A Farewell Thank You From Tina Samara

  • By Brian Kuppelweiser
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  • June 17, 2013 02:35 PM
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MORGANTOWN - West Virginia University women’s tennis coach Tina Samara has accepted the head coaching position at Wisconsin.

After spending the previous three seasons with the Mountaineers, Samara would like to extend her gratitude to Mountaineer Nation and the WVU athletics staff for their contributions.

June 17, 2013

Mountaineer Friends and Family,

On Friday, June 14, I was offered and accepted the head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin – an opportunity that I truly could not pass up because of the special place that Wisconsin holds in my heart.

As a student-athlete at the University of Georgia, I won three national titles, with two being won at Nielsen Tennis Center in Madison, Wis. Those are memories that I have forever held near and dear to my heart, and memories that drew me toward Wisconsin.

To coach for the Badgers’ program, which is a program that has continually been ranked in the ITA Top 75, has sent nearly 20 individuals to the NCAA Championship, boasts nine All-America honors from six different players and is home to the one of the premier tennis facilities in the country, is an opportunity that would not have presented itself had it not been for my time spent in Morgantown. I would like to thank Oliver Luck, Terri Howes, Mary Ellen Jones and the rest of the athletic staff and coaches for believing in us and bettering us.

When my husband Brian and I joined Mountaineer Nation in 2010 in the midst of the team’s fall season, we came with lofty expectations of what the WVU tennis program could be in the future.

Today, we are seeing those hopes and dreams realized as players such as Hailey Barrett, Ikttesh Chahal, Vivian Tsui and Irinka Toidze are achieving at a level higher than anyone has during any point in program history, such as defeating top 25 opponents, competing against the nation’s top teams and excelling in the classroom. It is because of these student-athletes and your support that WVU’s tennis program is on the rise.

Over the nearly three years that we spent in Morgantown, Brian and I have found the experience to be extremely rewarding, as the city has provided us with amazing scenery, fantastic memories and even better people. Mountaineer Nation is totally unlike anything we have seen in our previous stops at Colorado and Louisiana-Lafayette. We will forever be fans of the Old Gold and Blue!

It is with this that we wish the WVU women’s tennis program the best in the future, and it is our hope that one day the Mountaineers will have a facility to call their own that will host future All-Americans and National Champions.

Thank you,
Tina Samara and Brian Sullivan


WVU Women's Tennis, NCAA Women's Tennis, Big 12 Women's Tennis