KSU names new women’s tennis coach

COURTESY: Kansas State Sports Information

COURTESY: K-State Sports Information

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Danielle Steinberg, the 2014 Southland Conference Coach of the Year and an emerging talent within the women’s tennis coaching community, has been named the seventh head women’s tennis coach at Kansas State, Athletics Director John Currie announced on Wednesday.

Steinberg, who has spent the previous two seasons as the head coach at McNeese State, agreed to a five-year contract approved by the K-State Athletics, Inc., Board of Directors. Steinberg was selected after a national search by K-State’s search committee of Currie, Assistant Athletics Director of Administration and Chief of Staff Clint Dowdle, Senior Women’s Administrator Jill Shields, Senior Associate Athletics Director Casey Scott and Associate Athletics Director Lindsey Babcock.

“I am so grateful for this incredible opportunity and I want to thank John Currie, Clint Dowdle and the entire search committee for trusting me to lead their program,” said Steinberg. “Their belief in me and my vision for this team are both humbling and motivating.

“It was very clear from the beginning of the process that this is a perfect fit for all sides. I share the same values as K-State Athletics, values that are based on honest hard work. I already feel comfortable working alongside this great staff and am thrilled to become a part of the K-State family and call Manhattan my home. K-State is a world class university and has one of the best athletic departments in the country; the commitment to excellence from everyone on staff is truly inspiring. Our program has endless potential and I can’t wait to get to work and build something really special here.”

“We are excited to welcome Danielle to the K-State family,” Currie said. “While at McNeese, she led the program to its first winning season in almost a decade and developed a very young team into a contender while producing back to back conference and freshmen players of the year. Coach Steinberg’s reputation as a recruiter – both nationally and internationally – as well as her focus on player development and successful coaching experiences at Wichita State and Arizona make her the perfect fit to lead our program. With the foundation that has been laid by Coach Bietau and the addition of the new Mike Goss Tennis Stadium, we are confident that Coach Steinberg will continue to build upon on the tradition and success of Wildcat tennis.”

In her two seasons at McNeese State, Steinberg guided the women’s tennis team to unseen heights with a 29-17 overall record including a 2014 Southland Conference Coach of the Year honor and 2014 All-Louisiana co-Coach of the Year honors.

In 2014, Steinberg guided the Cowgirls to a 16-7 overall mark, including a 10-2 record in Southland Conference action which resulted in a number three seed in the conference tournament. At the conclusion of the season, the Cowgirls achieved the first top-10 regional ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) regional rankings in the program’s history. McNeese State’s 16-7 overall record was the first time the Cowgirls finished a season with 15 or more wins since the 2005 season.

For the second straight season, Steinberg mentored the Southland Conference Player of the Year and the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, Klaudia Gawlik and Sara Castellano. Gawlik registered an unblemished 12-0 singles record in league play and notched an 18-2 overall singles record. Castellano, who was also selected as the All-Louisiana Freshman of the Year, finished her debut season with an 18-3 singles record and a 13-6 mark in doubles action.

The Cowgirls were also successful in the classroom in 2014, as they were selected as an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team, with five student-athletes earning ITA Scholar-Athlete honors. Individually, Gawlik was named the Southland Conference Tennis Student-Athlete of the Year.

In her first season with McNeese State in 2013, Steinberg led the squad to the program’s first winning season in eight years with a record of 13-10 and included a trip to the Southland Conference tournament.

Steinberg’s team also received postseason accolades, as Gawlik earned Southland Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors as well as All-Louisiana co-Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors. Gawlik capped off her freshman season with a perfect 21-0 singles record and an 8-0 record from the number one position in the Cowgirls’ lineup.  Gawlik ended the 2013 season ranked 13th in the ITA Southern Region.

“I want to thank McNeese State for taking a chance on me and giving me a home these past two years,” stated Steinberg. “They provided me with the opportunity to develop myself as a person and a coach and I am truly grateful for that.”

Prior to taking the head position at McNeese State, Steinberg served as an assistant head coach for Wichita State from 2010-2012. In her first year, Steinberg was met with the challenge of working with six freshmen. With four of the freshmen in the starting lineup, the Shockers went undefeated in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2011 and 2012 and advanced to the NCAA tournament both years. She also coached 11 Missouri Valley Conference individual champions while with the Shockers.

