ASU Women's Tennis coach Marcia Williams announces retirement after 31 seasons

JONESBORO (ASU) – Long-time Arkansas State head women's tennis coach Marcia Williams announced Monday that she has retired after leading the program to 22 winning seasons and over 300 victories during her 31 seasons at the helm of the program.

Williams, a 1993 inductee into the Arkansas State Athletic Hall of Honor, was named ASU's head women's tennis coach in 1980 following a four-year standout career on the courts with the program.  She completed her coaching career at ASU with a 339-238 all-time record for a .588 winning percentage.

The Red Wolves ended the 2011 season with a 10-7 record and reached the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.  A-State has also finished with a winning record five of the last six seasons.

"To me, this is a good time to end my coaching career because we had a great season with a very special group of girls," said Williams.  "Over the years, we have had some great players. I am proud of them and our many team accomplishments. We've been ranked as high as 50 in the country and have finished in the top four in the conference 17 times. I've had the privilege to work with a lot of young people, and we have tried to impact their lives beyond tennis.

"Also, I want to thank the Jonesboro community for their support. I especially want to thank the businesses for their help with our fundraisers. And lastly, I want to express my appreciation for all the great people that I have had the opportunity to work with at ASU over the years."

A Jonesboro native and 1980 graduate of Arkansas State University, Williams took over the women's tennis program that same year and coached her team to a second-place finish at the Arkansas Women's Intercollegiate Sports Association (AWISA) with an 8-5 record.  The following season, her team won the AWISA championship with a 12-3 mark.

She oversaw the program while it competed in three different conferences, including the Southland from 1983-87, the American South from 1988-1991 and the Sun Belt since 1992.  She coached at least one team that ended the season among the top three in each league, including runner-up finishes in the American South in 1991 and the Sun Belt in 1996 and 1997.

"We are grateful to coach Williams for her many years of outstanding and loyal service as not only our head women's tennis coach, but also as a great ambassador for our entire athletic department, Arkansas State University and the Jonesboro community," said ASU Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee.  "She has had a tremendous impact on our women's tennis program for over 30 years and laid an outstanding foundation for us to continue to build upon.  We certainly wish her the best with her future."

Williams commitment to good work in the classroom has also payed dividends as the Red Wolves have been selected as an ITA All-Academic Team each year since 1999.  In fact, in 2005, her entire squad received individual ITA academic honors.  Under Williams, the women's tennis program has won numerous Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Awards and has historically almost always been at 100 percent for the Athletic Director's Honor Roll.

Arkansas State will begin its search for a new head women's tennis coach immediately.