The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Despite losing four seniors to graduation following her rookie campaign, University of Illinois at Chicago head women’s tennis coach Shannon Tully combined a group of gritty veterans along with a talented recruiting class to help the Flames to their seventh straight Horizon League title and their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid.
In two short seasons, Tully and the Flames are undefeated in Horizon League play with a spotless mark of 19-0 against league opponents. Following this past season, Tully was rewarded for her efforts as she was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year.
Tully was not the only winner from UIC at the Horizon League postseason banquet as senior Nicole Derouin claimed Player of the Year honors for the second straight season, while freshman Corey Steven was named the Newcomer of the Year. Both picked up Horizon League first team honors.
Junior Ayca Gumuscu picked up All-League honors for the second-straight year as she was named to the Horizon League second-team along with teammate and newcomer Molly Smith.
Tully has achieved a Level 1 Professional Certification with the United States Professional Tennis Association and coached the 18-under Girls’ Midwest Junior Federation Cup Team to its first ever victory in 2002 and a runner-up finish in 2003.
She is also serving on the Midwest Coaches Federation Cup Committee, and is serving her second season on the ITA Midwest Regional Committee.
Tully ventured to UIC from Dayton, Ohio where she spent the previous three years working as a elementary school teacher at Miami Valley Elementary School, while also serving in many different capacities as a local tennis instructor and coach.
Most recently before her appointment with the Flames, Tully was the Director of Adult Tennis at the South Regency Tennis Center in Miamisburg, Ohio. Prior to that, she served as the area training center coach, tutoring the top 14-year old age group tournament players in the region for the 1999-2000 season.
During the summers of 1997 and 1998, Tully was the zonals team head coach for the Midwest’s top 12- and 14-year old players from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio in this national event. Tully also gained valuable coaching experience serving two seasons as the head varsity tennis coach at Archbishop High School in Kettering, Ohio from 1997 to 1998.
Two seasons ago, Tully was selected as the head coach of Midwest’s Federation Cup squad, a prestigious competition among the junior tennis world. With Tully at the helm, the Midwest squad triumphed in the national competition between regions for the first time in the history of the event.