> ITA Tennis Homepage > About ITA > News > Archived News > 2008 News Archives > Naval Academy Adds Women's Tennis as a Varsity Sport

Keith Puyear

Naval Academy Adds Women's Tennis as a Varsity Sport

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced that women's tennis will be elevated from a club to a varsity sport in the fall of 2009 and that 2007 Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year, Keith Puryear will serve as the head coach. Since 2004, a total of 84 men's and women's tennis programs have been added among Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and the Junior College levels. Navy becomes the 10th Division I program to add tennis as a varsity sport in that time span.

Puryear has won 443 matches and 10 conference coach-of-the-year honors over the last decade as the head men's and women's coach at UMBC. His men's teams have appeared in five NCAA Tournaments (2000-2003, 2007), while the women have also made five trips (1999-2003) to the NCAA tournament.

Puryear played two years of tennis at Howard University before transferring to UMBC. Following a year at UMBC, Puryear enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served from 1983-88. Returning to his studies at UMBC, Puryear graduated with a B.S. in economics in the spring of 1990.

Puryear was selected Big South Conference Women's Coach of the Year in 1997-98, and was the NEC Women's Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2001. In addition, he was selected as the NEC Men's Coach of the Year for 1999-2000 and 2000-01. In 2002, he accomplished a double, earning both men's and women's coach-of-the-year honors, and in 2003, he captured the women's award for the third-straight year.

The ITA and USTA have joined together to promote the advocacy of college tennis encouraging institutions to continue to sponsor varsity tennis which has led to numerous varsity men's and women's tennis programs that have sprouted in the past five to six years among all of the divisional levels. However, it is important to point out that a number of collegiate tennis programs have been dropped recently and that awareness needs to be made in order for institutions to continue their tennis program sponsorships. Click here to view a list of men's and women's varsity tennis programs that have recently been added.

Please visit http://navysports.cstv.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/100908aaa.html to view the complete release containing additional information.