PROVO -- Long-time legendary women's tennis coach and athletic administrator Ann Valentine, will retire at the end of the month. The announcement was made today by Elaine Michaelis, BYU's women's athletic director.
Since 1995 when Valentine stepped down as the Cougars most successful women's tennis coach, she has been serving as the Associate Director of Women's Athletics. Her administrative duties have included overseeing half of the women's sports programs, games management, coordinated facilities and the competitive schedules of all women's sports.
Her assignment also included helping to coordinate the support services for the student-athletes, the issue room and locker rooms. She also played an integral part in fostering public support for the school's sports facilities, fan base and helped create the 12th team, which exists to raise funds for women's athletics. From 1979 to 1995 Valentine was an assistant administrator under women's athletic director Lu Wallace.
"Ann has served BYU with distinction, diligence and dedication for almost four decades," said Michaelis. "Her service to the University includes many years as an outstanding teacher and pioneer in physical education and athletics. Ann had a stellar career as an exceptional tennis coach for 27 years and has been an excellent administrator for the last seven years."
Valentine brought her talents to BYU in 1969 when she became the women's tennis coach and ushered in a whole new era for both BYU and the nation. She literally changed the format of collegiate tennis by creating new national championship formats and conducting national tournaments that are now the mainstay of national collegiate competition. Over a legendary, 27-year coaching career, she won 71 percent of her matches and accumulated the 427 match victories that made her the second-winningest Division I coach in NCAA tennis history.
Twelve times she was named conference Coach of the Year. Four-times she was the Wilson/ITA Central Region Coach of the Year. In 1995 she was named the Wilson/ITA National Division I Coach of the Year which was followed by the Rolex Meritorious Service Award in 1996. Her teams won 15 conference championships; over 23 years, 19 of her teams were ranked in the top 20 and 11 in the top 10. Valentine coached 17 All-American athletes who won a total of 31 All-America awards. In 2002 she was inducted into the ITA Women's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the 1997 Utah Summer Games Hall of Honor. The Cougar Club inducted her into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1999 and last year she received the prestigious Dale Rex Award.
"Ann Valentine has had an amazing career as a coach and administrator at BYU," said Advancement Vice President K. Fred Skousen. "She truly has made a difference in the lives of our student-athletes, her colleagues and in the standard of excellence of our athletic program. We will miss her greatly and wish her much happiness in the next phase of her life."
Her tireless service to the collegiate tennis community has included chairing the ITA Awards Committee, being a member of the NCAA Tennis Committee, serving on the Executive Board of Directors of the ITA, a member of the ITA Coaches Poll Committee, and a member of the NCAA Central Region Committee.
Valentine earned a bachelor's degree in physical education at Pennsylvania's Slippery Rock College (1955), followed by a master's degree at Penn State (1961) and post-graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania (1962). While earning her bachelor's degree she competed on the tennis, volleyball, field hockey, and basketball teams, losing only one tennis match in the entire four years.
Her teaching skills and abilities were also recognized during her BYU career. She earned the title of Associate Professor and was voted by her students as the "Outstanding Faculty Member" for excellence in teaching, service, and leadership.
Michaelis also credits Valentine with immense devotion and support for the women's sports program while at BYU. "Ann has been a devoted advocate of BYU and its' mission. As a mentor and advisor to the coaches and support staff, she provided valuable wisdom and experience which significantly contributed to the success of our programs," Michaelis added. "She set a standard of excellence for all who worked with her in her responsibilities. Opponents, athletes, officials and fans appreciated her hospitality and friendship as she provided the highest standards of games management for the women's sports. Many student-athletes have been the recipient of her sincere concern and encouragement."