Coach Mark Ardizzone Named Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Coach of the Year
CHICAGO After leading the 2009 DePaul women’s tennis team to a program-best runner-up finish at the BIG EAST Conference Championships, head coach Mark Ardizzone has been named Wilson/ITA Midwest Region Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Ardizzone has shown what it takes to be a successful coach as he has molded and guided Blue Demon tennis into one of the premier programs in the country. This season the women’s tennis squad reached a program-high No. 26 on the ITA Division I rankings, while remaining in the top-75 all season long. After taking second place in the BIG EAST Championships, he was named the conferences’ Coach of the Year as selected by his peers.
An accomplished recruiter, Coach Ardizzone has brought to DePaul some of the highest quality talent women’s tennis has to offer. Dunja Antunovic, Anna Redecsi, and Selma Salkovic were all name BIG EAST Players of the Week, as well as being named to the All-Conference team along with Katarina Milinkovic. In addition, freshman Gia McKnight had a break-out season, posting a team-high 30-8 singles record.
Off the court, Ardizzone has instilled a high standard of academic integrity and community involvement in his student-athletes. Recently, Antunovic earned the ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. As a team, they were recognized by the NCAA for having an Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the top-ten percent of all Division I women’s tennis teams. The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester or quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention, and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.
“Coach truly deserves this award,” praised Antunovic, “He displays extraordinary commitment to his team every day and it is great that he was acknowledged for his hard word and dedication.”
The team ended the season with a 21-5 record, while posting a 5-2 record in the BIG EAST.