Hollins Tennis Welcomes Collegiate Champion and Former Olympian and Pro Player As New Head Coach

Gretchen Rush

Gretchen Rush, who was named the nation’s top tennis player during a standout collegiate career and represented the United States in the Olympic Games, is the new head tennis coach at Hollins University.

Rush comes to Hollins from her alma mater, Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where she was head coach for the past five years.

“Gretchen brings a lifetime of high-level experience to Hollins Tennis,” said Director of Athletics Myra Sims. “Her playing career speaks for itself, and her previous coaching stints give her immense credibility with current and prospective student-athletes.”

At Trinity University, Rush was a four-time All-American, an NCAA Division I doubles champion, and a two-time finalist in NCAA singles and doubles. In her senior year, she won the Broderick Award (now the Honda Sports Award) as the nation’s best female collegiate athlete in tennis. Rush subsequently played on the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) professional tour, where she earned 191 singles wins and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open (1982), French Open (1983), and Wimbledon (1989). As a doubles competitor, she captured 193 victories and played in the quarterfinals three times at Wimbledon (1986, 1991, and 1992) and once at the Australian Open (1988). At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, she lost to eventual semifinalist Catherine Tanvier of France.

During her time on the WTA circuit, Rush reached an individual high ranking of 13th and a doubles ranking of 16th. She retired from professional tennis in 1992 and was inducted into the Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 2016.

After her playing career, Rush served as the international tennis director at the Special Olympics and then went on to coach at the high school and collegiate levels. She was as an assistant at San Diego State University and head coach at Our Lady of Peace High School in San Diego, San Diego City College, and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges before joining Trinity University in 2015. In her five seasons at Trinity, Rush led the Tigers to five conference championships and five NCAA regional tournament appearances. The team also produced five NCAA All-Americans and earned Academic All-American honors all five seasons.

“I am proud to bring someone with Gretchen’s tennis background to Hollins,” Sims stated. “But equally as important as her tennis credentials is her emphasis on the whole person and not just the student-athlete’s tennis skills. Her philosophy of developing confidence both on and off the court, and helping student-athletes learn to solve problems on their own, is really consistent with the approach at Hollins. As a coach and leader, she is going to be a great example for our tennis student-athletes and everyone in the Hollins community.”

“I am pumped to coach the Hollins tennis team, be a part of the Hollins athletic department, and get all the students at Hollins fired up about tennis,” Rush said. “I can’t wait to become part of the rich Hollins history.”

Rush officially takes over head coaching duties in August.