Minneapolis, Minn. - The University of Minnesota today announced it has hired Catrina Thompson to take over its women's tennis program. Thompson is a familiar name on the collegiate tennis circuit, both as a three-time All-American when she played at Notre Dame from 2003-2007, and as a rising coaching talent who has spent time at Yale, Boise State and, most recently, her alma mater.
"As an assistant coach, Catrina has contributed to significant academic and athletic success for her student-athletes during the past seven seasons. She is a person of great substance, and her dedication to the total collegiate experience is exactly what we want from all of our head coaches," said Athletics Director Mark Coyle. "Catrina was an All-American and a professional athlete before becoming a coach. She's competed, coached and won at the highest levels. That experience will serve her and our student-athletes well."
"I am thrilled to be a part of the Gopher family. I am looking forward to helping Gopher student-athletes develop and reach their goals on and off the court, and also building on the success and tradition that the University of Minnesota embodies," said Thompson. "I am humbled by this incredible opportunity with which I have been entrusted. I want to thank Mark and everyone at Minnesota for this honor and responsibility, and I'd also like to thank Jay Louderback and Beck Roghaar for their mentorship throughout my college coaching career."
For the past four seasons, Thompson has been an assistant in South Bend, where she helped the team advance to the NCAA tournament each year and coached three different individual NCAA qualifiers. During her tenure at Notre Dame, Thompson coached five All-ACC honorees and contributed to the Irish extending their consecutive NCAA appearances streak to 22 straight seasons.
The Irish were also celebrated for their academic success during Thompson's four-year stint with the team. The program was honored each season by the NCAA with Academic Progress Rate (APR) public recognition awards as one of the nation's top-performing women's tennis programs in the classroom.
Prior to her most-recent time at Notre Dame, Thompson was an assistant at Boise State for two seasons, the second of which ended with her earning the 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Her student-athletes in Boise collected six All-Mountain West recognitions during her time with the Broncos.
Thompson began her collegiate coaching career in 2010-11 as a volunteer assistant coach for the Ivy League Champion Yale Bulldogs.
Thompson was a very successful college tennis player while attending Notre Dame. She was a three-time All-American playing doubles alongside her twin sister, Christian. With her sister, Thompson racked up a program-record 104 double victories. She won the 2005 Riviera/ITA All-American Doubles Championship and was a finalist in both 2004 and 2006. She was also a two-time Most Outstanding Player at the Big East Championships and served as Notre Dame's team captain her senior season.
In addition to her achievements as an amateur, Thompson also enjoyed success as a professional player, winning doubles titles at four pro events.
Thompson becomes the seventh head coach in Gopher women's tennis history. She will be the first woman to lead the program since Ellie Peden from 1975-83.