recognized on the CAA All-Conference team. Over the last 13 seasons, Seahawks have picked up 37 All-CAA honors.
A native of the West Coast, Garrity headed up the programs at N.C. State and Kansas before coming to Wilmington on May 26, 2000. She collected Coach-of-the-Year honors at both institutions before moving to the Carolina coast.
Garrity, 41, served as an assistant coach for three years at N.C. State before moving up the top chair. In her final year in Raleigh, Garrity led the Wolfpack to a 16-8 record and the school's first-ever trip to the NCAA Southeast Regional. That team set the school record for most wins in a season, recorded the highest ACC finish in school history and enjoyed the longest winning streak in the program's history.
Garrity continued her move up the coaching ladder in Lawrence, where she directed KU's nationally-ranked program two years. She piloted the Jayhawks to a 13-13 mark in her first season, including an 8-3 conference record and third place in the Big 12 Conference, reaching the NCAA Regional Finals.
As a player, Garrity enjoyed an outstanding career at N.C. State from 1989-92. She was a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and finished with the most victories in Wolfpack women's tennis history. In 2003, she was named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary team as one of the best players in the history of the conference.
Garrity is a member of the National Women's Tennis Coaches Association and has been a member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) since 1981. She became a USTA certified official in 1992. Garrity has served as an ITA or NCAA Tennis Committee member each of the past 14 seasons.
Tennis is a passion for Garrity's family. Garrity's younger brother, Mike Sell, was a four-time All-American at Georgia and works as a national coach for the USTA. He will be the Assistant Coach for the US Olympic Men's & Women's Tennis Team this summer at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Mike's wife, Julia Sell, is the Head Women's Tennis Coach at LSU. Her sister, Kris McGrath, played at Kansas from 1996-99 and was the Big 12 Player-of-the-Year under Garrity in 2000. Her youngest sister, Kathy Smith, played on Duke's Top-10 squad, and is married to Ramsey Smith, Head Men's Tennis Coach at Duke.
Garrity and her husband, Jimmy, an assistant coach with the Seahawk women's basketball program, are the proud parents of Kacey (16), Corey (10), and Mary Carlyn (8).
The Garrity Record
Awards & National Involvement