Danielle Lund McNamara
Danielle McNamara has led the Yale women’s tennis program to three Ivy League Championships, three NCAA Tournament appearances and four ECAC Indoor Team Championships in her first six seasons as the Bulldogs’ head coach. For her efforts in 2011, which included leading the Bulldogs to the first NCAA Tournament match win in school history, McNamara was named ITA Northeast Region Coach of the Year. The 2011 season was also highlighted by an Ivy League Championship and the team’s third straight ECAC Indoor Team Championship. Yale’s ITA ranking climbed as high as No. 23 in the country, the highest it had been in the 30-year history of the ITA rankings. The Bulldogs also had five players earn All-Ivy League recognition and had a doubles team advance to the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in the fall for the first time in school history.
A native of Massachusetts, McNamara joined the Yale coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2005 and was hired as the head coach in the summer of 2006. She brings a wealth of experience, having achieved great success as a collegiate player, touring professional, private instructor and coach.
McNamara has made a significant impact since arriving in New Haven, compiling a record of 93-37 overall and 43-7 vs. Ivy League opponents (36-6 in league matches). The Bulldogs have been particularly dominant at home, including undefeated marks in New Haven in 2010-11 (12-0) and 2011-12 (10-0). Indoors, the Bulldogs play at the award-winning Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, which was the host site for the 2009 National Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Championships and has also played host to numerous regional ITA and USTA events.
Under McNamara’s leadership the Bulldogs have been successful in the classroom, earning ITA All-Academic Team recognition in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The team had five ITA Scholar Athlete selections last season. McNamara has also coached five Academic All-Ivy League selections.
The Bulldogs have also been active in the community under McNamara, and for her efforts she won the 2010 USTA/ITA Campus and Community Outreach Award for the New England region. Yale hosts an annual Campus Kids' Day for local children and organizes a food and clothing drive for the homeless. The team also takes part in New Haven Tennis Outreach, a youth mentorship program for students in grades 3-12 directed towards children from low-income families who otherwise would not have access to high-quality academic guidance or athletic instruction.
In McNamara’s first year at the helm of the program, the Bulldogs finished second in the Ivy League with a 6-1 conference record. It was the 2007-2008 season where the program made its first big jump under her leadership. She guided the Bulldogs to an undefeated Ivy League season and an Ivy League Championship that year, which was the team’s fifth overall Ivy title and first since 1989. Also in 2008, McNamara led the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Team Tournament appearance.
The 2008-2009 campaign was another successful one on a national level with the team reaching a national ranking high of No. 41 and finishing the year at No. 50. The Bulldogs finished the season 14-6 overall and 5-2 in the Ivy League, tying for third place. In 2009-10 Yale ended the season ranked No. 46 after going 16-6 overall. The Bulldogs again finished third in the league with a 5-2 mark. In both 2009 and 2010 Yale won the ECAC Indoor Team Championship.
McNamara has shown a tremendous ability to recruit the best and the brightest players on a national level, recruiting multiple blue chip and 5-star players according to the tennisrecruiting.net rankings. Her most recent recruiting class, the Yale Class of 2016, was ranked No. 8 in the country. That comes on the heels of Yale’s Class of 2015 being ranked No. 14 and the Class of 2014 being ranked No. 8. Two of her recruited players have competed in junior Grand Slams prior to coming to Yale (Wimbledon, US Open).
As a student-athlete at Michigan from 1996-2000 playing under her maiden name Danielle Lund, McNamara was the Big Ten Sportswoman of the Year (1999) and All-Big Ten (1998). She was the first player in Michigan history to participate in all three college national championships (All-American, National Indoors and the NCAA Championships). She was a two-time captain of the squad and earned the Michigan Athletic Department’s Academic Achievement Award and the Donald R. Shepherd endowed scholarship for athletic and academic success.
In 2010 Michigan honored McNamara as one of the Wolverines’ “Leaders and Best in 50 States”. The Michigan athletics media relations office, in cooperation with the Bentley Historical Library, went through thousands of names of great Michigan athletes from all over the country to choose the best of the best from each state. McNamara was selected for honorable mention honors in her home state of Massachusetts.
As a freshman at Michigan, McNamara helped lead the team to its first ever Big Ten Championship (1997) and a program high national ranking of No. 16 (No. 1 in the Midwest Region). During her career she was nationally ranked as high as No. 8 in doubles and No. 28 in singles. She and doubles partner Brooke Hart ended the 1998 season ranked No. 25 in the country. Overall McNamara ended the year ranked in the top 26 in the Midwest Region for four straight seasons in doubles (No. 13 in 1997, No. 5 in 1998, No. 8 in 1999 and No. 15 in 2000) and three straight seasons in singles (No. 17 in 1998, No. 19 in 1999 and No. 26 in 2000).
McNamara also gained extensive NCAA experience playing for the Wolverines. As a freshman in 1997, she won her singles matches at No. 6 in straight sets to help Michigan to a 5-0 win over Central Florida in the Regional Quarterfinals and a 5-3 win over Miami (Fla.) in the Regional Semifinals. She then won in straight sets in singles again -- and was part of a winning doubles team at No. 2 -- as the Wolverines beat South Alabama 5-4 to win the Southeast Region. Michigan’s NCAA run ended with a loss to Florida, 5-0, in the next round.
In the 1998 NCAA Tournament, the Wolverines lost in the Regional Quarterfinals. McNamara and Hart, the second duo in school history to earn an NCAA Doubles Championship berth, lost to a team from William & Mary in the first round.
Through the 2010 season McNamara ranked ninth in career singles wins at Michigan with an overall record of 80-55. Her 29 singles wins in 1997, when she went 29-9, rank sixth on Michigan’s single-season list.
Among her other accomplishments, McNamara won one gold and one bronze ball in national USTA events. She was also selected to coach the USTA Girl’s 18 New England national team at the National Team Championships in 2008 and 2009.
McNamara is a current member of the ITA Board of Directors, Division I Operating Committee and the USTA New England Collegiate Committee. She was the co-chair of the 2009 ITA National Indoor Championships tournament committee and the chair of the 2009 ITA Northeast Regionals tournament committee.