In two short years, Mizzou Head Tennis Coach Sasha Schmid has reinvigorated the Tiger program and set the stage for unprecedented success.
The Tigers have posted a 20-35 record in her first two team years at the helm of the program and on the verge of NCAA Tournament berths. Eighth of those wins came over ranked foes, while 21 of the losses came at the hands of ranked teams, including 13 to top-25 competition. In 2013, Schmid's Tigers went 9-13 in the first year in the ever-tough Southeastern Conference. On the heels of its success in 2012, Missouri was ranked in the preseason polls to start 2013 for the first time since 2005. Mizzou defeated four ranked squads during the year, including a 4-3 win over No. 23 Tennessee on March 31. Eleven of the team's 13 losses came to ranked teams, including four to top-10 squads and six to programs ranked in the top-25.
The 2012 Tigers posted an 11-12 record and narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament, while facing a difficult schedule that included 15 matches against ranked teams. Over the course of the spring season, Mizzou reached as high as 42nd in the national rankings, the program's highest since 2003. The squad earned five wins over ranked foes and earned their first-ever appearance in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kick-Off Weekend. Additionally, the doubles duo of Jamie Mera and Nina Pantic finished the season ranked as the 50th-best doubles team in the nation. Schmid was named Mizzou's tennis coach on April 26, 2011, following a highly successful coach 10-year run at Stetson University.
A 1996 graduate of the University of Iowa, Schmid posted a record of 132-101 (56.7 percent) in her 10 seasons at Stetson, located in DeLand, Fla., including an impressive 35 combined wins over the past two seasons. Schmid's Hatter program tied the school season win total in 2010 with 18 victories, and followed with another impressive 2011 campaign which saw them claim 17 more wins. Stetson has gone 49-21 overall under Schmid's guidance the last three seasons (70.0 percent).
"The University of Missouri has completed an exhaustive search and we are pleased to have Coach Schmid as our next head women's tennis coach," saidSenior Associate Athletics Director, Mary Austin. "She is an outstanding coach and individual both on and off the court," she said. "We are so appreciative of the leadership Coach Stuckenschneider and Coach Besovic gave to our student-athletes this semester. We are also proud of our student-athletes for their leadership and commitment. Everyone involved stepped up and has done a tremendous job for Mizzou. We are excited about the remainder of this season and the future of Mizzou Tennis," Austin said.
"I want to thank the University of Missouri, Athletics Director Mike Alden, Senior Associate Athletics Director Mary Austin and the entire women's tennis search committee for giving me the opportunity to join the University of Missouri family and coach the Mizzou Women's Tennis Team," said Schmid. "I respect Missouri's commitment to the core values of academic integrity, social responsibility and athletic excellence and I am grateful to coach at a University where there is such a commitment to these values and the student athlete. I am thrilled to begin working with the outstanding young women on the team as we begin a new journey together to move Missouri Women's Tennis to a new level of excellence," she said.
"My husband Jeff and I and our two daughters Lucy and Lily are excited about making a home in Columbia and joining this special community," Schmid said.
In 2009, Schmid earned her third overall and second consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year award; her Hatters went 14-8 overall and 8-1 in A-Sun play, earning a share of the regular season championship and the top seed heading into the conference tournament. Stetson advanced to the tournament finals for the third time in the last five years. During the 2009 spring season, Hatter student-athletes earned both singles and doubles victories against ITA nationally ranked opponents.
The chairperson of both the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Southeast Regional Committee and A-Sun Women's Tennis Coaches Committee, a member of the ITA National Coaches Committee, Schmid is also active in the ranks of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). She received the 2007 USTA Florida Section Community Service Award and coached the Florida Section 18U Girls Team at the Federation Cup in Summer 2007.
While at Stetson, Schmid coached 42 Atlantic Sun All-Academic honorees, 19 ITA-All America Academic Award winners, 20 Atlantic Sun All-Conference performers and 11 Atlantic Sun All-Freshmen Team selections, including 2007 and 2010 A-Sun Freshmen of the Year Valentina Galbarini and Carolina de los Santos, respectively. The 2006, 2007 and 2010 teams received the ITA All-Academic Team Award for having a collective GPA over 3.2, and her teams consistently produced high-ranking APR scores.
Schmid came to Stetson from the University of Iowa where she established the Recreational Services Tennis Program, which provided Iowa students, faculty, staff, and the local community affordable, well-coached tennis instruction. The program grew to include over 150 participants during Schmid's tenure as director.
From 1998-2000, Schmid served as an assistant coach for the Iowa women's tennis team. She was responsible for recruiting, team travel, booster correspondence, and organizing free tennis clinics sponsored by the women's tennis team. During the 1999 season, Schmid helped her team reach the Sweet 16 in their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. The team also returned to the tournament again in 2000.
In 1996-97, Schmid served as the assistant women's tennis coach at Northwestern. She was responsible for recruiting, organizing team travel, and maintaining the program's budget.
A 1996 graduate of the University of Iowa, Schmid was a four-year letterwinner on the Iowa tennis team. She played at #1 and #2 singles, and she was named the team's Most Valuable Player her senior year.
Schmid earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Iowa in December, 1999, and gained her Bar Admission from the State of Iowa in February, 2000.
In addition to her coaching, Schmid teaches Sport Law in the Applied Sport Psychology Master's Program at Mizzou.
Schmid's husband, Jeff, is a teaching professional at Perche Creek Golf Club and was a volunteer assistant coach for the Mizzou men's golf team in 2012-13. They have two daughters, Lucy (age 7) and Lily Ayn (5).