Nicole Kenneally enters her 15th year as the University of Colorado women’s tennis head coach and continues to lead the Buffaloes in one of the elite tennis conferences nationally, in addition, instituting a higher learning of success to her student-athletes on and off the court.
With seven winning seasons to her credit, Kenneally is presently the winningest CU head coach among her team sports peers on campus. She ranks second all-time in school history among women’s tennis coaches in victories (143) and third all-time among CU’s men’s and women’s tennis coaches.
Perhaps her best seasons at the helm occurred from the spring seasons from 2007-2009. The Spring of 2009 Kenneally guided the Buffaloes to their third straight fourth place or better finish in the Big 12 Conference, and fourth top-four tally over the last six years. Her team performed a school-first, becoming the first tennis team in school history to begin the conference season 5-0.
The previous year in 2008, Kenneally coached her Buffalo team to a No. 57 nationally-ranking, an 8-3 conference record, and a fourth place finish in the Big 12. It was the second straight conference season CU tallied at least eight conference wins.
Kenneally enjoyed her finest campaign in 2007 building the Buffaloes into a NCAA Tournament team, winning 16 matches and finishing the conference season with a 9-2 mark (third overall). Both end of the season records were school-bests since 1999. In addition, Kenneally earned the respect of her coaching colleagues and her highest honor-to-date, being named the 2007 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year.
Also during the 2007 dual season, CU equaled its highest national ranking ever during the season (No. 20). The top-20 ranking was the highest national placing of any CU women’s team since January of 1981. By season’s end, the Buffs wrapped up the 2007 spring with the highest end-of-the-season national ranking at No. 37.
The spring season also saw a pair of upsets over the nation’s top-15 (No. 12 William & Mary and No. 14 Baylor). With a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances under her watch (the other in 2003), the 2007 spring saw then-sophomore Monica Milewski become only the fourth woman in school history to earn a berth into the NCAA Singles Tournament and the first in 22 years. She would go on to earn an All-Big 12 singles first team unanimously by the conference coaches.
In her 14 seasons at CU, Kenneally has coached 44 All-Big 12 Academic team selections (35 first-team selections), 22 ITA Scholar-Athletes (equivalent to Academic All-Americans), 15 All-Big 12 first team players, nine Big 12 position champions, five ITA All-Academic Teams, and two doubles tandems finishing in the top-50 nationally.
In 2008, Kenneally was awarded the Colorado Professional Tennis Registry’s (PTR) Member of the Year. The award is based on efforts to help the game of tennis grow and for being an outstanding member of the PTR organization.
“Coach Kenneally represents a level of professionalism and passion for her sport, the institution and this community that is inspiring to her student-athletes and all that are fortunate enough to work with her,” said then-CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn. “We are honored to have her teamwork, leadership and vision behind the women’s tennis program and beyond.”
In November 2006, Kenneally earned her most prestigious honor off the court being named the Intermountain Region USTA/ITA Community Service Award. Kenneally was one of 15 coaches honored for significant contributions in developing community-based tennis programs throughout the community.
None bigger then spearheading the Tennis Marathon for Breast Cancer event. Over the course of the nine years of the event it has raised over $125,000 and all of the money raised has helped families within Boulder County with the help of the Boulder Community Hospital Foundation.
Prior to her stint in Boulder, the Brisbane, Australia native was an assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma from 1996-1999, helping the Sooners’ to four straight Top-50 ITA Collegiate team rankings. She also worked with several OU players who were named to the All-Big 12 first team and qualified for the NCAA’s.
Oklahoma finished 16-11 in 1999, wrapping up the season as a runner-up to Texas in the 1999 Big 12 Tournament. At the end of the 1996-97 season, Kenneally was named an ITA Regional Assistant of the Year, one of only six Division I assistant coaches in the nation to receive that honor.
In addition to her coaching expertise, Kenneally has served with many off-the-court responsibilities, including the ITA-Regional Committee, National Operating Committee, ITA Board of Directors, and was named the 2003 coach/manager for the Australian team at the World University Games, but could not attend.
The role of coach was not the only one Kenneally assumed at Oklahoma, as she is regarded as one of the finest players ever to come out of the OU program. As a freshman at OU playing No. 3 singles, she won the Big Eight conference title. As a sophomore, she repeated the feat in No. 1 doubles. As a senior in 1994, Kenneally won the Big Eight No. 1 singles title, and qualified for the NCAA Tournament in both singles and doubles.
