Michaela Gorman embarks on her second decade as Charlotte’s head women’s tennis coach in 2013-14, leading the program back to the league in which it played when she first took over, Conference USA. Gorman begins her 11th season in charge of the program, tying the third-longest tenure of any current 49ers head coach.
Gorman has been a steady leader for Charlotte since taking over prior to the 2003-04 campaign, guiding the program to double-digit dual match victories in eight of her 10 years, including a best of 16 three times (2006, 2009, 2012). Her 10 seasons and 123 wins with the 49ers trail only the legendary Penny Brawley in school history.
Gorman’s career record stands at 123-92, placing her tops among Niners head women’s tennis coaches with a .572 winning percentage. Her 100th career triumph came at the conclusion of the 2011 fall season.
Six of the program’s Top 10 all-time singles wins leaders have played under Gorman’s watch, including career leader Kathy Robey (78) and second-place Ashleigh Murray (74). More impressively, eight of the Top 10 for doubles victories have competed during the last decade with Murray leading with way with 84 triumphs.
Gorman has developed 27 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar Athletes, 24 Atlantic 10 Players of the Week, 21 All-Atlantic 10 selections, six All-Atlantic 10 Academic Team honorees, an Atlantic 10 Rookie Performer of the Year and a CoSIDA Academic All-District Team pick during her Charlotte tenure.
Boosting the team’s success in the classroom was a 3.56 cumulative team GPA this past year, the highest among all programs in the athletic department.
Her career flourished from the start, as the 49ers posted four-straight winning seasons to open her tenure. It was the longest such streak for the program since a school-record eight-year stretch from 1984-85 through 1991-92. Gorman’s three 16-win campaigns are just one shy of the four 16-plus overall years the program had experienced prior to her hiring.
This past season, she oversaw a lineup featuring five seniors and five underclassmen. With eight matches affected due to inclement weather, the Niners entered their final Atlantic 10 Championships with a double-digit win campaign already in-hand. They would advance to the quarterfinals, as Charlotte concluded its eight-year run in the league with no lower than a sixth-place finish in the final standings.
The first doubles pair in school history to crack the national rankings donned the green and white in 2011-12, as then-senior Andrea Rivera and then-junior Alexandra Zinn entered the Campbell’s/ITA listings at No. 48 Feb. 20, 2012. They helped lead the 49ers to a No. 2 seed in the Atlantic 10 Championships, matching the highest in program history, and a 16-6 overall record.
Gorman would be elected to the ITA’s Carolina Region Coaches Committee in 2011-12.
The 2011 season witnessed Charlotte earning a pair of league tournament victories for the second-straight year, but it couldn’t match the magic of the 2010 conference event. The 49ers shocked the A-10 by knocking off top seed Xavier in a late-night affair on their way to a top-three finish for the fourth time in their initial five seasons as a league member.
It marked Charlotte’s second-straight third-place result, as the 2009 campaign was highlighted by numerous standout doubles performances. Three of the Top 10 doubles tandem single-season victory totals were posted during the year, led by a school-record 26 from then-senior Koren Fleming and then-sophomore Gabi Vergara. Vergara’s 27 overall doubles triumphs equaled the school record, originally established in 1985-86, while Fleming’s 26 place her in a tie for third on the all-time list.
Success that season was not limited to just doubles, however, as Yudeshnee Pillay’s 25 wins and Kimber Redfern’s 24 victories in singles moved them into a tie for second and a tie for fourth on the single-season singles chart.
Just two years earlier, in 2006-07, Ana Spivakovsky became the first player in school history to earn a conference Freshman of the Year plaudit after completing a school-record 26-7 campaign, including an 18-4 dual match ledger at No. 1 singles.
Gorman paced the 49ers to 16 wins for the first time in her career in 2005-06, the highest total in 15 years for the program. Charlotte reached the Atlantic 10 Championships final to complete its first season in the new league.
Four of the school’s Top 10 career singles leaders competed for Gorman during the first stint in Conference USA, including both Robey and Murray. They were joined by Laura Swain and Ali Piacente, who currently place fifth and sixth on the chart with 64 and 63 wins to their credit, respectively.
Gorman’s first season, 2003-04, finished with a sixth-place result in Conference USA, the highest in program history. The 14 victories that year are the most by a first-year head coach in program history.
The former Michaela Quinn returned to the Queen City after a two-year stint as an assistant men’s and women’s tennis coach at her alma mater, UNC Greensboro. While with the Spartans, she spent much of her time with the women’s program under the direction of head coach Jeff Trivette.
She enjoyed a stellar four-year playing career at UNCG, earning All-Big South Conference and All-Southern Conference honors in doubles action. She also served as the Spartans’ team captain.
Her accomplishments at UNC Greensboro did not go unnoticed, as she was selected to the Southern Conference 25th Anniversary Tennis Team as announced in 2007-08. Each of the member schools selected one player for representation and she was honored as the Spartans’ choice.
It marked the silver anniversary of the league conducting athletic championships for women and the teams for each of the nine women’s sports were chosen by a panel of administrators and coaches.
Quinn served as a USTA Southern Section Davis Cup team coach in the U12 division in the summer of 2002. In that role, she conducted practices and set lineups for match play. She also has experience for two summers as the head pro at the Cedarwood Pool in Jamestown, N.C., during her college career.
A product of Charlotte’s South Mecklenburg HS, her first tennis coach was Brawley, who spent 22 years in charge of the 49ers’ program.
Gorman graduated in 2000 from UNC Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in recreation, parks and tourism.
The then-Michaela Quinn was married June 28, 2008, to Jeromy Gorman. The couple lives in Mint Hill, N.C., with their sons, Sawyer (3) and Wyatt (May 2013), in addition to two dogs, Bella and Maddie.