Lopez steps down as Lancers coach

Published 1:57 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

Longwood University Women’s Tennis Head Coach Maria Lopez will step down from her post after two seasons to accept an assistant coaching position with Boise State University women’s tennis, Longwood Athletics Director Troy Austin announced Tuesday.

Maria Lopez

A native of Venezuela, Lopez has served as head coach of the Longwood women’s tennis program since July 2016 and  amassed a 16-26 record in her two seasons. She led the program to back-to-back first-round wins in the Big South Championship in 2017 and 2018, the first time the Lancers have advanced to the Big South quarterfinals in consecutive years.

In the interim, Austin will appoint Men’s Tennis Head Coach Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez to the position of Director of Tennis with oversight of both the men’s and women’s teams. Medina Alvarez — a fellow Venezuela native and lifelong friend of Lopez — is entering his second year leading the Longwood men’s tennis team after taking the Lancers to the semifinals of the 2018 Big South Championship, a program first.

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“Coach Lopez has done an outstanding job building our women’s tennis program,” Austin said. “She made an impact on all fronts and leaves the team on established pillars of hard work and dedication. The culture she created will last well beyond her departure and help pave the way for our next head coach to come in and elevate this program to the next level.”

Prior to her time at Longwood, Lopez was the assistant coach at Division II Barry University where she helped lead that program to two NCAA Division II National Championships in 2011 and 2014. She was named ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year twice during that stint before receiving her first head coaching appointment at Longwood.

“I want to thank Troy Austin for giving me the opportunity to lead these young women and establish a foundation of hard work and dedication,” Lopez said. “Longwood gave me the opportunity to coach alongside one of my best friends. The mentorship and friendship from my colleagues is something I will miss and cherish.

“Finally, I want the players — past and present — to know that they have made me grow as a person and coach.”