While at Wichita State, Steinberg gained recognition from her peers, when she received the opportunity to coach Romina Oprandi in the WTA tour.  With Steinberg’s coaching, Oprandi advanced to the third round of the Australian Open after knocking off a Top-10 WTA player. Steinberg also played a vital role in improving Oprandi’s No. 88 world ranking to No. 61.

Before assuming her position at Wichita State, Steinberg began her coaching career at her alma mater, Arizona. She served as a student-assistant where she helped plan and conduct practice and conditioning sessions as well as assisted with administrative duties such as recruiting and team travel.

As a player at Arizona, Steinberg represented the Wildcats from the top of the team’s lineup as the No. 1 singles player and team captain throughout her career. She was a three-time Pac-10 All-Conference pick and was the Pac-10 Toyota Spring Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2009. Steinberg was also named to the 2006 Academic All-American team and was a three-time Academic All-Pac-10 selection.  Steinberg also won the ITA Arthur Ashe Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership in 2009.

A native of Tel Aviv, Israel, Steinberg graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Arizona with a BA in Social and Behavioral Science. She also received a MEd in Sport Management from Wichita State in May 2012.

As a team entering the 2014-15 season, the Wildcats will welcome back six players from its 2013-14 lineup headlined by rising senior Amina St. Hill and will add Tegan Louw into the mix as she missed the 2013-14 season due to injury. The Wildcats will also welcome a pair of freshmen, Laura Hopton and Adriana Rajkovic. K-State finished the 2013-14 season with a 10-13 overall record and ranked No. 6 in the ITA Central Region rankings and No. 68 in the ITA National Team rankings.

With the fall 2014 season approaching, Steinberg has a vision for the program going forward.

“The program will be built with student-athletes at the center; it’s my personal responsibility for our student-athletes to represent K-State in a positive light, on and off the court and in the community. We will all work hard and compete harder than any of us ever have before, and we will do things the right way. Together we will build a program that will make the K-State family proud.”

Coaching Experience

Head Coach, McNeese State (2012-14; 29-17, .630)
Head Coach, WTA Tour’s Romina Oprandi (2011-12)
Assistant Head Coach, Wichita State (2010-12)
Student Assistant Coach, Arizona (2009)

BA in Social and Behavioral Science (Magna Cum Laude), Arizona, 2009
Master’s in Sports Management, Wichita State, 2012

Playing Experience

Arizona, 2005-09

Steinberg’s Trophy Case

2014 Southland Conference Coach of the Year

2014 All Louisiana co-Coach of the Year

2009 Pac-10 Spring Scholar Athlete of the Year

2009 Pac-10 Post-Graduate Scholarship recipient

Three-time NCAA Singles Championship qualifier (2006-08)

Four-Year letter winner (2005-09)

What They Are Saying About Danielle Steinberg

McNeese State Director of Athletics Bruce Hemphill

“The Kansas State tennis program, Athletic Department, and University just got better with the hiring of Danielle Steinberg. She is a loyal, caring, focused, and dedicated coach. Her athletes were from lands far away, yet we made drastic improvement on the court, our tennis team had the highest GPA in the athletic department and were always happy and enthusiastic. Most of this success is because of Danielle.”

Wichita State head women’s tennis coach Colin Foster

“Danielle was instrumental in the recruitment and development of championship teams during her two years at Wichita State. More importantly, Danielle has an infectious passion for tennis and for the young ladies she leads. We learned a lot from each other and she continued to grow as a head coach at McNeese. She will do an outstanding job at K-State and will be well liked by Wildcat fans and the tennis community in Manhattan. I am excited to have a great coach and friend in the region and know her teams will compete valiantly, successfully, and always with class.”

Arizona head women’s tennis coach Vicky Maes

“Danielle Steinberg is a great hire for K-State. She is a talented young coach who will surely take the program to the next level. Her passion for the game was always apparent when she competed for us and she will bring this same attitude to her new team for sure.”

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