She finished the year with one of the highest honors by being named Big 8 Conference Player of the Year. In the classroom, she was a three-time member of the Phillips 66 Big 8 Academic team, a three-time Sooner Scholar Award winner, and a member of the dean’s list honor roll.
Kenneally was awarded the Regional Senior Player of the Year honor, one of six players selected nationally, and finished her career ranked in the top-50 in singles and top-25 in doubles in NCAA play. After college she attained a world ranking on the WTA tour in singles and doubles. Before returning to OU for graduate work, Kenneally had several top singles wins and a tournament victory in doubles.
As a junior player, she was regularly ranked in the top-10 nationally in her age group and also earned an International Tennis Federation world junior ranking. On the Australian junior tennis circuit, Kenneally garnered several top 10 finishes as well as being named to several Australian national teams for high school tennis. In addition to her junior tennis success, Kenneally was a representative throughout her teen years on the 12, 14, 16, and 18 and under junior cups teams.
Kenneally’s philosophy for recruiting in Division I tennis is to bring in student-athletes with a strong character, high moral standards and great-spirit.
Kenneally Resume at Colorado
• 14 years as the Colorado Women’s Tennis Head Coach (longest in CU women’s program).
• 4th tennis men/woman head coach to have coached 10 or more years at Colorado.
• 143 career victories (second all-time among CU women coaches; third all-time among both m/w women’s coaches).
• 2007 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year.
• 2003 and 2007 NCAA Tournament Appearances.
• Her teams have finished nationally ranked eight seasons (2003-2010).
• Her teams have tallied in the top four of the Big 12 Conference standings four of six years.
• In 2009, became the first CU team in school history to begin the conference season 5-0.
• From 2007-2009, won 24 Big 12 Conference matches over the last three years. Since the inception of the Big 12, that is the best three-year span of any CU team.
• In 2009, coached a trio of student-athletes to win at least 20 singles matches in a year (only fifth time to happen since 1996-97).
• Three top four Big 12 finishes (2009, 2008, 2007).
• Three Big 12 Conference Tournament Semifinal Appearances (2008, 2005, 2003).
• Won 16 matches and nine Big 12 matches in 2007, the most victories since the 1999 season.
• In 2007, nationally ranked as high as No. 20 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the highest of any CU women’s team since January 1981.
• Finished the 2007 season with her highest final national ranking of No. 37.
• In 2007, upset a pair of top-15 nationally ranked teams (No. 12 William & Mary; No. 14 Baylor).
• In 2007, coached then-sophomore Monica Milewski to earn a berth at the NCAA Singles Tournament. Milewski became the first CU woman in 22 years, and only the fourth woman to earn an individual tournament appearance. Milewski would also earn her second NCAA Tournament honor as a redshirt-senior in 2010 becoming the first-ever CU woman to earn a pair of trips to the national tournament in her collegiate career.
• Coached 44 Conference Academic team selections (35 first-team selections).
• Coached 22 ITA Scholar Athletes (Equivalent to being named All-American).
• 17 conference selections (including Monica Milewski, the school's first three-time singles selection; junior and sophomore years unanimously by the conference coaches).
• Nine Position Champions (all in Big 12 Conference).
• Five ITA All-Academic Teams.
• Two doubles teams finishing in the top-50 nationally.
• Four ITA Regional Rookie of the Year recipients (2013: Dhany Quevedo, Mountain Region; 2012: Julyette Steur, Mountain Region; 2006: Monica Milewski, Central Region; 2004: Lynzee Kever, Central Region).
• Three ITA Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship winners (2013: Winde Janssens, Mountain Region; 2007: Gleisy Torres Torres, Central Region; 2005: Kendra Strandemo, Central Region).
• 2008 Colorado Professional Tennis Registry’s (PTR) Member of the Year.
• In November 2006, Kenneally earned her most prestigious honor off the court being named the Intermountain Region USTA/ITA Community Service Award. One of 15 coaches honored for significant contributions in developing community-based tennis programs throughout the community.
• Spearheaded the Tennis Marathon for Breast Cancer event. Over the course of the nine years of the event it has raised over $125,000 and all of the money raised has helped families within Boulder County with the help of the Boulder Community Hospital Foundation.