Stella Sampras Webster is in her 17th season as head coach of the UCLA women's tennis program, taking a career record of 298-123 (.708) into the 2013 season. She is only the third head coach in UCLA women's tennis history, following Bill Zaima (1972-76 & 1986-96) and Gayle Godwin (1977-86).
In 2008, Sampras Webster led UCLA to the school's first NCAA Championship in women's tennis and first national championship since 1981 (AIAW). UCLA finished the season with a 24-5 overall record, marking the most wins for the program since 1982. Seeded No. 7 in the NCAA Tournament, the Bruins' dramatic run to the title culminated with a 4-0 victory over Cal in the final in Tulsa, Okla. It marked the 102nd NCAA title in UCLA history. Sampras Webster also guided the Bruins to their first Pac-10 Championship in 2008, finishing the conference season with a 7-1 record. She was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year at the end of the season.
Few college coaches can match Sampras Webster's ability to continually put their teams in the title hunt year in and year out. Prior to the 2008 championship season, she also guided the program to a pair of second place finishes in 2004 and 2007. In all, Sampras Webster's teams have finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships in 15 of her 16 seasons in Westwood. UCLA has also finished in the top 5 nationally on 10 occasions (1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012).
The 2000 ITA West Region Coach of the Year, Sampras Webster has recruited and coached some of the top players in collegiate tennis. Under her tutelage, a total of 21 players have achieved All-America status. Probably the most notable player during Sampras Webster's tenure is Riza Zalameda, who was a four-time All-American and the Most Outstanding Player at the 2008 NCAA Championships. She and partner Tracy Lin captured the NCAA Doubles title in 2008, marking the second UCLA team to capture the doubles title under Sampras Webster's tenure. Lauren Fisher and Daniela Bercek also won the title in 2004.
A 1991 graduate of UCLA with a degree in Psychology, Sampras Webster enjoyed a successful four-year career as a Bruin player from 1987-91 and competed on the pro circuit for a season prior to joining Zaima's staff. An NCAA Doubles Champion as a freshman in 1988 with Allyson Cooper, Sampras Webster was also the NCAA doubles runner-up as a senior in 1991 with Kimberly Po. A four-time All-American, Sampras Webster was only the second player in UCLA history to obtain this status. She also won the 1989 and '91 Pac-10 doubles championship and the 1990 Rolex Regional doubles title. Sampras Webster completed her UCLA career ranked No. 3 nationally in doubles and No. 42 in singles. Team accomplishments were most important to Sampras Webster, who helped lead the Bruins to four straight NCAA top-three finishes.
As a professional, Sampras Webster's highest international singles ranking was No. 248, and her best in doubles was No. 142. Her professional highlights include competing in both singles and doubles at the U.S. Open and Lipton Championships. She advanced to the U.S. Open second round in doubles and also competed in doubles at Wimbledon. She also won three satellite tournament titles and competed in Team Tennis for the Wichita Advantage in 1992.
Born in Potomac, Md., Sampras Webster moved to the Los Angeles area as a child and graduated from Palos Verdes High School. A top-three player in Southern California and among the top 10 in the country as a junior, Sampras Webster claimed the CIF doubles title as a freshman and the singles title as a senior in 1987. She capped her high school career by being named her school's Athlete of the Year.
The second-oldest of four children of Sam and Georgia Sampras, Stella considers the support of her entire family most significant. Younger brother Pete demonstrated his level of support for Stella and the Bruin program when he personally endowed a scholarship and assisted with the important fund-raising effort in Stella's first fall at the helm. Pete won a record 14 Grand Slam singles titles during his playing days, including seven Wimbledon championships.
Sampras Webster and her husband, Steve, were married on January 3, 2002 in Dana Point, Calif. They are the proud parents of twin girls Sophia and Savannah.