TEN: McManigal to follow LeSage as Westmont coach

Westmont alumna Kendyll McManigal has been named the Warriors’ new women’s tennis head coach beginning with the 2013-14 season. She follows Kathy LeSage who is retiring from her coaching duties after heading up the program for 28 seasons.

McManigal begins working in a limited role next week with administrative and recruiting duties and will take over as head coach on July 1, the school announced.

“Over the last few years I’ve been able to observe Kendyll work with our tennis team and I have been extremely impressed,” said Athletic Director Dave Odell. “She brings a nice blend of enthusiasm, competitiveness and tennis professionalism.

“Being an alumna, Kendyll is not too far removed from her own college experience at Westmont. Kendyll understands the academic rigors and community aspect that is part of the Westmont experience. I am confident that she will create a student-athlete experience within our tennis program that will be unmatched in the NAIA.”

McManigal played for the Warriors under LeSage from 2001-2004, serving as the No. 1 singles player for three of her four years. During her playing days, the Warriors advanced to the NAIA National Championship Tournament three times.

“I was very lucky in my college years to have a great coach,” said McManigal. “Kathy is so great at dealing with young women and her players. To have her as my role model and to have other young women as my teammates was wonderful. I came in as a freshman and left as a more mature, stronger, more confident senior. I think the tennis experience made that growth.

“Being surrounded by the different women who can build you up and hold you accountable helped me grow in my faith and become more knowledgeable. Spiritually, I became a lot stronger. I learned how to be a teammate, how to be a better friend, how to better communicate with others.”

McManigal desires to be a part of bringing similar experiences to future generations of Warriors.

“It is something I have always wanted to do,” said McManigal. “I am excited to get to work with a college team – with that level of players and that age of young women. I am looking forward to having that role model, mentoring relationship.

“I am excited to help young women be more confident in themselves on the court and off the court – as a person, in relationships and in the classroom. Sports can play a big role in that development.”

McManigal has served as a teaching pro at Knowlwood Tennis Club of Santa Barbara since 2004. During the 2005-06 season, she was also the head coach for both the men’s and women’s teams at Santa Barbara City College. Last season, she served in the fall as the interim head coach while LeSage was on sabbatical. In the spring, she served as an assistant coach when LeSage returned.

“I’d like there to be more of a presence for Westmont women’s tennis in the local community,” said McManigal. “The current coaches are setting a great example of a winning program. I hope that we can continue to build a strong, successful program that is embraced by the Santa Barbara tennis community.”

McManigal lives in Santa Barbara with her husband John and their two children Beckett (four) and Gigi (two).

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