After four seasons with the Ducks, former Oregon women’s tennis head coach Alison Silverio took Notre Dame’s head coach vacancy this past offseason.
Silverio brought success and respectability to the program, turning it into a seasonal threat in the Pac-12. In her final season, the team finished 16-10, which was the program’s best record in over ten years.
After she left, the program hired a four-year letter winner at Oregon (2002-05) and a former volunteer assistant for the Ducks, Courtney Nagle. Over the past four seasons, Nagle was part of a University of North Carolina program, which won three ACC titles and two Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national championships during the span. Nagle was named the national assistant coach of the year in 2017 by the ITA.
“It’s Eugene, Oregon, it’s a great place,” Nagle said. “I went here as a student athlete and I couldn’t think of a better place. The support in the athletic department is great, they just offer so much to the student athletes that definitely was not here when I was playing and I think it really sets them up for success.”
Whether it was her former players, fellow coaches or past teammates, Nagle earned ringing endorsements.
"Courtney is arguably the best coach and best person in all of men's or women's collegiate tennis,” North Carolina women's tennis head coach Brian Kalbas told GoDucks. “She's accomplished so much already in her career and was a vital part of our program.”
While the adjustment has been tough at times, Nagle’s players are starting to relish the competitive atmosphere she has created. And despite a slow start, the team is positive it can turn it around quickly.
“It was a little different just because we got in a routine of doing certain drills and practices,” senior Daniella Nasser said. “I think for all of us it really pushed us outside our comfort zones. It’s more intense, more competitive, which has been really good. We’ve all grown and developed our games a lot in a short period of time.”
As a player, Nagle entered the scene late as a walk-on during her freshman campaign in 2002. After earning a scholarship, she went on to be an integral part of a team that reached the NCAA Tournament in both 2002 and 2004. In 2003, she reached the quarterfinals for the NCAA Doubles Tournament and subsequently earned a berth in the singles Tournament. Her work ethic and background as a walk-on helped earn her two most improved player awards in her time.
After graduating from Oregon she worked temporarily as an assistant coach before accepting a similar job at Princeton, then ultimately returning to Eugene in 2010 and regaining her assistant role. This helped her earn a spot on the staff at UNC. She learned a lot in her time under Kalbas and hopes to bring that same positivity and intensity to the program here.
“The biggest things I learned from Coach Kalbas was to have a perspective and overall vision for the future,” Nagle said. “He was never willing to sacrifice one match for what happened later on in the season… We always would say you're either winning or you’re learning.”