Sara Anundsen O’Leary has been hired as the University of Virginia’s new women’s tennis head coach, UVA director of athletics Craig Littlepage announced.
“Sara O’Leary possesses everything we look for in our head coaches,” Littlepage said in this press release. “Sara has gained great experience working with top players, she is committed to strong academic performance, she has proven she has the ability to build a winning culture, and she is familiar with the ACC and the challenge of competing for both ACC and NCAA championships. It’s clear Sara is looking forward to working with [Virginia director of tennis Andres Pedroso] to build our tennis program and see each of our women’s tennis student-athletes reach their potential.”
O’Leary comes to Virginia after three years as head coach of Davidson. The 2007 UNC graduate served as a Tar Heels assistant coach for four years before taking over the Wildcats program, which endured four straight losing seasons (26-69) prior to her arrival. She guided Davidson to three consecutive winning seasons and 45 wins overall, including a 33-11 record the past two years.
As a player, O’Leary captured an NCAA doubles title.
Virginia’s women’s tennis program went 11-13 this past season. O’Leary, who takes over for Mark Guilbeau, who announced his resignation in May after 12 seasons as UVA head coach, spelled out her vision for the Cavalier program.
“My goal as a coach is to create a family atmosphere for my players and coaches filled with support, trust and compassion,” she said. “My first priority is for the student-athletes in the program to improve as tennis players and as people. I will strive to establish a culture that gives each of them the best opportunity to maximize their potential. I am incredibly grateful and excited for this opportunity to coach at UVA and work with Andres to make a positive impact on the program, the student-athletes and the community.”