The Gophers announced Friday that Catrina Thompson will be their next women's tennis coach. Thompson was a three-time All-American when she played at Notre Dame (2003-2007) and has been a coach at Yale, Boise State and, most recently, her alma mater.
"As an assistant coach, Catrina has contributed to significant academic and athletic success for her student-athletes during the past seven seasons. She is a person of great substance, and her dedication to the total collegiate experience is exactly what we want from all of our head coaches," said Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "Catrina was an All-American and a professional athlete before becoming a coach. She's competed, coached and won at the highest levels. That experience will serve her and our student-athletes well."
Thompson becomes the seventh head coach in Gopher women's tennis history. She will be the first woman to lead the program since Ellie Peden from 1975-83. Former Gophers coach Chuck Merzbacher announced his retirement at the end of this past spring season.
Thompson released a statement through the university that read: "I am thrilled to be a part of the Gopher family. I am looking forward to helping Gopher student-athletes develop and reach their goals on and off the court, and also building on the success and tradition that the University of Minnesota embodies. I am humbled by this incredible opportunity with which I have been entrusted. I want to thank Mark and everyone at Minnesota for this honor and responsibility, and I'd also like to thank Jay Louderback and Beck Roghaar for their mentorship throughout my college coaching career."
Thompson has been an assistant at Notre Dame the past four seasons and helped the team advance to the NCAA tournament each year. At Notre Dame, Thompson coached five All-ACC honorees and contributed to the Irish extending their consecutive NCAA appearances streak to 22 straight seasons.
Before Notre Dame, Thompson was an assistant at Boise State for two seasons, the second of which ended with her earning the 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
She was a three-time All-American playing doubles alongside her twin sister, Christian, at Notre Dame. They had a program-record 104 double victories. Thompson also has won doubles titles at four pro events.