Kathy LeSage has announced that her twenty-eighth season as head coach of Westmont women’s tennis will be her last. LeSage will retire from coaching at the end of the 2013 campaign.
With two years as a player (1983-84) and one as an assistant coach (1985), LeSage’s relationship with the Westmont tennis program spans 31 years and includes a three-year stent as head coach of the men’s team (1990-92).
Since her first season as women’s head coach in 1986, LeSage’s teams have won 11 district titles and have claimed 11 Golden State Athletic Conference championships. Her teams have produced 13 top-20 national finishes and made 19 NAIA National Tournament appearances.
“I have spent half of my life here at Westmont,” noted LeSage, who will continue to serve on the faculty of the Westmont kinesiology department. “My greatest pleasure has been the variety of both teaching and coaching. I could have done just one or the other, but the wonderful part of my job has been being able to do both.”
During her senior year at Westmont, LeSage earned NAIA All-American honors and was named the ITCA NAIA Senior Player of the Year. As a coach, she was named the Wilson NAIA Coach of the Year in 1994. LeSage was honored as the GSAC Coach of the Year in ten seasons and the NAIA District III Coach of the Year in eight.
“Kathy’s contribution to the women’s tennis program at Westmont is clearly unmatched,” said Dave Odell, Westmont’s athletic director. “In fact, Westmont barely knows a time when Kathy was not having an impact both on the court as a player or on the sidelines as a coach. It is hard to imagine anyone being able to accomplish all that she has over the 31 years she’s been in the program. ”
LeSage views the highlight of her career as the opportunity to mentor young women.
“I love winning, but I love developing relationships with my players,” said LeSage. “That is what I am going to miss most – fostering Christian growth that you hope can be an outcome of the integration of sport and academics.
“It will be hard next fall to not start heading toward the tennis courts at two o’clock. There is a level of sadness, but I am going to coach this season with excitement. All fall we have been training hard and preparing to attain greater heights.”
The Warriors’ season is scheduled to begin on January 25 with a home match against Loyola-Marymount.
“I look forward to spending more time with my family who has sacrificed much during my coaching career,” said LeSage. “My daughter, Olivia, is a sophomore in high school and will be heading off to college in a couple of years. She is a three-sport athlete and it will be nice to be able to attend all of her sporting events as well as be more involved in her school.”