Kathy Twist is in her 13th season as head coach of the University at Buffalo’s women’s tennis team, leading the Bulls to their first postseason MAC Championship in 2008 and UB’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament. Twist joined UB in 1994 as assistant women’s coach before moving over to the men’s program the following year. She has been at her present position with the Bulls since 1996. With 100 career dual-match wins, she is the winningest coach in the program’s history of more than 30 years.
The 2007-08 season was one that few would forget. Twist’s squad was picked to win the Mid-American Conference in the preseason and after a grueling MAC season, the Bulls finished with a 4-4 record in conference and the sixth seed in the conference tournament. However, with UB hosting the championships the Bulls put on a show for the home crowd. Twist led her team to two comebacks in the three matches, including one for the ages in the conference championship. Down 3-0 to Western Michigan in the finals, the Bulls rattled off four straight wins, giving Twist and the Bulls their first MAC Title. UB traveled to Los Angeles, CA for the first round where they played host, UCLA. Despite losing to the eventual National Champions, the season was one for the ages for Twist and the Bulls.
The 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons were two of the most successful seasons in UB women’s tennis history as Twist guided the Bulls to a 16-5 overall record in 2005-06 and bettered that with a 17-3 record in 2006-07 and coached the team to a spot in the Mid-American Conference championship match in both seasons. The women’s tennis team because the first UB program to reach the MAC Championship in back-to-back years. In 2006-07, the Bulls charged into the MAC Championship game on a streak of 12 wins in 13 matches. Twist put three players on the All-MAC team and coached Katrin Fischer who was the league’s recipient of the LeAnn Grimes Davidge Sportsmanship Award.
The 16 wins in 2005-06 doubled the previous season’s eight, eclipsed the previous season-high of 15 set in the 1995-96 season and were the most since the 1998-99 campaign, UB’s first as a member of the MAC. In 2005-06, The Bulls rode an eight-match winning streak through the end of the regular season and into the MAC Tournament, where they earned their highest seeding ever, second. For her efforts, Twist was named the MAC’s Coach of the Year by her peers at the end of the season.
In 2002, Twist was selected as the PTR-Eastern Coach of the Year by the Eastern Section of the Professional Tennis Registry. The award, one of the most prestigious given by the PTR, recognizes organization members who have demonstrated the highest standards in the coaching of players or teams in their accomplishments and character. Twist’s overall tennis and coaching philosophy of developing athletes into not only top players, but also outstanding citizens, helped her earn the annual recognition from the organization.
Twist, a USPTR Certified Professional and Buffalo native, has a lifelong history in athletics. She played first singles and doubles for four years at D’Youville College in Buffalo. At D’Youville, Twist held the remarkable record of losing only one singles match in her entire career.
While attending D’Youville, Twist was captain of both the tennis and basketball teams and was listed in the “Who’s Who At American Universities” from 1972-74.
Twist has worked as a tennis instructor for the Buffalo Parks Department and has served as a teaching professional at several area tennis clubs. She began her college coaching career in 1975 at D’Youville.
A 1974 graduate of D’Youville where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Twist put her degree to use working as a registered nurse at various Buffalo hospitals for 18 years.
On the court, Twist remains active and has been ranked among Western New York’s top 10 players and has won numerous tournaments.
In addition to her coaching duties, Twist is an instructor at UB, teaching first aid and beginner and intermediate tennis courses.