Lee Underwood Named Edinboro's Men's and Women's Tennis CoachCourtesy of Edinboro Athletics
Edinboro University Director of Athletics Bruce Baumgartner today announced the hiring of Lee Underwood as the head coach of the men’s and women’s tennis programs. Underwood takes over a Fighting Scot program which is being resurrected in 2010-11 after having been dropped following the 2002-03 season.
“We are thrilled to have Lee join our coaching staff,” related Baumgartner. “He brings a wealth of experience to the job, and he is a proven winner. He also fits very well with our philosophies from an academic standpoint.”
Baumgartner noted that the Fighting Scot tennis teams will play an abbreviated schedule this coming year before playing being a full-fledged PSAC participant in 2011-12. In addition, renovations on the tennis courts are underway, including the addition of lights.
“We are delighted to have Lee Underwood as coach of our newly restored tennis programs,” said President Jeremy D. Brown. “The nation's economic troubles have significantly impacted higher education. As a result, many institutions are eliminating athletic programs. Through the support of our generous alumni we are able to bring tennis back to Edinboro University.”
Underwood brings 19 years of head coaching experience to Edinboro, including the last six years at West Virginia Wesleyan College. His men’s teams had a record of 93-34 during that period, with trips to the NCAA Tournament the last three years. He coached the Bobcats’ women’s teams the last four years, showing a 41-32 record, including a 14-6 finish this past year when the women’s team won the WVIAC championship. The women’s team made the NCAA Division II Tournament the last two years. The men’s team claimed its third straight WVIAC title this past year while setting a school record for wins with a 22-3 record. In addition, the men won the Atlantic Region title in 2010 with a 5-0 win over Bloomsburg, then went on to reach the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament before suffering a 5-0 loss to Columbus State(Ga.). The 2007-08 men’s team also won 22 matches, finishing with a 22-4 record.
Prior to his tenure at West Virginia Wesleyan Underwood served as the men’s and women’s tennis coach at Davis & Elkins College for 13 years, from 1991-2004. His men’s teams were 186-151 during that period, with the women’s teams compiling an 86-92 ledger.
All told, Underwood’s teams at West Virginia Wesleyan and Davis & Elkins have compiled a record of 386-302.
Having taken over fledgling programs at West Virginia Wesleyan and Davis & Elkins, Underwood is undaunted by the task ahead. “This is the third time in my life I’ve done it,” he pointed out. “When I came to Wesleyan we were at a very low point. Four years later we were in the NCAA’s. Some of it was luck, things went our way. But still in four years we built that program up.”
Underwood feels his familiarity with the teams in the region, and the PSAC teams, will help as he embarks on restarting a once proud Edinboro program. “I’m very familiar with the league,” he admitted. “I was in the same region and know all the teams and the coaches. I know all the programs and know what it takes to compete with them. It’s just a different location.
“When I talked to everyone at Edinboro I felt like we could be competitive,” he continued. “I’ve done some very good things at Wesleyan, won a regional championship. That’s my goal, to build a regional championship team at Edinboro.”
Underwood was named the WVIAC Coach of the Year five times, including the Men’s Coach of the Year in 2007, ’08 and ’09. He was also recognized as the WVIAC Men’s Coach of the Year in 1994 at Davis & Elkins, and was the Women’s Coach of the Year in 1995.
Men’s Coach of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2009. All told, he has been honored with seven Coach of the Year honors, including the 2008 ITA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year and the 2010 ITA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.
Underwood graduated from Davis & Elkins with a bachelor’s degree in Health & Physical Education in 1991. He later earned his master’s degree in Physical Education from West Virginia University in 1996. He and his wife Cherie have three children – Olivia, Hunter and Jarrod.