Kelly Brown Named First Coach of New Daemen Men's and Women's Tennis Teams
Appointment of Brown as New Tennis Coach Highlights Athletic Department Staffing Additions
Tuesday, May 16, 2012
Contact: Mike Miranto
Associate Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Athletics Communications Director
AMHERST, NY – Daemen College Athletic Director William Morris announced today the hiring of a Western New York tennis icon, bringing Kelly Brown on board to serve as the College’s first head coach of men’s and women’s tennis. Brown joins an athletic department in the midst of growth and reorganization as she becomes one of three new full-time staffers. Head women’s soccer coach Dan Dolan, who has built his program into a regional power over the past three years, has been elevated to full-time status while Daemen alum Jessica Gorski will take the full-time reins of the Wildcats’ cross-country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field squads. In addition to their coaching duties, Dolan and Gorski will have secondary responsibilities within the athletic department.
"We are very excited to welcome coach Kelly Brown to Daemen College as the first Head Men's & Women's Tennis Coach in the history of the College,” Morris said in a statement. “I believe we have found the perfect individual to not only begin the program, but to also successfully guide it into the future. Coach Brown's collegiate coaching experience, passion for the game of tennis and eagerness to provide a positive experience for student-athletes are all essential to building and sustaining a high level of success."
Brown, a native of Tonawanda, NY and a Kenmore West High School graduate, brings an extensive background of tennis coaching as well as her own experiences as a player to her new position. After a scholastic career that saw her win the New York State Singles Tennis Championship in 1993, she went on to complete a brilliant collegiate career as a member of the women’s tennis team at the University of Kentucky, where she was a two-time NCAA Tournament qualifier and a 2nd Team All-Southeastern Conference selection for doubles. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Marketing from the University in May 1999 and later added a Master of Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix in May 2006.
After the culmination of her collegiate playing career, Brown has held numerous positions at various tennis centers and academies while also completing a three-year stint as the Assistant Women’s Tennis Coach at Auburn University before becoming the Head Women’s Tennis Coach at Methodist University. While at Auburn, she helped the Tigers to an SEC West Championship in 2002 and was the recipient of the International Tennis Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003. Then, upon taking the job at NCAA Division III Methodist (NC), she subsequently led her team to back-to-back USA South Conference Championships (2004 & 2005) while also earning the conference’s Coach of the Year honors for both seasons.
Brown then left the coaching profession to pursue work as a secondary education teacher, gaining employment at Harnett Central Middle School (NC). Since returning to the Western New York area, she has been an Assistant Tennis Professional at Miller Tennis Center in Amherst as well as the Head Tennis Professional at the Buffalo Racquet Club.
Honors and accolades have followed Brown throughout her life. In 2000, she was voted as the #1 women’s tennis player in Western New York from 1950-2000. She was inducted into the Kenmore West Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Buffalo Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011.
"I am very excited to be a part of the new tennis program at Daemen College,” Brown said. “I want to thank Athletic Director, Bill Morris, for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to working with the men's and women's tennis teams and building a successful program."
Dolan, a native of North Tonawanda, NY, has been promoted to full-time after guiding the Wildcats’ women’s soccer team to a 33-18 record since taking over in 2009, including a team-record 15 wins and the program’s first-ever conference championship this past season. He’ll also serve as the department’s Assistant Athletic Director for Recreation and Facilities.
Gorski, a former standout for Daemen’s cross-country team and a 2009 Daemen graduate, takes over for Jeff Gruendike who had been a part-time head coach at Daemen for the last 11 years, overseeing the cross-country program as well as the establishment of the track and field program in the past two years. Gorski, a native of Buffalo who has served as Gruendike’s assistant for the past three years, will additionally fill the role of Assistant Athletic Director for Sport Administration. Gruendike, whose own full-time job would not permit him to coach on a full-time basis, will remain with the program as an assistant.
Of these three staffing additions, Morris said, "This reorganization effort positions our department to meet the challenges of serving our student-athletes while maintaining a highly competitive athletic program. The college administration continues to support our efforts towards becoming an NCAA Division II institution. We are fortunate to have such outstanding
professionals in our organization."