Boston University Hall of Fame inductee and Scarlet Key recipient
Beginning her 29th season as head coach after spending four seasons playing for the Boston University women's tennis program, Lesley Sheehan will look to continue to lead the Terriers to unparalleled success. Both she and the program will enter the Patriot League having claimed 22 America East Championship titles and 13 NCAA bids while compiling an overall record of 336-218 for a .606 winning percentage.
The 2009 College Coach of the Year as selected by USPTA New England and the 2002 College Coach of the Year by USA Tennis New England, Sheehan has done an outstanding job elevating the Terrier women's tennis program to an elite position in the Northeast region. During the last 15 seasons, the Terriers have won 15 matches six times in addition to their consistent postseason success. Her teams have only had two single-digit win seasons since 1988-89.
The program's success has helped Sheehan recruit some of the top players around the world. In the past seven years, TennisRecruiting.net has ranked the recruiting hauls in its top-25 mid-major poll with four placed in the top 10, highlighted by the 2008 class ranking No. 24 overall in the nation. This past season, five-star recruit Lauren Davis ranked 15th in the ITA Northeast Regional rankings after posting a team-high 16 singles victories and was the only America East rookie to earn All-Conference First Team accolades.
A blue chip recruit, two-time America East Player of the Year Stefanie Nunic was named the 2011 ITA Northeast Player to Watch. She went 20-6 in singles and was ranked as high as No. 68 in doubles with Vivien Laszloffy.
At the start of the 2008-09 season, Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Mike Lynch promoted Sheehan to Director of Tennis, giving her the responsibility of overseeing all tennis operations at Boston University.
"Lesley's program has been the benchmark of consistency for which all of our varsity teams aspire," said Lynch at the time of the announcement. "We are proud of her accomplishments and are pleased to be able to increase her role in our athletic department."
The 2008-09 season proved to be a special year for the Terriers. Finishing with four losses by one point, the 15-6 BU program opened the spring by winning eight of its first nine matches, including three victories over Ivy League opponents.
In the final four matches of the regular season, BU defeated three nationally ranked programs, including then-No. 52 VCU and No. 73 Boston College before flying through the America East tournament with a 4-0 win over UMBC and a 4-1 victory against Binghamton. The Terriers ended the year ranked 59th in the nation after being eliminated by 11th-seed and host UCLA in the first round of the NCAAs. The final ranking allowed BU to represent the America East at the 2010 ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
During Sheehan's tenure as head coach, the program has been well recognized on both the regional and national levels. During the course of the 1994-95 season, Boston University made its first appearance in the USTA National Rankings, climbing as high as No. 40 and finishing the year ranked fourth in the 94-team Eastern Region.
In recognition of the program's success, the league named Sheehan Coach of the Year in 1989, 1996, 1999 and 2004.
Her dedication and commitment to the program extends well beyond the confines of the court and the annual playing season. Since the start of the 1994-95 school year, when the conference first began recognizing excellence in the classroom, 37 Terriers have received America East Academic Honor Roll recognition.
One of her former players, Michelle Magid, was voted GTE/CoSIDA National Academic first-team All-America in 1998. In addition, Magid received the 1998 Tennis Magazine/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, which is presented annually to just one male and one female collegiate tennis player.
Sheehan's involvement with Terrier tennis dates back to the fall of 1980, when she commenced a four-year playing career, which is generally considered the finest in Boston University history. Ranked No. 1 in New England, No. 2 in the East and among the top 40 nationally, Sheehan compiled an overall mark of 54-16.
During her junior year, she became the first Boston University women's tennis player to qualify for the NCAA tournament, where she posted a first-round win at Albuquerque, N.M. She closed out her stellar career by receiving an additional invitation to the 1984 NCAA tournament, which was held at UCLA.
A three-time team MVP and two-time captain, Sheehan received the Mildred Barnes Award, presented annually to the University's Outstanding Female Athlete and the Scarlet Key Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a BU undergraduate, during her senior year in 1984.
Following graduation, Sheehan toured on the Pro Satellite Circuit, before returning to her alma mater. In 1990, she received the University's highest form of athletic recognition, induction into the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame, and would later receive the Hall of Fame's William French Award in 2002 for excellence in coaching.
Originally from Reading, Mass., Sheehan currently resides in Stoneham with her daughter, Anna.