In his third season as Fresno State womenÕs tennis coach is Kevin Epley, who has helped the Bulldogs continue their place as one of the strongest programs in the country. In just two years, he has compiled a 38-11 record and guided the team to two NCAA Tournament appearances and a Western Athletic Conference title in 2002.
Epley began his career at Fresno State by guiding the team to one of the best seasons in school history. The Bulldogs went 21-5 and were ranked as high as eighth in the nation at one point during the season Š the highest ever for a Fresno State team. The Bulldogs wound up as the runner-up in the WAC Tournament and hosted the first and second of the NCAA Tournament.
Epley continued to weave his magic last year as Fresno State went 17-6, played in the National Team Indoors, won the WAC Tournament and played in the NCAA Tournament. Under his watch, Chloe Carlotti became the first freshman to earn All-America honors in program history. In just two years, Epley has coached four All-Americans Š Kim Niggemeyer, Simone Jardim, Liesl Fichtbauer and Carlotti Š the most prolific period for that award ever at Fresno State.
And the BulldogsÕ head coach continues to find success while stacking Fresno State up against some of the nationÕs best competition. On this yearÕs docket are perennial powers UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, Stanford, California, South Alabama and Mississippi.
Epley came to Fresno State from the University of Arizona, where he served as the assistant womenÕs tennis coach during the 1999-00 season. He was instrumental in leading the Wildcats to a No. 21 national ranking and a round of 16 appearance at the NCAA Tournament.
A 1995 graduate of Southern Methodist University, Epley was All-Southwestern Conference his senior year. He began his coaching career in 1996 as an assistant to Billie Jean King with the United States Federation Cup team, comprised of players such as Lindsay Davenport, Mary Joe Fernandez and Venus and Serena Williams. Also in 1996, he began instructing at the renowned Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, where he served as a practice partner for players such as Monica Seles and Anna Kournikova.
In addition to his duties with the Federation Cup team, Epley became an assistant at the University of Alabama during the 1998-99 season. Following the season, he became a personal traveling coach for touring professional Patty Schnyder, formerly ranked No. 8 in the world. His duties included being responsible for all coaching, scouting, and travel planning.
During the summer, he runs a tournament training camp in Menton, France, for ranked junior players who want to get European experience playing on clay and tour Europe at the same time.
"I canÕt say enough about Kevin," said King, a holder of 20 Wimbledon titles and perhaps the most renowned champion of womenÕs tennis in the world. "HeÕs a wonderful person and an excellent teacher and motivator. You cannot find a better human being to be at Fresno State than Kevin Epley. He will enhance the program tremendously."
KEVIN EPLEY YEAR-BY-YEAR Year Record WAC NCAA 2000-01 21-5 Runner-up Second round 2001-02 17-6 Champions Second round Totals 38-11* 1 title 2 trips * Denotes best two-year start to a career in program history