Sheila McInerney enters her 28th season at the helm of the Sun Devil program. McInerney has led the Sun Devils to 18 NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances, and eight quarterfinal appearances in her tenure. She has made the NCAA tournament in 25 of her 27 seasons.
McInerney's Sun Devils made their 24th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance in 2011 and advanced to the second round. Under her direction, the Sun Devils finished fourth in the Pac-10 earning upset victories over Cal and USC for the second-straight season.
Her 2010 team recorded major upsets over then-13 USC and then-10 Cal. It was ASU's first win over McInerney's alma mater in 13 seasons. In 2009, McInerney saw two athletes earn All-American honors. Kelcy McKenna claimed All-American status in singles after earning an 8-16 seed in the tournament. McKenna then partnered up with Micaela Hein as the pair made it to the quarterfinals at the NCAA Championships to gain All-American status. In addition, McKenna won the prestigious ITA All-American Championship.
The 2008 season was yet another milestone in a long list for McInerney's storied career with some of the most landmark wins in her career. In addition to ASU topping NCAA Champion UCLA, the Sun Devils also topped the Stanford Cardinal for the first time in program history, both in dramatic 4-3 wins. The Sun Devils also toppled three top-15 teams in a showcase of her team's strength with three freshman in the regular line-up. Her prowess at the helm was rewarded yet again at the end of the season, as McInerney was honored as the ITA West Region Coach of the Year., in addition, her assistant, Josh Goffi was named the ITA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year as well as seeing freshman, Kelcy McKenna awarded with the ITA West Region Rookie of the Year for her outstanding freshman campaign. McInerney's team's are also known for their work off the court as well as the Women's Tennis team had three members named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team as well as being the only team at Arizona State to post a perfect Academic Progress Rate score, garnering a honor by the NCAA.
In the 2007 season, the Devils finished ranked in the nation's top 20, beating three top-15 teams and ending an exciting season with a record of 13-10, the highlight being a win against the NCAA finalist UCLA Bruins.
In 2004 with five freshmen, McInerney's team posted two upset wins in reaching the NCAA Sweet 16, defeating No. 19 LSU (4-1) in first round play and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NCAA Tournament by shutting out Texas (4-0), the region's top-seed and 12th-ranked team in the country.
The 2003 season saw McInerney accomplish another milestone in her illustrious career, earning her 300th career win. She also coached another player to All-American acclaim and helped place four players on the Pac-10 All-Academic teams, tying a school record for most student-athletes selected. McInerney's knowledge of the game was evident in helping Adria Engel end her four-year career as the school's all-time wins leader (130) and a No. 6 final national ranking.
In 2002, McInerney tutored junior Adria Engel to her third straight All-American honor in singles and second straight NCAA quarterfinal singles finish. Engel and junior Dora Krstulovic then paired up to take All-American honors in doubles, finished the year ninth in the country.
Highlights from 2001 include a 20-6 overall record (McInerney's third 20-plus win season and her highest winning percentage as a head coach (.769), an All-American selection, an All-Conference selection, the school's first Pacific-10 Conference singles champion, four players earning national rankings, and three academic All-Conference honorees. Arizona State ended the year as the seventh best team in the country. Additionally, McInerney was selected as the head coach of the 2001-2002 USA Tennis Collegiate team. In 1997, McInerney was honored as the Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year. She guided the Sun Devils to a 15-7 record and finished the season with a No. 7 national ranking. She also garnered 1997 Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors.
Four times in 1988, 1990, 2001 and 2008, McInerney was selected as the West Region Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year and was a finalist for national coach of the year honors. In addition to producing some of the top student-athletes in the Pac-10, McInerney continues to lead her Sun Devil teams into the NCAA Tournament year-after-year.
Evidence of the program's academic status can be found in the Pac-10 All-Academic teams the past 14 seasons. ASU has had at least one member honored in each of those past years and averages nearly three honorees per season, including tying the school record with four selections in 2003, 2006 and 2007. McInerney, who owns a career record of 361-229, posted three 20-win seasons to her credit and has guided the Sun Devils to the NCAA tournament in every year she has been at ASU with the exception of one. Her teams have finished in the top-11 nationally an astounding 15 times during the record-setting 20 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. McInerney has tutored 16 Sun Devils to earn All-American honors 29 times and 15 different all-conference players.
McInerney's presence is felt off the court as well, earning the 2004 USTA/ITA Community Service Award for the Southwest section. The award honors McInerney for her significant contributions in developing community-based tennis programs through community centers, schools, parks, community tennis associations, the inner city, suburban and rural programs. Coach McInerney is currently a member of the ITA Board of Directors and sits on several coaches committees. She is currently the chairperson of the ITA Women's Operating Committee, co-chair of the Rules Committee and also co-chair of the Ethics and Infractions Committee. Additionally, she also boasts a six-year tenure (1987-92) on the NCAA tournament selection committee.
Prior to coming to Arizona State, McInerney served as assistant women's tennis coach at the University of Southern California during the 1983-84 season, in which the Trojans were NCAA finalists. In addition to her success as a collegiate coach, McInerney has traveled with various USTA junior and national teams. She was a coach of the Junior Wightman and Junior Federation Cup teams, the latter of which is now called the USTA Collegiate team that travels during the summer to play professional events. Not only has McInerney had the privilege of working with stellar collegiate athletes but she has also traveled with such players as Lindsay Davenport, Chanda Rubin and Julie Ditty, who all boasted successful professional careers. At the 1986 Goodwill Games, McInerney coached the team to gold and silver medals. In 1987, she led the U.S. Pan American Games doubles squad to a gold medal.
McInerney attended USC, where she captained the Trojans during her senior season. The four-time All-American also was a four-time Trojan Spirit Award winner, as voted by her teammates.The Trojans won three national championships during McInerney's collegiate career, and she was the national collegiate doubles runner-up three times and a singles semifinalist in 1977. McInerney collected a half-dozen USTA national titles and was a member of the 1977-80 USTA Junior Federation Cup team. As a professional, she played on the major international tour, earning a world ranking in the top 75. McInerney competed at three grand slam venues -- Wimbledon, French Open and the U.S. Open where she reached the round of 32. She also served a short term as assistant pro at the highly acclaimed L.A. Tennis Club.
McInerney earned a bachelor's degree in public relations from the University of Southern California in 1980. A member of the Dean's List at USC, she won the USC Postgraduate Scholarship Award, the USC Junior Student-Athlete and Senior Student-Athlete awards.