Q & A With Women's Tennis Asst. Damon Coupe

Nov. 2, 2007

Washington women's tennis head coach Jill Hultquist announced the hiring of Damon Coupe prior to the start of the 2007 fall season. Coupe takes over assistant coaching duties from Fernando Sanchez. An experienced coach who has won at every stop, Coupe spent the last year assisting the California women's tennis team that reached the NCAA semifinals and finished No. 5 in the ITA Rankings. Prior to Cal, Coupe served as the women's head coach at Santa Clara (2004-06). He has also worked as the men's assistant head coach at Fresno State (2002-04) and the interim head coach at his alma mater, Sacramento State (2002), where he led the Hornets to the Big Sky Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. Coupe played at Sacramento State from 1993-1995. The newest addition to the Husky coaching ranks took some time to chat with GoHuskies.com prior to the team traveling to San Diego to compete in the SDSU Fall Classic this weekend.

GoHuskies.com: How has the move been - has it been an easy transition?
Damon Coupe: Yes, the girls have been very receptive. They know the level of success I enjoyed last year with Cal, so they believe what I'm telling them is the right thing to do.

GH: Most of your coaching stops have been in California, and you're a Sacramento native. How are you adjusting to the Seattle climate?
DC: I absolutely love it. When I was younger I vacationed at Lake Tahoe and I love the mountain climate around Seattle.

GH: How well do you know the city?
DC: Not well (laughs). I played here as a student and my aunt and uncle live on Bainbridge Island but I'm still having a tough time - getting better though.

GH: What appealed to you most about the position?
DC: The Pac-10 is the most competitive conference in the nation so it's nice to stay within the conference. Also, Jill and I have the same philosophy when it comes to the game - a winning philosophy.

GH: What are your early impressions of the team?
DC: We have a lot of work to do, but the women are willing to do it. They're being very receptive. Like sponges, they're taking in all of this information at once and we're already seeing improvement.

GH: What is the most important for the team to accomplish during the fall season?
DC: Every time we're out on the court we have to be learning and getting better. Success will come if we stick to that principle.

GH: How have the four freshmen been adjusting to the college game?
DC: It's a very big step from high school to the college level. Every one of them were stars last year, now whenever they step onto the court they aren't going to automatically be the best ones out there anymore.

GH: How is the team preparing for this weekend's tournament?
DC: Very well, I just got back from today's practice and they all have a great focus and intensity. We need to be looking to learn and get better. We have to be ready to step out of our comfort zone, because that is the only way to improve our game.

GH: What are your personal highlights from coaching and from your playing days?
DC: As a player in doubles my partner and I were the first players from Sacramento State to get a win against Stanford. As a coach it was playing in the Final Four last season with Cal and finishing No. 5 in the rankings.

GH: Thank you for your time, Damon, and welcome to the UW!
DC: Thank you.

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